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The Pink Panther heads to winter sunshine

The Pink Panther heads to winter sunshine

Even our hardy Glaswegian blogger Fiona Russell needs a bit of sunshine sometimes, and has taken a trip to the Canaries to get her fix this winter. Here's the low-down:

Every year I ditch the gloom of a Scottish winter and spend a week somewhere warm. This time, I saved up my pennies and invested in a mood and fitness-boosting week in the Canaries. The Planet X Pro Carbon "Pink Panther" road bike came with me.

The trip was organised by the Glasgow Triathlon Club and while there is a daily swim session and regular running to "enjoy", the main focus of the holiday is to stretch our legs on longer bike rides. Las Playitas in Fuerteventura is peferfectly placed for bike rides of 30 minutes to six hours, and offers training in both strong headwinds and tailwinds!

12 reasons to ride in the Canaries in winter:

  1. The sun usually shines and it is certainly a whole lot warmer than chilly Britain in winter.
  2. You get to ooh and ahh at the delightfully smooth tarmac on the roads.
  3. The motorists are amazingly courteous and are aided by many roads that are wide enough to take both cyclists and cars comfortably.
  4. The hill climbs are long and challenging but never so ridiculously steep that you need to get off and push.
  5. The views from the hill tops and many of the climbs are a treat, even if the terrain is fairly bare, dry and treeless.
  6. There are quirky statues and monuments to give you something else to think about when the cycling becomes too tough.
  7. The tailwinds can help riders to produce ridiculous, almost-not pedalling speeds. I am fairly weedy and I still recorded 75kph on the flat in a tailwind.
  8. The headwinds are mighty and challenging but will build leg muscles in days rather than weeks.
  9. Cafés are well placed for lunch and coffee stops and offer welcoming service and cheap food. A lunch of a sandwich and coffee is rarely more than three Euros.
  10. Fuerteventura attracts lots of cyclists, so there is always someone to be sociable with, or race, depending on your frame of mind and energy levels.
  11. Everyone loves the pink Planet X bike and stops to comment and smile.
  12. Even if you are cycling into a headwind or being almost whipped off your bike by a side wind, you can easily console yourself with the thought that back home it's cold, wet and most likely very windy, too.

Image used under Creative Commons licence from Ricardo Ramírez Gisbert 

17 April 2014