I – Canarifornia MTB with Fluyendo
Why the Canary Islands?
What should I expect?
Nothing. Leave your expectations at home and free yourself from pre-conceptions and comparisons, because this is a place like nowhere else! This is not a bike park, there are no chairlifts, no groomed, man-made trails…for example, this is NOT Finale Ligure ;)
You will be hard-pressed to find another place like this. Riding in Tenerife means living the essence of mountain biking: we ride big mountains, discovering amazingly diverse landscapes and terrains away from the resorts and in very remote areas, in extremely variable weather conditions, logging long, hard miles with significant elevation. Your skills and fitness will be put to the test but, after all, this is what a true mountain biker is always after, isn’t it?
What kind of weather should I expect?
Every island is a micro-continent and, as such, hosts a great diversity of climates packed within a relatively small area. On average, the climate at sea level is mild all-year round, with average temperatures of 20-25°C. At higher elevations, the mitigating effect of the ocean is out of reach so weather conditions are more pronounced, with higher temperatures in the summer and lower mercury in the winter. The north face of the islands is exposed to the trade winds, so it is cooler and more humid. Conditions can change in a very short time because, after all, we are on a rock in the middle of the ocean; during winter it is not uncommon to even see the snow above 2000 m. It is not infrequent, over the course of a week-long vacation, to experience sunshine, rain, wind and calima (the hot and dry wind from the Sahara desert). There is a reason why they call it ‘the islands of eternal SPRING’, and not ‘SUMMER’!
Why should I join guided tours with Fluyendo?
Sure, you are an experienced mountain biker, you never get lost and you think you do not need a guide to find the best trails. You even sort of found a couple GPS tracks you want to explore. But you recognize this is not your home turf. This mountain is bigger and wilder than you thought. Plus it is nice to be showed around without fuzzing with your smartphone/GPS/map/compass all the time, and ride only the best singletrack while learning about flora, fauna, geology and, most importantly, the best restaurants.
The guided tours we offer are the result of years of searching and exploring every corner of the island. This way we are able to tailor rides for everyone, from the seasoned professional looking to train to the weekend warrior who wants to elevate their game, to the outdoor enthusiast who wants to discover the beauty of this island in a different way.
We provide custom rides and vacation packages. We do not have fixed dates or fixed guided tours to sign up to, instead we like to listen to your preferences and tailor the ride or the rides accordingly (weather permitting!). We design our rides so they have that sense of discovery of amazing landscapes but also the technical level, the elevation and the mileage, all while sampling the diversity of terrain and environments the island offers. Our mission is to send you back home stoked and wanting to come back for more!
What languages do you speak?
Our guides speak English, Spanish and Italian. A French-speaking assistant will be available during the booking process.
What is expected of me?
We expect that you come here to have a lot of fun riding a bike while discovering this amazing island, rather than to just shave seconds off some Strava KOM. Tenerife is a really unique island worth exploring on a mountain bike. Take in the views, look around, live in the moment! We never NOT stop for a photo, nor NOT slow down for a chat. Rest assured, we love nothing more than seeing a big, stoked smile on your face at the end of the ride!
Ok, fine. But really, what do you expect?
We expect you to be respectful of the mountain and not underestimate its potential dangers. Away from the coastal resorts, Tenerife is a rugged island with abrupt elevation and sudden weather changes. Riding here is no walk in the park. We expect that you come fully prepared (see below: “What gear should I take with me?”) and aware of your place as a rider and a customer (see our Terms and Conditions). And we expect you to trust us and our experience on the trails.
What kind of guided tours do you offer?
On both Enduro and XC pages (here and here) we detail our rides. These are only a reference, as we can tune many of them to make them more All Mountain or Cross Country. Generally speaking, they range 25-40 km, with 100-1000m of climbing and 1500-2700m of descending.
How fit must I be?
This is another area where guides come into play, so it is important that you tell us what bike you ride, where you normally ride and roughly how long and what kind of elevation. Be honest with yourself; the more you provide us with details, the better we are able to tailor your rides in Tenerife.
We had prepared a table to give you an idea but we found hard to categorize fitness levels. So we threw it away. Let us just say that you must be comfortable riding up to 4-5 hours, on different terrain and under different conditions.
How technical are the guided tours?
There is surely something for everybody. Some trails, though, require ninja skills…even Jérome Clementz was surprised when we told him we take our average-Joe riders on (some of) the same trails. This is why our guides need all the information you can give us (see above); in some instances, they will assess your level on specific rides before taking you on more advanced ones. Please, do not take it personally. Safety always comes first; all we want to worry about is having fun!
Do you offer shuttling services?
Glad you brought that up! Aren’t you happy we already spare you the +2000m climb to get to the start of many a ride? ;) If it was not already clear, our philosophy is quite far from the idea of turning riders into human-sized hamsters riding inside a giant wheel…
As mentioned above, the Canary Islands are not a bike park; to the contrary, they are islands with complex orography, natural trails on average so technically and physically challenging that an encore is not necessary. Furthermore, we often ride in locations so remote, away from roads that shuttling becomes unfeasible.
However, there are some areas where we can arrange for uplift. All this must be arranged at the time of booking, and under no circumstances we will provide impromptu shuttling.
What is a typical day riding with Fluyendo?
Especially in the winter, we like to meet bright and early to take advantage of the daylight and to enjoy the best weather conditions. I know, you are on vacation, but you will see that it is worth the effort! We normally gather around 8-8.30 am and we drive up to the trailhead. On average, transfer takes about one hour. Sometimes longer. You did not expect it, did you? As we mentioned earlier, distances and elevation can be significant. Worry not, though, as our guides will be happy to tell you all about the geological and biological features of the island as we drive to destination… Once we arrive, our average rides range 3 to 5 hours. Pinch flats and photo shoots not included. When we are on a guided tour, we do not look at the clock, so we will not push you to go-go-go and, most importantly, nobody needs to prove anything to anyone. We ride at the speed of fun and we do not leave anyone behind. We like to stop to take pictures, drink something and eat a snack. And we will get back home in time to have a beer by the beach and a dip in the ocean!
II – Bike Setup and Gear
What gear should I take with me?
Helmet (a full-face is not really necessary, but take it if you want to feel more Enduro) glasses/goggles, gloves, knee and elbow pads (for Enduro rides), MTB shoes, chamois, hydration pack, sunscreen, and energy bars or gels according to your preferences. Technical wear to adapt to sudden weather changes: short and long sleeve jerseys, a wind blocker and/or a rain jacket. In brief, layer up or, as they say it in Italy, ‘dress like an onion’… Also, if you use SPD or other specific pedals, it might be worth throwing your favorite pair in the suitcase.
Should I bring my bike?
Starting december 2015, we have a new bike rental program you can read about here.
Otherwise, if you decide to bring your own bike, we recommend the old-fashioned bike box: remove the pedals, the handlebar, brakes and derailleurs, deflate the tires and remove the discs, stuff your riding gear, tape it and you are good to go. There are plenty of tutorials on the inter webs should you need more details. A fine example here.
Does the bike require special care?
This should go without saying, but the bike must be in perfect condition.
In particular, make sure you have:
- New brake pads, consider bringing spare (there are bike shops here in case)
- Hard-case tires, new
- Transmission, in good condition
- Fork and shock, in good order.
If you overlook any of these things, you can jeopardize your ride and possibly vacation. It is just not worth it.
Pack also a few tubes, patches and repair kits, a multi-tool, shock and hand pump.
III – Organizing and Booking
What does Fluyendo offer?
We will be happy to design individual guided tours or packages à la carte. Prices may vary according to the number of riders and the number of rides booked. Our packages are custom made especially for small groups (2 to 8 people) who come to the Canary Islands for a MTB vacation. We will prepare a program based on your style (Enduro/XC).
What if I come to Tenerife solo?
In this case, you will be added to a group of other riders. In case there are no other riders booked, we offer the ‘solo ride’ formula.
In this case, we meet in selected locations and take public transportation to get to the start of the ride.
The ‘solo ride’ options are a bit more limited than the regular rides, as they must be reached by public transportation; the rides are 25-35 km long, with up to 2300 m of descent in the south and 1500 m in the north.
Can you help me with the accommodation?
As far as finding a place to sleep, the island offers an enormous array of hotels, casas rurales, aparthotels. We can help you by recommending a few apartments we have visited and selected according to our guidelines, which are location, tidiness and being owned by local people instead of tour operators. Whichever solution you will choose, it is never too early to book, especially during the winter, our high season. Many regulars, in fact, book a year in advance, so the sooner you start looking for accommodation, the more chances you have to find the best solution at the best price.
I am a photographer/videographer who wants to shoot in the Canary Islands. Can you help me find the golden light?
Not to sound cocky, but we have organized a few photo or video shooting sessions and we know how it works. We had the privilege of providing logistics support for Jérôme Clementz’s 12 Months, 12 Stories, Episode 2 video (directed by Jérémie Reullier) as well as Cannondale’s 2015 Jekyll and Trigger catalog (shot by Ale di Lullo). We also assisted Tito Tomasi with the shooting of his EpicTV adventure travel video episode in Tenerife.
I want to come and have a specific TRAINING CAMP. Can you help me beat Jerome Clementz next year?
Our guides spend a good chunk of their free time exploring every corner of the island searching for new spots and trails, in an effort to always improve the mapping of the island from a riding perspective.
We are able to ‘cut’ rides based on your training requirements, by literally designing the rides following your personal trainer’s directions. We also provide logistics support before and after the training session. Regarding the beating Jerome part, good luck with that, buddy! ;)
Do I need insurance?
One of the minimum requirements for riding with Fluyendo is to possess a valid EU Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for European citizens, which provides emergency health care all over Europe, including Spain. For other forms of medical assistance, you will need a private health care plan or else you will have to pay in cash. It is essential to have proper insurance coverage in order to join our rides. We often ride in very remote areas where rescue can only be done by helicopter, so you will need to be covered for rescue, medical assistance, liability and repatriation.
You will need to take with you, at all times, your insurance card along with passport and emergency contact.
How soon should I make the reservation?
As stated above, we do not have fixed dates, but we work on a ‘first-come, first-serve’ basis, so we encourage you to book sooner rather than later to be sure we are not already busy with someone else.
How can I book?
Once we have agreed on the program, we will send you a document to be signed and returned. The document includes all the information, the terms and conditions and the details to send us a deposit (about 20% of the total) via money transfer and will serve as confirmation of the booking. We consider ourselves booked only upon receiving the deposit. The balance must be payed before the beginning of the first ride.
Can minors join your guided tours?
We are sorry, we cannot accept riders under the age of 18.
Can I cancel or re-schedule my booking?
If you want to re-schedule, we will transfer your deposit to your new date.
If you need to cancel your booking with 7 days or more before the beginning of the excursion package, we will refund you the deposit (minus all eventual fees). If you cancel 6 days or less, you will lose your deposit. If you cancel with less than 24 hours notice or during the excursion package, full payment is still due.