Great day out on the virtually traffic- free roads of Almeria. Asked Lisa very nicely to go for a day out in the car, checking a few potential new climbs for the April 2015 trips.
We headed past the place we will be staying near Tabernas, on to Gador and along the road we used last year to get to the foot of Calar Alto.
Rather than climb up through Alboloduy, we headed west towards Canjayar where the first of the climbs was. So bike out of car and after a quick whizz back down 2km to the junction with the ‘main road’ I turned and began the climb up to the white village of Ohanes, clinging to the mountain slopes @ 969m up. So I figured it out 8km with about 450m vertical difference. Add in the fact I had just got out the car plus it was 26° – and I realised I was in for a good 35 minutes of hard work.
It was a good one, perfect surface, no traffic, lots of great little switchbacks and some breathtaking scenery. The only negative about the comes just before 2km up, a very smelly chicken farm that fills the senses for about 250m. A few bends further up I passed Lisa sat in the sun by the car, music on, surfing away online, no stopping just a ‘see you in bit’ between increasingly heavy breaths. Then I settled into a nice rhythm as the next 3km were 5-7% with those switchbacks we cyclists love, the ones where you can see the next few above you as you climb. Resisting the urge to stop and take photos, I pressed on still managing to push on at a decent pace on the big ring! Then at about 6.5km I came round a tight bend and the tarmac straightened out in front of me for a good 300 metres and it looks a bit steeper than all I had already done. A quick look down at the computer showed 13% and this was followed by an equally quick shift down on to the 34 and the struggle was lessened. Then the beautiful sight of Ohanes appeared a few bends ahead and after 36 minutes of climbing I reached the village, turned round and punctuated the brilliant descent with those photos I resisted on the way up.
Back at the foot of Ohanes we continued west past the bigger town of Canyajar and onto Bieres to check out the other climb up to Ohanes, or what could be a possible descent. Like the first this had spectacular vistas, a decent road surface but was a more rustic, narrow and much rougher road. Much less fun to descend than the smooth tarmac I had plunged down a few minutes earlier. Most likely any future climb and descent will use the first road. So in 2015 the Alto de Ohanes looks like making its debut on bici-almeria trips in at least one of the weeks, I can’t wait to get back there and climb it again.