Tenerife, an eco cyclists green dream

Dr Leslie Brown

“Serious cyclists really love climbing” so says Dr Leslie Brown with a grin of sheer enthusiasm, and he should know. Born in Sydney, Australia, he has always had a passion for bikes, and when he moved to Tenerife 3 years ago, he decided to develop that passion into a business and www.tenerife-training.net was born.

Tenerife has always been popular with sporting and serious cyclists, already this year several Olympic hopefuls have used the mountainous terrain to sharpen themselves up, and in the past, even the American 7 times Tour De France winner, Lance Armstrong has trained here. Leslie shares the attraction “where else can you do climbs of 2,300 metres and then drop down to the coast” Mind you he should know his surfaces, his doctorate was earned in material science, specialising in Opals.

Even for keen amateurs, the modern road or mountain bike doesn’t come cheap, your looking at 1,000 euros minimum, maybe thats why they often like to take their own bike away with them for a cycling holiday, and that’s where the problems begin. “You have to book your bike on board the plane as sporting equipment and buy a special case to protect it, and even then the excess baggage charge can be as high as 80 euros each way.”

But Leslie has more global reasons against bringing bikes over. “The heavier load a plane carries, the more CO2 it produces. Working on a weight of 15 kg for the bike on a typical return journey between the UK and Tenerife (LGW to TFS is 5,800 km) you will add on 100 kg to 200 kg in CO2 emissions. In terms of greenhouse gas, 100 kg of CO2 occupies 50,930 litres at standard atmospheric pressure.”

Thats a pretty strong argument for leaving the trusty steed at home and hiring from www.tenerife-training.net . All they need them to do is bring their pedals, helmet and shoes, and Leslie will fix them up with the right bike for their needs. Based up in the La Orotava hills, Leslie gets plenty of cycling practice himself, he favours a Czech made mountain bike with hydraulic disc brakes, and a light weight aluminium frame.

Hopefully as the word spreads, Leslie can help others to enjoy a clean and environmentally friendly past time which is perfectly suited to the wonderful scenery and nature of Tenerife. “It’s a niche market but there is a demand out there and it’s a great way to stay fit and look after the planet.” And with that, he rode off steadily and purposefully into the rising pine forests of La Orotava.

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