Earlier this month, Ciclismo Classico guides Henrick Murphy and Massimo Marenco celebrated their respective 40th birthdays on a bike tour in Gran Canaria with a fantastic, festive group. Henrick shares his thoughts on this memorable trip along with James Sanford–a guest on tour whose photos capture both the sense of spirit and place that this group of cyclists enjoyed together.
"I think it’s safe to say everyone enjoyed the trip! The weather was nice break from the cold and rainy, winter climate throughout Europe and in the U.S. as well. Max and I had a fantastic shared celebration of our birthdays and certainly one we will never forget!
Highlights of our tour were definitely included our meeting with Anna in San Bartolomé at the Bodega Las Tirajanas. We enjoyed a wine tasting paired with typical local cuisine for lunch and Anna’s sweet nature made for a memorable visit. She gave us a good insight into wine production on the island and explained the grape varieties autochthonous (indigenous) to Gran Canaria.
Another really fun visit was taking the group to the botanical gardens in Santa Brigida and seeing the gardens with Maguï. Her gentle nature and pride for her island was a delight and gave us a great insight into the diverse flora that exists in this archipelago. There are over 2,000 species of plants to be seen in these gardens and 200 are native and exclusive to Gran Canaria! Botanists from around the globe actually go there to study this unique collection.
On Day 4, the piece of road between Cruz de Tejeda and our regroup in Artenara was enjoyed by all. Our guests were taken aback by the sheer beauty of this central part of the island with the iconic Bentaga and Roque Nublo standing proudly in the middle of this amazing piece of landscape. It was a bit like being at Disneyland!
And last, but not least, our final celebration cocktail was a pleasant surprise for both Max and myself. Our guests all wore a special t-shirt they had made with "Happy 40th" written on the back."
Ciclsimo Classico guest James Sanford shares:
"We signed up for this particular ride because the two guides had just reached 40 years of age and this ride was intended to celebrate their 40th Birthday. This seven-day ride was quite enjoyable.
Both of the guides - Henrick (Henry) and Massimo (Max) are excellent guides and we really enjoyed the trip. We also had a very good group and everyone was quite compatible. The cycling was challenging as the Canary Islands are volcanic and there are plenty of hills. Temperatures were in the 70’s near the coast but much cooler at the peak.
The Canary Islands are used in the winter as a base for professional cycling teams. The advantage for amateur cyclists is that the automobile drivers are very respectful and cooperative when passing cyclists on the winding roads. In addition, the meals and wine were excellent and dinner on our last night was exceptional. The dinner was where we also celebrated the 40th birthday of our two very special guides.”
Final evening birthday celebration for guides Henry and Max
Learn more about this fabulous bike tour happening again in 2018!
All photos taken by James Sanford.