El Valle de las Lágrimas. Ready to cycle ramps at 25%?
These are the various names given to a nightmarish cycling climb, the kind designed to torture you both physically and mentally, the kind that makes you think about the meaning of unnecessary suffering while cycling. The tracks are impossible and unforgiving, but despite everything, there are fools who dare to take up this challenge in the Titánica de Gran Canaria. More precisely 270, of which more than 30 (ups) stopped along the way.
Now that we have scared you, we warn you: do not try to conquer this mountain pass under any circumstances. It doesn’t matter whether the beauty of the surroundings is unique or whether Perico Delgado says it is worth taking on such a challenge. Be wise, don’t do it. Better sit in your sofa and watch the Tour de France with a beer in hand. Or take a nap while watching the Tour de France.
Why you shouldn’t cycle the Valle de las Lágrimas
Are you still there? We have already told you that it is not worth it, but hey, beware of the consequences: 11.8 km with an average 8% and max ramps of 25%, a percentage that doesn’t reflect its hardness. And if we consider the village of San Nicolás as the starting point of the ascent, more than 1700 m positive slope in only 22 km.
It is said that the average cyclist takes at least an hour to complete this 11.8 km. 1 Dantesque hour, which could well have figured as an ordeal in the “Divine Comedy”.
If you decide to try the climb anyway, you will likely see some other reckless getting off the bike and walking up several sections. In fact, it could be your case. The funny thing is, you’re still reading this when we told you not to even try.
Roque Nublo observes from afar, these cyclists who have really lost their mind on the way to the Valle de las Lágrimas a.k.a. Valle del Terror. Watching them without any compassion, without fear, determined and without a hint of empathy.
Do you know the funny thing? That there are descents! Scary descents where all you can think of is everything that goes down has to come back up at some point. And it goes up. So you don’t rest even when it looks like you can rest.
Seriously, don’t: there are some easy cycle paths in Gran Canaria to fully enjoy this beautiful island.
Why, even if you have been warned, you are still thinking of cycling up the Valle de las Lágrimas
A question without a clear answer: you like challenges, you are an ultra-terrestrial being, a Zeus of the bicycle, you are not afraid of anything, you have been deceived and have been told that the climb back home after a night out was harder, or also that you are a bit reckless.
Curious and irrelevant fact: in the first edition of La Titánica de Gran Canaria where the Valle de las Lágrimas was climbed (2021), before the start the participants were provided with a dish of macaroni. A dish of macaroni in the middle of the day, when they had already overcome two climbs.
We don’t know if anyone understood the implicit message of organizing the event, but this macaroni dish was a warning in disguise: they wanted to give participants one last wish as they knew that maybe after Valle de las Lágrimas, few would survive.
The wise words of Diego Rodriguez of Planeta Triatlón, who experienced it first-hand, sum it up: “it’s fucked up”. And he said that when he had not yet suffered the worst. Do you remember what we told you about a few of them who fell by the wayside? Diego was one of them.
It’s not a climb for everyone, far from it. In fact, it’s a climb for almost no one. Most of us mortals would crawl through this mountain pass like worms, like bicycle zombies cursing your old self, you, who thought it was a good idea to sign up for Desafío la Titánica or climb alone.
If you’re still thinking of climbing on a bike, there are a few things to keep in mind: the bike you choose should come with a 34-speed set. Anything less than that means your cadence will run out on those 20% slopes and you’ll hit the ground.
On the other hand, starting from Aldea de San Nicolás, the first ten kilometers of the climb are accessible, but be careful: focus on spending the least possible energy in order to, once the dam is overcome, face the terrible slopes with guarantees.
6 points to keep in mind if you want to climb the Valle de las Lágrimas by bike
Don’t do it if you don’t want to upset Roque Nublo.
It is not worth it despite the immeasurable beauty of the surroundings.
At home with a beer is better.
Max ramps are a percentage that does not accurately describe the suffering involved..