If you are Motorcycliing in Tenerife and if you come from a cold country, Oh yes! you will freak out with the changes in the local weather. Mind you, at the coast, the temperature difference between day and night or between summer and winter is very slight, 6 or 8 degrees maximum, but the moment you start climbing things change. Above 600 mts (1800ft a.s.l.) it will be hotter in summer and colder in winter. And cold means that if you came out of your hotel in usual resort garb, that is, shorts and t-shirt, and you start for an island tour in winter, you will end in a hospital with a bronco-pneumonia. For sure.
This last weekend August 27/28) I went for a ride with my Moto Guzzi friends. Outside my place in the south, warm air, very pleasant. Doubting whether to put on a jacket or not.
In the end I put it on more as an accident protection than a temperature protection. On arrival to Santa Cruz, jacket off in a hurry or you boil: Powerful, solar battery -charging sunrays and you, sweating it out under a biker jacket… you are hard-boiled like an egg in less than five minutes.
I am not exaggerating, up at the base of Mount Teide (7.000ft) at night in the middle of august the temperature drops to 5 0r 7 degree centigrade. In the north slopes of the island you will find a cloud layer from 2700 to 4.000 ft, the little water droplets floating in the air will freeze you, even in summer it is very uncomfortable.
The solution? Ride always protected. Even if you come out of your Hotel under a scorching sun, take a biker jacket. You can always take it off at the stops. Don’t wear shorts, if you are very hot wear some zip-offs. And always, always, a windbreaker that costs less than 10€ will be a priceless help. Always carry one. The worst that can happen to you is that you will not use it!
A half-hour or 25 miles further. Look at the drops of rain in the windscreen!
Bear in mind that when you set out motorcycling in Tenerife, you are going to love it and you will ride longer and further tan you anticipated and in the stops you will find charming Guachinches sitting in which the time will fly.
Temperature Inversion –clouds stuck to ground – cross them and find a bright sunshine!
You can cross from a micro-climate to another three or four times a day, and you have to be ready for it at the risk of having a bad time, and you know how it is, water drops in your helmet’s visor, watch out it is slippery, clenched teeth and fearing that any moment now the water will soak through your vest and reach your skin!
Mind you, it can also be that the sun will be with you the whole day and the temperatures, even if changing, stay within the acceptable; that would be the usual thing. It all depends on the Trade winds and how hard they blow. But, to get back to your Hotel in the evening, if you have to cross back from North to South and you don’t have a biker jacket, you can shake just like a Chinese wing mirror!
Ah, what is a “Guachinche”? Tell you about that another time….