This last week I have had the privilege of being able to ride my bike in the Azores whilst on holiday visiting friends. Arriving for a 5 day trip I had the opportunity to make the most of it whilst I was here, and it did not disappoint!
Kathryn was able to source a cycling shop in the capital Ponta Delagada from where I could hire a bike from 25.50 euros per day. Hiring the bike for 2 days, I headed out from the shop in Ponta Delagada and headed for the Lagoa Do Fogo which is one of the highest points on the island. As we were staying in Agua de Alto on the south side of the island, I rode out to Ribeira Grande to start the climb on the north side of the so I only had a descend on the way back to where we were staying.
As it was the first time I have rode it, I was unsure of how long it would take or how difficult it would be so I decided on riding at what would be around a sweet spot or tempo. The ride up is just over 6 miles long at a gradient of about 7%, and on getting to the top managed it in 45 minutes.
Looking at the strava segments before hand I new it was to be shorter and steeper on the south side which meant the decent would be quick. On arrival at the bottom in Remedios I rode over to Agua de Alto using the coastal road making the trip about 35 miles.
The next day I then rode back to Ponta Delagada using the coastal road to drop the bike off at the shop where I hired it from. It made a very good balance as this allowed me to ride and also to spend some time with everybody doing other things while we were there. Also with a recovery day each side of travelling it hopefully help prevent catching a cold on returning home.
I must say that we found the shop Carreiro & Comp.Lda, where we hired the bike from extremely helpful. On arrival the bike was already prepared. Also giving good advice on where to go, making sure I had the right things, and even lending me a garmin mount which I had forgotten to bring.
The Carreiro & Comp.Lda website can be found here