Life from an outsider's perspective…

Are car drivers friendly towards cyclists in the Canary Islands, Spain?

Im really starting to admire this place [Tenerife] compared to Northern Ireland where im from in terms how cyclists are treated on the road. Ive give a few examples of what is regular at home.

Being passed by articulated lorries with less than 60 cms of room, on a corner because they cannot be bothered to slow down and wait 20 seconds till the road opens up a bit. I was that annoyed i rang the haulage company and got a lecture about how long it takes for lorries to accelerate again after slowing down for cyclists that should not be on road… and the multitude of gear changes and breaking required for a lorry to wait.. behind.

Ive been passed by mad drivers in very small cars with very loud exhausts at speeds of excess of 100kph on single lane roads.

Ive had drivers in white vans throw bottles at me, shouting tosser.
Many times ive had drivers ahead of me at busy junctions without their indicators on.

Many drivers will also wait for ages getting onto a junction while im behind breathing their lovely disel fumes while they are fixing their hair or playing with their phone.

We do have cycle lanes in some towns, and as a rule i dont use em, because pedestians walking their dogs and children are playing there (they just divide the pavement into 2) and then you have to use a pedestrian crossing to cross a road.

and yet, for 3 months solid before the weather just got totally appauling i cycled the 11km to work and back 5 days a week. I picked one day in the week were id go all out and max my speed treating it like a time trial. Then a longer club run of 50-60km on sunday. I started with a hybrid bike and switched to my ridley one in sept.

cya later

Hey mate glad to hear from ya!

I must say that I really look forward to your latest ride reports… I’ve been pretty busy organising all the bookings lately.

Yes, I’m glad you notice that drivers are extremely patient here in the Canary Islands. In 3 years of riding in Tenerife I’ve never had a problem. Amazing! But I do always try to get out of other vehicle’s paths wherever possible.

You might be interested in reading this article about why car drivers treat cyclists with a lot of respect here (it’s quite long, but it explains a lot).

They’re even nicer in Holland and other places I’m told… and probably any European country like Denmark, France, etc with a strong cycling culture. I have a had a few Germans and Finnish tell me that the car drivers are nicer here than where they live.

Back in Australia where I used to live, I’ve even had firecrackers thrown at me!

I also learned to live with many “sideswipes”. I remember once, a semitrailer overtook me, I moved over as far as I could to the left (opposite side of the road there), and with ZERO room to spare at the curb, I felt the semi-trailer brush past my shouder! I just hang on for my life. That was with probably 8 or 10 years experience riding on the road. I’m sure a beginner like yourself wouldn’t have had the balancing skills to handle that situation. I too rang up the truck company. Truth be told, I was so enraged, I got my dad to do it…

I had two road accidents in Australia within the space of a single year. You might have noticed the scar on my left wrist…
But probably the lowest moment was when I was waiting at set of lights, and I had a sandwich thrown IN MY FACE…
Why do you think so MTBing is becoming so popular? hahaha see you tomorrow…
Gotta go and prepare your bike now… anyway I’m really pleased that this trip has encouraged you as a cyclist…

One Response to “Are car drivers friendly towards cyclists in the Canary Islands, Spain?”

  1. I like this site but it just makes me want to leave rainy england :(

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