A friend of Rawvelo as well as several of our ambassadors, Ollie Jones is a former road racer turned all-cycling enthusiast, runner and general adventurer. This June, Ollie heads to Tenerife with his friend Jan, from ThingsThat, for a big one-day adventure riding from the coast to the highest point via road on Mount Teide before then continuing to hike up to the peak in time for sunrise. That’s sea level to the peak of the third highest volcano in the world.
Tell us more about your adventure. Where did the idea come from?
It all started from my friend Jan, a rider for ThingsThat, who invited me to stay out with his family in Tenerife this summer. And from there the idea just sparked to life. We knew when we were out there we were going to ride the full Mount Teide climb and also hike to the top, so why not see if we could do both all in one adventure!
The more we looked into the logistics and routes though it became more and more crazy! The current planned route looks like it’s 65km with 2700m elevation gain on the bike, followed by a 13km hike with 1400m elevation gain. With both parts expected to take in excess of 5-hours, it’s going to be a long day out for sure.
Currently, we are hoping to set off slightly later in the day from the bottom, with the aim to hike during the night before reaching the summit in time for sunrise. From the photos we’ve seen it's a magical place to be and it’ll certainly be a fitting end to the adventure!
What are you most looking forward to about the day?
It's a combination of the actual summit day, although that is part excitement, part nerves at this point, and just being able to get away to a glorious sunny island and be around friends and great vibes. For me it's as much about the atmosphere and the journey around the whole trip, as it is about actually summiting Mount Teide.
What do you think will be the biggest hurdles to overcome?
The altitude for sure - I’ve never been up to that height before, so it will be interesting to see how my body handles it. From what my friends have said, up at the top of the road it isn’t too bad, you know you’re at altitude but not enough to really take it out of you. Once we start hiking we are heading into the unknown. Personally I've never been over 2000m before, so I have no idea how my body is going to react, let alone after 5-hours on the bike in the heat beforehand. Jan and I have sat down a few times already and told each other we have to be 100% honest with what we are feeling once we start getting up high out there. Neither of us want to start getting altitude sickness and be stranded!
What riding are you doing currently?
Since I’ve stopped racing, I tend to do a bit of everything. In a typical week I try to ride a couple times, sometimes road, sometimes gravel, but then I’m also a big fan of running and getting to the gym. It’s all about being all-round healthy for me, as opposed to being fully cycling specific. I’m also in the early stages of setting up a hospitality based cycling group where most of us ride fixed gears, so I spend quite a bit of time on my fixie at the moment!
What setup are you currently riding most?
My trusty Cannondale CAADX. The purple paint job really turns heads! And I’m lucky enough to have the support of VeloElite, so I have a road and a gravel wheelset that I can just switch out depending on the ride I’m doing! For Tenerife, I’ll likely have it fully loaded with bikepacking bags so I can carry as much Rawvelo nutrition as possible!
Any other big adventures this year?
My calendar is pretty jam packed for this summer and the rest of the year. My biggest target is actually a running race in Berlin at the end of July. And it's the first thing I’ve really wanted to get myself in shape for since I retired from racing, so that’s very exciting for me. It's a week after the SSX Mystery Tour so I hope I still have some legs left after that! Other than that, I’ll be showing my face at a handful of UK gravel events, very likely heading back to Mallorca and also trying to squeeze in a holiday with my girlfriend (and no bike) at some point too.
Tenerife is going to be the biggest one of the year for sure and then setting up hospofixed is a HUGE challenge for me. I’ve not had a proper personal project for a long time so that’s very exciting and I can’t wait to see it grow into what I think it can be. It's all about bringing people together that work similar stressful jobs and have a common interest in bike riding. So a great way to bring my two passions together.
Tell us more about the SSX Mystery Tour!
Yes, SSX Mystery Tour! The most infamous gravel ride in the UK, Liam can I say that? Sadly I’ve missed the previous two additions due to work, and from what I've heard this is going to be the hardest one yet, so I'm definitely throwing myself into the deep end! I'm really looking forward to it and have heard such fantastic things from last year's event so I can’t wait to get stuck into a proper long gravel ride! I just hope my legs hold out.
Aside from Rawvelo, what are your favourite foods to have in the pocket on a big ride?
I'm a big fan of any kind of baked goods. Give me chocolate croissants any day of the week and they seem to just keep me going. Although when you start getting on multi day trips having proper hot meals makes such a difference, rather than just surviving on Haribo.
Ollie is due to roll out to tackle Mount Teide on 23rd June with Jan, weather depending, and we’ll be following social media closely to follow their progress! Good luck Ollie - thanks for sharing your story.