I live in the Canary Islands, more concretely, in Gran Canaria. Our towns are pretty spread on the island, and it is really common to live in one town and working in the capital, which on average is approximately 20 minutes by car.

Some of my coworkers come to work by bicycle, they live somewhere near. The one that lives furthest from the office has to make a 30m ride in his bicycle before he arrives at the office.

I was thinking about this idea, the difference is that I should make a 1h 30m trip (estimated by Google Maps): Which is this one: Google maps link

It involves roads without road shoulders and some parts with a cliff on the right (it has a crash barrier).

Being a beginner in long trips (actually never made one that took more than 30 minutes) I don't know if this one is too dangerous for taking it two/three times a week (I work on semi-remote).

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    90 minutes is a very long commute, that's 3 hours out of your day, and that much exercise every day would make you a fairly serious athlete. This long commute question and this one address some of those issues. But it is only 20km, so it's possible that a decent electric bike would give you enough extra speed that you could do it in under an hour.
    – Móż
    Sep 6, 2016 at 21:17
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    The 300m+ hill is quite a challenge ... is there no way to bypass it and stick closer to the coast? Without that, 22km should be under an hour once you're reasonably fit. Sep 6, 2016 at 22:09
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    I seriously considered biking from my old home to my old job.. Would have been about 45 minutes each way? Have you thought about doing a 'mixed mode' kind of setup? It helps with dangerous parts of your journey if a bus is available. Sep 6, 2016 at 23:56
  • Ninety minutes for 22 km? That seems pretty slow. When I was thirty years old, my 21-km commute took 25 minutes in and 35 home. Now I'm 62, but I'm still faster than 14 kph. And I am by no means a "serious athlete."
    – WGroleau
    Sep 8, 2016 at 5:24
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    @WGroleau Did you check the terrain? The outbound journey has a 7.3km climb at 3.6% and ends with 1.7km at 4.9%; on the way home, there's 4.4km at 6.8%. That's a couple of solid category 3 climbs and a category 4. Your 21km in 25 mins is 50km/h, which is pretty impressive, even downhill (which I infer it was, since you "only" managed 36km/h on the way home). Sep 8, 2016 at 22:47

3 Answers 3


I live in a rural area, and I am always looking for new roads. Most of the roads here have no shoulder, and there are some cliffs.

The first thing that I do when I'm deciding whether a new road is too dangerous or not is to do a test-drive in a car. I look to see where there is a shoulder and where there isn't, I look for blind curves, I look at the pavement quality, and I look to see how much traffic there is.

Next, I try riding the road when there isn't much traffic. For me, the most dangerous thing is a blind curve where there is no shoulder; around here, people in cars like to pass me illegally in the blind curve. The danger is that there will be a head-on collision between the car passing illegally and another car coming the other way; I don't want to be hit by the shrapnel. If there are blind curves and no shoulders, then the traffic must be light or I won't use that road.

I would recommend that you have a look at your route in a car, and then try riding part of the route as a test when traffic is light, maybe early in the morning on Sunday. If riding part of the way doesn't seem too risky, then try riding the entire route the next weekend. If riding the entire route on early Sunday morning doesn't scare you, then try riding it early in the morning on a weekday. If that is OK, then try your plan of riding to work two or three times a week.

I would also recommend that you find some local cyclists with more experience, and ask them about your route. Maybe they can recommend some alternatives around the most dangerous parts. Also be as safe as you can: wear bright colors and have flashing lights, use a mirror on your helmet, carry identification, and tell someone about your exact plans when you ride.

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    Car crashes don't generate much shrapnel. The real problem with people overtaking you around blind bends is that, if they do discover, half way through the manoeuvre, that there's a car coming the other way, they're likely to swerve right back into you. Sep 7, 2016 at 8:59
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    What's also important is the local traffic culture: Will motorized vehicles have some respect for bicycles? Do they stick to traffic laws? Will they overtake you illegally? Sometimes, when it would be dangerous to overtake me, I block the lane on purpose (by moving into the middle of the lane, so people are forced to overtake me like they would overtake a car), is this even legal where you live, on the roads you consider? Are you willing to take some abuse? How much to you hate being overtaken closely? There may be local regulations discouraging or even banning bikes from some roads.
    – Nobody
    Sep 7, 2016 at 10:50
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    If two cars collide at speed they could each end up anywhere on the road and I don't think you want to be anywhere nearby, even if the crash doesn't generate literal 'shrapnel' as in flying bits.
    – nekomatic
    Sep 7, 2016 at 10:56
  • +1 on the find local riders. You're going to need a proper bike with gearing for the hills. Maybe you can ask a co-worker to do the route with you on a weekend, but traffic conditions may vary from workdays to weekends. It is dangerous, but I wouldn't say that is more dangerous than driving a scooter. A good helmet is needed,ofc, but mostly be very aware of your surroundings and take your way without hesitation when you have right of pass, doubts are very dangerous too.
    – gaurwraith
    Sep 7, 2016 at 15:14

I don't know that route, or indeed that part of the world, at all, so I'll answer in general terms, and with a list of things to think about.

Firstly, it's dangerous to attempt to ride too far with no plan B. I'd work up to being able to do the same distance over similar terrain before you do it for real. Bear in mind that you need to get home the same day (not necessarily by bike).

The route you've mentioned looks to have some steep and winding sections. You'll naturally go slower when climbing there; how much other traffic will there be? Will car drivers be willing and able to give you space?

Is cycling common? If not, it's generally more dangerous. Can you get advice from local cyclists about routes and timing?


I commute every day more than that and I live well out of town. The only way to find out is to go ride the route. I tried a bunch of routes before I settled on the ones I use.

I settled on them for many reasons, mostly to do with traffic, I'm on a bike, I more likely to run off the road in a car which is wider than a skinny bike so I don't worry much about the road.

In terms of safety I find traffic to be the biggest concern, mostly because hardly anyone cycles and the drivers are not the best in any case.

I use one route in the morning and a couple of different ones on the way home depending what time I leave town. If I leave early when schoolkids are going home I dodge the route with lots of schools and buses and take a longer route. But I learnt all this by actually riding the routes.

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