Mallorca Revisited Wild Rock returns to Mallorca, Spain for a fall cycling trip. With warm weather and legs packed full of kilometers from the road cycling season our crew was eager to take on what has become familiar ground for many. We were not disappointed. It is no secret that Mallorca has a bit of a special place for us at Wild Rock. We have been running cycling trips here for almost 10 years, and keep coming back for good reason. While we usually head to Spain in the spring , a fall trip was a welcome addition to our cycling calendar this year. After a great nine days of cycling the finest routes, we all came back tired and eager for our next trip. All the details of our 2014 cycling trips will be coming your way in an upcoming newsletter, but for now enjoy a few of the things we love about cycling in Mallorca.
CAFE CON LECHE When you order coffee in Mallorca, you order cafe con leche. Espresso and steamed milk at just about any cafe kept us going. Also works as a distress call for a rest stop!
Whether you ride the climbs easy and take in the views, or put the hammer down to challenge the Strava KOM (you will never get one here), the fact of the matter is that you just canâ€™t spend an hour climbing up a mountain in Peterborough. There is something about chugging up these climbs, no matter what the pace, and leaving a bit of yourself on the mountain. It is only after getting to the top, and taking a breather that the enormity of this place is realized. You just climbed for an hour. Sit down, stretch out and enjoy the views. You have earned it.
SWITCHBACKS Going up or getting down, Mallorca is full of tight, beautifully radiused switchbacks. On the way up you rise out of the saddle and jam a few hard pedal strokes around them, going down with a keen eye for upcoming traffic and perfect MotoGP apexing guarantees a smile.
pa amb oli A great thing about travel is enjoying the local cuisine. While in Mallorca pa amb oli is a good as it gets for lunch! Mallorcan bread, fresh tomato, great cheese and a good drizzle of local olive oil. We ate these at just about every lunch stop.
small roads This one always takes us by surprise. Rolling along roads that are a fraction of the size of a Duoro backroad, yet accommodate two way traffic. And bikes. While we ride cars and trucks roll up behind us and wait. That is right, I said wait. They wait for a chance to pass, no horn honking, no middle fingers, no screams to get off the road. Just a quiet understanding of sharing the road. Imagine that.
BONUS CLIMBS Sometimes we focused on the “big climbs” on the itinerary and didn’t pay close attention to the other upwardly trending roads. Sometimes you take an exploratory turn off your planned route. It is pretty common to run into a few magical “bonus climbs” if you will while riding in Mallorca. They are part of the landscape that shapes these amazing routes, it may not just be the ascent of Sa Calobra that challenges you, but that feisty little number right before.
LUNCH A typical day cycling in Mallorca goes like this - we start around 10, have a coffee stop (cafe con leche!), ride some great roads and stop for lunch. Lunch stops are part of the fun. Whether it is at the top of a climb beside a monastery, or in a cool little town like Valldemossa, lunch stops are a welcome rest to refuel, rehydrate, and share a laugh before we swing a leg back over our bikes in search of the next great memory. Pro Tip: eat the olives, they will blow your mind.
G O OD P E OP LE Some of the folks who join us on our Mallorca trips have been riding with us for years, for others it is the first time we have cycled with them. With each trip our network of cycling friends grows. From experienced racers to new cyclists, every trip has a diverse group that all share a love for getting out and riding their bikes. For many they come back year after year - this is a place that once you uncover its charms, you see why it is the spot to be for pro cyclists and recreational riders alike. See you in Spring 2014!
SA CALOBRA The Sa Calobra day isnâ€™t the longest ride of the trip. It isnâ€™t the longest climb either. But this is the one that everyone talks about. This is the one that Team Sky and all those way too fast pros come to train on. Sa Calobra is just about 10km in length and averages just under a 7% gradient. With a switchbacked descent that snakes down to a lunch stop (we all ate too much), you take a break and head back up. Those hairpin corners that kept you on your toes on the way down offer a much different challenge on the grind up. Each turn ramps up the incline just a little bit, breaking your steady climbing rhythm. And just when you think its over, a final steep stretch greets you before you can slump over your bars. We talked about going back and riding Sa Calobra for a second time on this trip. This may of been the result of a bit too much Tunel, the Mallorcan local herbal liqueur (ps they make cycling kit)
THE STATS 628 kilometers covered.
km. Our longest climb. Puig Major.
7,874 meters climbed.
hours ride time.
number of coffees consumed.
Noel and Kieran roll along near perfect roads for cycling. The destination for the day - the San Salvador monastery looms in the distance. A 6km switchbacked climb averaging 6% delivers us to stunning views.