Cycling Mallorca style!
A little detour away from France as we have just had a week in Mallorca. A holiday at last! Time to relax, unwind, cycle, chill, swim, sightsee, dine out and of course add some yoga into the mix too. What a novelty to have a paperback in hand rather than a paintbrush... to be able to swim in crystal clear turquoise sea waters rather than layers of plasterboard dust!
Originally I was looking for another Yoga retreat, then Roddy wanted to come away this time too so we chose the Balearic Islands for our escape - its a favourite for the pro cyclists to train, apparently.
After un-packing and putting-together his bike from the flight travel bag - now in one piece (phew!) - all was good, so a test ride around the pool was in order... and whilst we spend the week both relaxing and 'doing' - the focal point in relation to this blog is, of course the cycling experience Roddy got.
"It would be narrow minded of us at Charente Cycling to think that the South West of France is the only place to cycle, hence we go on cycling holiday's ourselves. I have visited Majorca twice before but never for the purpose of cycling. Much has been expressed about this island and the cycling had come highly recommended by friends and colleagues, that I departed the UK with anticipated enthusiasm - packed bags, packed bike, and an abundance of great plans and routes circulating in my overzealous head. Our location admittedly was probably not ideal for the mountains in the North but we'd hired a van to enable us to get the bikes to the foot hills and ride wherever we wanted. We started locally, out to San Salvador, the ride out was busy with lots of traffic, I started to think we were on the wrong roads until I saw many other cyclists along the same route. It was not a pleasant experience - yes, the road surface was good but I’d rather have bumpy roads with less traffic. The climb itself however, was nice but again extremely busy.
Next, the highly recommended Randa - probably the most testing ride to the climb as we had a block headwind all the way and being constantly passed by lorries, buses and cars on a main road in a small cycle lane is not really my idea of fun. However, out of the ride's so far, Randa was my favourite climb by a long way.
For our next ride, we cherry picked a few quiet roads off the beaten track, sadly though they were a total disaster, just as busy but no cycle lane this time. The following day we headed for the mountains and for me, that’s where it really ends. Mountain passes with hundreds of cyclists and cars. I lost count of the buses and possible accidents I could have had with them had I not been an experienced cyclist. So my verdict? I can see why the Pro's go there to train and even Cat 1, 2 or elite racers out of season, but if like me, you simply crave peace and tranquillity on the roads, Mallorca just might not be the place for you. If you think the UK is busy then think again. I will always have a love of France for cycling in the Pyrenees, Alps and especially the Charente as it clearly benefits from quieter roads."
By the way, if you happen to venture into Palma for the day and come across Rapha, check out Café du Cycliste opposite the square as there's a really helpful and knowledgeable guy in there called Kennet Kirkensgaard @bike_nnet (instagram)
Ah yes, and apart from all the cycling and chilling, there were Yoga sessions too...