Majorca training camp day 1

day 1. Sunday. Not very sunny…

sunny BelleVue

Sunny Alcudia

Up and at em early-ish for a buffet breakfast to load up on calories and carbs, then back to our room to change and get on the bikes. We could hear thunder in the distance, and see flashes of lightning. This wasn’t looking so good. Before long the rain was hammering down as we watched from the balcony. Not ideal cycling weather, so we waited, watching the F1 on the tiniest TV in the world. The weather broke, the rain stopped and with the sun trying to get out we set off. We’d preloaded the Garmin with a sort of route of where we wanted to go as a “just in case” but hit the bike hire shop for a map, and while we were there, a rain jacket for David. A bit of round the houses to find the best road to where we wanted to get to and eventually we started to get the miles behind us. We were soon on quiet country roads, passing farms and orange groves, heading towards our first climb at Lluc. As we hit the town on Inca, the heavens opened, we got a soaking as we pedalled furiusly to find a cafe to hide from the rain. We soon found one, and drenched we had coffees and coke, while we tried to dry out hoping the rain would stop.

Our wait was rewarded some time later, the rain easing off, nearly stopped, so we hit the road again in a light drizzle, got a bit lost trying to get by the railway lines, but got on the right road as the rain stopped completely. This was more like it. The incline at Lluc was upon us, 3 miles or so of hairpin turns taking us up around 500m to the summit. We set a solid pace, around 9mph or so, each of us getting a steady rhythm, Mark leading us up with the occasional burst to get the worst of the corners out of the way. We determined not to stop til the summit, and we did so, arriving at the garage/ cafe at the top satisfied with our effort. We parked the bikes with the dozens of others, and grabbed some pizza and more coffee/ hot chocolate.

top of Lluc

After the Lluc climb, before pizza

The sun was out, and with Sa Calobra around 5 miles ahead, we decided to give this monster hill a shot. The ‘mostly downhill’ route to the descent included a fair amount of climbing, nothing major, but enough to require small rings and slow speeds. We stopped at a small view point part way to the hill, where we could see the hill below us and the valley stretching for miles in either direction. I nervously posed with the others (a huge drop behind us with only a tiny wall at the edge), while we got a few passing tourists to take our pictures.

Looking down on Sa Calorba

Back on the bikes and we moved on to the last climb before the 5 mile descent of Sa Calobra itself. I took the back, not particularly confident in my hire bike or myself as we were hitting 20-30mph on the straights, dropping down to a crawl for the twisty hairpins.

A pretty big hill...

We were soon at at the base of the hill, for some more quick photos and a refuel in the cafe of strange pies and giant chocolate brandy cake.

Giant chocoloate brandy cake

The ascent – no other way back – was before us, a time check (6.15) and we were now a little worried about getting home before dark. We set a steady pace of 6-7mph and again determined no stopping. The climb was on, hairpin after hairpin, the occasional car passing us carefully, legs slowly turning the cranks and each corner passed us.

back up the big hill

back up the big hill

I grabbed a quick couple of photos on the move then passed my little Canon over to Mark for some more on bike shots. We made the last few turns and the top of the climb came into view, the biggest climb on the island done. On we went, but the climb was taking its toll, and injuries were thrown into the mix, making the of the end of daylight all the more real.

Hairpin bend number 34

Hairpin bend number 34

Fortunately everyone was able to push through, and after a few more miles of rolling ups and downs, we were rewarded with a long descent to Pollenca. We filtered through the narrow streets, wishing we could stop off for a beer or two in the local cafes and bars, but on we pressed, out on to the main route to Alcudia. We were setting a blistering pace, racing to get as far as possible before night fell. I’d donned my flourescent jacket, and switched my rear helmet light on, so took the back of our trio, as we made town in the dark. Some swithering about the actual way from town to the apartment, then we hit a half recognised road and my Garmin now seemed to be making sensible route decisions so we followed it and were home, tired but
happy to have completed the climbs and a total distance of 83 miles done, David’s best to date.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/168677420

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About ian

runner of sorts (back in the 80-90s), new to this cycling stuff, but determined to get from end to end in one piece.

Posted on April 16, 2012, in David, General, Ian, Mark, Training and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Sounds awesome so far. Not quite Callender and Kippen but not far off. Great pictures.

  2. Well done boys Proud of you all

    Mum

  3. That’s good going gents. A couple of belting looking hills there. Nice to hear that were looking after the chaps by sitting on the back, Ian, flashing your lights. However, when you return, I promise we will all have lights and you can sit up top.

  4. would have posted more piccies, but the wirelss in our room (skinned us for e20) is a bit poor, and takes ages to load them up. That and it only works on one device, so me and Mark have both had to stump up the readies to be able to use our own laptops. Thieving gits!

  5. The route up the hill and the road surfaces look cracking by the way. You are lucky boys. Hopefully, the weather remains more like the end of the day than the start.

  6. Carmel Thompson

    Piccies are good. You are doing well. Hope the knee is ok and that you enjoy the rest of the week. mommy Carmel 🙂

  1. Pingback: Not much running because… « LEJOGian

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