Hola – A blog from Majorca (2016)
The idea of this blog is to share with all Oakley Pedalers details of our trip and to perhaps give YOU the inspiration and confidence to get interested enough to get involved and/or to organise your own trip. You will find plenty of supportive OP’s willing to help you. Everyone loves to share a good thing and a very good thing it is.
The above motley crew of ne’er-do-wells rocked up on what is now the fourth “Friends of OP” March trip to cycling heaven, otherwise known as Mallorca. Strap line “THE PEFECT ANTIDOTE TO A BRITISH WINTER”
In this time the composition of the trip has changed considerably from a group of 8 blunder heads who chased everything that moved on a bike, attacked every mountain as though the days finish was at the top wearing themselves out in the process [I know ‘cos I was one of them]. Now the group consists of what we had this year with 22 enthusiastic cyclists seeking new adventures with a broad like minded group of different experience and abilities, sharing this thing we all love……… getting out on our bikes together. Seven of the party were newbie’s to Mallorca who leading in to the trip were excited and nervous in equal measure.
Two groups of riders met up in the Viva Tropic hotel, Port d’Alcudia. One group led by our very own tour operator ‘Diesel’ Dan Hare, and the other by our new travel operator ‘Spin-it-out’ Dave Thompson. The group of 22 consisted of Mallorca newbie’s as well as Majorca veterans. There was representation from all Oakley Pedaler ride levels, and just like our club away-weekend in Devon everyone got to ride, and ride how much or as little as they wanted. Be it on the iconic climbs of Lluc Monastery, Sa Calobra “The Serpent”, and Puig Major. There was even enough energy for a first for OP’s, the Mallorcan Coast 2 Coast; Port d’Andtratx back to Port d’Alcudia along the iconic MA-10 north coast road.
Pre trip a lot of effort went in to route planning to ensure that we had options to suit all tastes. None more so than the Coast 2 Coast Friday with option one, 87 miles, 9,000 feet of ascent and a Strava suffer score of 190; or option two, 75 miles, 6,500 feet of ascent and a Strava suffer score of 133. After a coach transfer across the full width of the island everyone started together, suffered together and enjoyed coffee & cake together with the fantastic views from the cliff top cafe at Banyalbufar after about 20 miles and what felt like 20 climbs.
The ride then split at Valdermossa with some continuing through Soller, on to the ascent of Puig Major and home via Pollenca whilst others chose to drop out of the mountains back on the flat via Santa Maria for what made for an easier 2nd half of the day after a climb stuffed morning. There was a real buzz about the place in the hotel that evening with everyone having achieved something very special during the day.
In addition to the two mahoosive days in the Tramuntana Mountains we enjoyed the warm up half day cycling past Dickie Roper’s pad, £50m of hedonistic luxury, and available to next year’s trip for a week’s rental at a mere £500,000 [ref The Night Manager BBC Sunday’s] near Port de Pollenca and off over the two smaller taster climbs to the lighthouse at Formentor. Another ride, the perfect recovery from C2C saw two OP Peloton’s zipping South on the fast flat roads to the optional short hairpin festooned climb of the monastery at San Salvador, before “Haring” [geddit?] back via Gary Hudson’s Donut shop in Muro, complete with a re-enactment of Gary’s previous year’s exploits from Mario Chipolata.
The final day was,,,, what else? The Pigwich to the trip’s top & bestest cafe in the Square in Arta. Sadly, in this cafe, my own dear wife’s head was turned by the irresistible aura that is the Hamer twins.
I have already written in a previous blog still available on the OP website via the “Advice & Tips” Link but how much does something as good as-what-this-is actually cost and can I possibly afford it? I hear you ask.
|Item||Cost per person|
|Airport transfer’s, parking & tips||£030:00|
|Hotels. Gatwick 1 night and Alcudia 5 nights [all-in, a bit like us]||£208:00|
|Food and drink, Spa swimming pool & sunshine. All included above. Yes really||£000:00|
|Coffee & cakes on ride [optional expenditure] c. £10/day [could be more could be zero]||£075:00|
|Two extra nights and a free day in Mallorca. Courtesy of French air traffic control & Easy Jet. Vive La belle France||£000:00|
Well next year we want to build on the mix of experience and relative inexperience of OP friends that we had this year. Please speak to the class of this year, readily identifiable from their mug shots in the group pictures. Yes it’s about group riding and yes it’s about climbing big steady [ave gradients 6%] mountains, but crucially with a supportive bunch of people around you. So take a look at the budget below and consider getting involved. Especially talk to the Spin it out Dave five who organised their own party to complement the tie in with the original group.
A huge thank you to French air-traffic control whose timely strike gifted us with 2 fully expensed [thanks Sleazy Jet] nights and a recovery day in sunny Palma. Look at how lovely we all looked that day..
finally a huge thank you to our travel agents Diesel Dan & Dave Thompson, our route-meister and guide Martyn Kimberley and to everyone on the trip who kept smiling and supporting the whole way, it was great.
Day by Day Breakdown – 2016
Wednesday March 16th – Arrive, set up bikes and ride to Formentor Lighthouse
The Viva Tropic Hotel has bike hire attached within a self contained garage. This makes it easy to get ready each morning makes it logistically possible to get out and ride on your first day, depending on your arrival time.
Ride link – >40 miles – After a flat ride around the bay from north from Alcudia this is a hilly out and back route in to the low mountains north of Pollenca. Warming the legs for the coming days and refining the hire bike set up.
Thursday March 17th – Sa Calobra
Ride link – 75 miles – A flat first 20 miles to warm the legs and let breakfast digest before heading north in to the mountains from Selva. A climb from Caimari up the Coll de sa Batalla before lunch at Lluc and then onward to the descent and iconic climb of Sa Calobra. Once the climbing is done the fun begins with a 15 mile descent to Pollenca and a steady roll back to the hotel. Route options on this day are to cut out the Sa Calobra section and roll back to the hotel after lunch.
Friday March 18th – Port d’Andratx to Port Alcudia (Coast to Coast)
Ride link Long – 85 miles – The day starts at Port d’Andratx marina but soon heads back in to the mountains. After a small climb to S’Arraco the real climbing starts, following the Ma-10 road from Andratx to Pollenca. Traversing the highest mountain on the island, Puig Major.
Ride link Option – 75 miles – Also starting in Port d’Andratx and following the Ma-10 out of Andratx. A front loaded route dropping out of the mountains about halfway for a more sedate, flatter return to Port d’Alcudia.
Saturday March 19th – Sineu Velodrome & San Salvador
Ride link – 85 miles (extra miles ridden) – Heading South in to the middle of the island and flatter (although rolling) terrain. A quick stop at the outdoor velodrome at Sineu for coffee and some ‘hot laps’ and then onward to San Salvador and the only climb of the day. Lunch stop at Felanitx before heading north back to the hotel and two peloton’s. A cheeky cake stop at Muro in the best cake shop on the island rounded off a great day. Route options for today are to loop back earlier from one of the big towns or enjoy the sunshine at the bottom of San Salvador while the crazy climbers tackle the hill.
Sunday March 20th – Pigwitch @ Arta
Ride link – 40 miles – Winding down the trip on a Sunday meant only one thing. A now traditional 20 miles out, a spot of breakfast, and 20 miles back. The Pigwitch. For the most part a flat route south to Arta on a single road returning the same way. Most of the groups legs were tired of climbing hills by now and appreciated what on paper was an easy day.
For more photographs of the trip head over to the Oakley Pedalers Flickr page.