Planning a trip
How to Organise A Road Cycling “Boot Camp” Abroad
Our Experience Based On Two Trips to Mallorca
Some of you will already be aware that a group of us have just returned from our second trip to the roadie’s paradise that is Mallorca. Did you know that every week, for the next 12 weeks, the island has 29,000 confirmed bookings from cyclists, including the veteran Tony Willard? Surely 347,999 people and Tony can’t be wrong?
We have enjoyed both of our trips so much that, with the Oakley Pedalers website live it only seems fair to share the secret of how to take a group of friends to Mallorca. I must emphasise that I am not aware of any club plans to organise such a trip just yet, what with the challenge of getting the club established with sufficient ride leads for the current programme and all that, but don’t let that stop you from doing it for yourselves.
Whilst there are plenty of middle men prepared to organise your trip for you, they take a healthy percentage for themselves; that’s business after all. However our experience has shown that with a bit of organising you can do this for yourselves. Our trip cost less than £450 per person for 4 whole days cycling and included:
- 4 Nights Hotel accommodations inclusive of all food and [honestly] all the alcohol you could drink! £188
- Return flights from Gatport Airwick too Palma £130
- Transport to and from the airports [we drove to Gatport Airwick in three cars and parked them up £40
- Cycle Hire & Insurance £65
- And I am guessing the incidentals of café’s during the rides!
Add a middle man such as Stuart Hall cycling or Stephen Roaches’ business and you could see the costs quickly reach the £800 and beyond mark plus you might not like: the company, the routes, the timetable etc etc and you still have to book your own flights.
You need a leader… That’s easy… it’s you! to co-ordinate and get the next few steps off the ground.
- Identify a group of friends, or similar level riders, or a ragbag of social misfits, you get the picture.
- Contact them to gauge interest
- Get them to agree dates
- Get commitment. This can be tricky, but folks need to understand that from this point any costs incurred they are committed to
Allocate tasks to the committed.
- Research accommodation options and flight options. Mallorca is a tourist heaven [or hell depending on your point of view] and abounds with good quality hotel accommodation accustomed to providing full & half board packages in the high summer season and the growth of cycling has given them an extended season they never used to have. Trust me that outside of the main holiday season Mallorca is a cyclist’s heaven. We used the Hotel Viva Tropic in Alcudia which, without cycling, would have been closed until May! Why Alcudia? It’s in the North West of Mallorca with access to the zigzag bends climbing the mountains in the North, for up to an hour of climbing at a stretch! [Don’t panic average gradient between 5 & 6 %] plus amazing descents… and access to the flatter, but still scenic South of the island for easier, faster, riding. We came home with 1 QOM on Mallorca.
- Research bike hire – oodles of choice of high end carbon bikes with 105 & Ultegra specs. We chose Viva Cycling as they were connected to the hotel, but all hotels will have a “tame” cycle hire company they deal with / recommend
- Book flights – we left UK 12 a.m. Wednesday arrived Alcudia 4 p.m. and got the bikes set-up. Rode Thursday through Sunday and caught the 9.30 pm flight home.
- Book accommodation – the full board as you can see is cheap as [Michelle Roux’s] chips, and suits what you want to do i.e. cycle your proverbials off, get back and recover without having to worry about restaurant bookings etc. The food was good quality with plenty of choice and enough for even the most gargantuan appetites!
- Book Bikes- we had 2014 Cannondale Synapse Ultegra and 2012 Super six’s. Cycled over 3,000 miles collectively without a single puncture or mechanical of note! Great traffic free roads
- Get the money in at the time you make each booking. You might consider a deposit of say £250 per person before starting the bookings at the time of commitment see step 1
A couple of months before the trip have a social and discuss all the fluffy admin stuff e.g. Kit List, photography, trip kitty, team kit [we wore Oakley Pedaler Jersey’s of course] and plan routes – the web is full of these and the “Cycle Map of Mallorca” is brilliant. I or Dave Wrey can send you links to routes that Dave has stored on Garmin Connect that we used.
Have fun. We certainly did and talk is already of next year!
If you want to know more please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to me in Jolly Olly’s or on a ride or anybody else who has experience of Mallorca: Brad Hare, Dan Hare, Tracy Hare, Dan Nicholas, Tony Willard, Dave Wrey, Gary Hudson, Marc Mulley, Mark Hamer, Andrew Cripps, Sharon Cripps, Cody Cripps, Wendy Reakes, Roxelle Jones, Martin Kimberley, Polly Perkins & Team Sky!