Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Magnificent Mallorca, Spain

I'd heard of Mallorca as a top cycling destination, so for a Christmas gift to KY, I purchased a trip (for two) to the Mallorca Trek’s Travel Camp. Thankfully I was his +1 and off we went the last weekend of Feb. We knew a few other people signed up that weekend, so it was the perfect reason to make it happen.

DAY 1 - Remembering how to ride! 

We flew out from Zurich Thursday morning and arrived in Mallorca midday. After an easy taxi to Read’s Hotel in Santa Maria we were quickly set up with our camp issued Trek bikes and off we rode. I LOVE the simplicity of camp issued bikes!!  It was just KY and I for this initial ride since we arrived later than the others. Weather was less than ideal, but it sure felt amazing to move the legs outside. I’m embarrassed to admit, but I think this 37km ride was the longest ride since Ironman AZ last November! 

We arrived back at the hotel and met the rest of the group, then enjoyed our first delicious "family" meal.  The ~15 campers were the only guests at the hotel and we had a set 3 course menu each night .  Dinner would routinely start at 7:30 and we'd typically still be sitting in the dining room 2+ hours later. It was fun to get to know the other campers. There was a large group from Canada, and another fun group from Whales.  

TREK Travel does not mess around with their details - Best cue cards + Garmins pre programmed w/ maps of each ride .

Day 2 - BRUTAL!!

The forecast wasn’t looking good for our planned 140km ride, but I think everyone was in denial. We rolled out that morning with eager anticipation for the epic route and although I had my warmest clothes with me, the rain and wind rendered that useless.  I was completely soaking/freezing after the first descent. We continued riding along the recommended route hoping our support van would be around the next corner.  There was nowhere on this road to take shelter, but we pressed on in hopes of finding something. After 2+hrs of riding with icicle fingers and toes, we approached the lighthouse at the end of the turnaround point,The lead group has turned back and they informed us the coffee shop was closed and our van was not there. Heartbreak!!!  I immediately turned the bike around, and although we were in a pretty rearklble scenic area, it wasn’t about miles, views, or epic climbs but instead it was thoughts of frost bite and hypothermia….. the wind was so strong and my bike was barely moving…. But then, a ray of hope!! I saw the support van up ahead. It was the most welcomed sight! I immedialty jumped inside, removed the shoes and wrapped myself in blankets. I shed a few tears of gratitude for that van and the ability to escape the brutal cold. 

Our awesome guide Lisa working hard to convince the hardy Canadian to call it a day. After the door blew off the van he finally got inside!

The van was busy pulling people off the route and shuttling them back to shelter.  YES - It was THAT bad!

Finally back at the hotel I’m pretty sure I took the longest hot shower before feeling functional again. Then it was time to plan our route for the next day. The weather forecast looked much better, and despite the previous hellish day on the bike, we wanted to make the most out of our Saturday ride.  As a result, we decided on the famous SaColobra route mixed with a few other meaningful climbs.


Those brutal conditions on Friday certainly created a deeper appreciation for dry weather. What a difference a day makes! The worst day on a bike was followed up with quite possibility the most enjoyable day on a bike. This is the ride you see in the Mallorca cycling media - Pretty unreal switchbacks and views. We enjoyed a delicious spanish lunch at a cafe on the sea, then we quickly saddled up for the monster climb in our attempt to make it home before dark. 

Classic endorphin filled positive energy and joy swept through the group as we finally rolled into the hotel around 6pm - I think we started the ride around 9:45am! Yes, there were plenty of stops for photos and refuel, but regardless, it was a glorious day with great riding friends. 



The last of our crew by the end of the day

DAY 4- Mellow

Everyone seemed to fly out at different times on Sunday and our bikes had to be returned by 11am,  so we simply repeated the Day 1 - 37km route route and made time for the first run of the weekend. 

We spent a few hours exploring the main city of Plama before heading back to Zurich that evening. 

Altough weather was not ideal, it was still one of the best camp experiences I’ve ever had.  I highly recommend you put this cycling destination on your bucket list (but maybe plan to visit later in the spring for more enjoyable weather) !! 

Experiences Over Stuff- Always!