Six Reasons why you need to cycling in Mallorca
Having just returned from my third cycling trip to Mallorca, I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys cycling, whether competitively or just for leisure.
Before my first MCCC trip in 2016 I’d seen photos of previous trips and while I really wanted to go, wasn’t sure I’d be able to cope with the daily rides, so as nominated organiser of the 2018 trip, I’ve attempted to put together a balanced perspective of what it’s really like to go on the trip.
- The Weather
The weather in Mallorca in April is almost perfect for cycling – not too hot but warm and sunny most days. There may be some cloud and an occasional shower but it will be a million times better than at home.
It can sometimes get a little windy in the afternoon, on the way back from a ride but you’ll be riding in a group and be protected as we make the guides stay on the front on the way home.
The average temperature in Witney in April is 13c, compared to 19.7c in Majorca.
- The Roads
Mallorca has really embraced cycling tourism and the tarmac on most of the roads is perfect with more and more being resurfaced each year.
There are also lots of lanes with minimal traffic where the surface isn’t quite so good but still way better than our own roads.
You’ll also find motorists are much more courteous and pass with a safe gap. You still get the odd crazy driver but you never feel you’re at war with drivers.
- The Mountains
Most of Mallorca is relatively flat, with the Tramuntana Mountain range along the Northern coast visible from all over the island.
You could spend a great week cycling there on flat smooth roads, without facing anything more challenging than Tower Hill, however that would be to miss out on some amazing routes.
Most of the climbs never get too steep, and although some do tend to go on a bit, you don’t need to be a mountain goat to ride them – I’m living proof of that!
If you have completed a sportive in the Cotswolds or Velo Birmingham, you’ll be absolutely fine on many of the climbs such as Sa Batalla or The Lighthouse.
- The Rides
There is an organised ride every day with a choice of groups. In 2016 there were three groups which tended to mirror our own Fast/Medium, Supers/Super Steadies and Steadies groups, while this year there were two groups which were broadly, Fast/Medium and everyone else.
For 2018, the plan is to have a choice of groups offering varying distances and speeds as not everyone wants to ride flat out or do long rides every day.
The make-up of groups will be focused around who is attending and the idea is that people will have an idea of what rides will be available before they go. Obviously, these can be subject to change due to wind and weather conditions as they are here.
If you go to Mallorca to train for the racing season and have been before, it’s likely you’ll need minimal support and can either ride with a guide or do your own thing.
For the rest, there will be a minimum of two guides per group with no one getting dropped.
The guides strictly enforce riding etiquette, with no-one allowed to ride off the front (well unless you do what I did and got tangled up in the fast ride for a few miles before getting spat out!) and a guide will sit at the back and protect the last rider.
The guides will also offer tips and coaching around improving your group riding, as well as cadence, descending and other skills.
The only certainty about a week in Mallorca is that you’ll come back a better and stronger rider.
- The Apres Cycling
At the end of the days ride, some people like to meet at the Pro Cycle Café for a post ride beer and debrief, followed by a timed Strava segment back to the hotel.
In the evening, most people usually meet in the hotel bar for a drink and some banter about the days ride, followed by dinner in our reserved section of the hotel restaurant.
The key here is that everything is extremely sociable and you can join in as much or as little as you like.
There is a huge choice of food and while it won’t win any Michelin stars, its decent buffet style hotel food.
After the dinner, there is a very clear group split, usually along the lines of the racers going for an early night to recover for the following day and everyone having a few drinks and drifting off when they’ve had enough.
One of the most bizarre sights of the 2017 tour was seeing the two Micks (Murphy and Carter) walking arms linked back to their room with two pints of milk every night.
Apparently drinking milk makes you faster than drinking gin– but it’s nowhere near as much fun.
At least once during the week, we go out for dinner in Puerto Pollensa and for 2018 we are looking at organising other activities such as a quiz night and the unmissable Freddie Mercury tribute act at Palms Bar.
- Bringing Family or Non Cycling Partners
There is no reason why you can’t bring along family or non cycling partners, as long as they don’t mind relentless cycling chat.
The hotel has an outdoor pool with a kids section – now, there’s no getting away from this, its freezing!
There is also a heated indoor pool, gym and spa area.
The centre of Puerto Pollensa is a 15 minute walk with lots of shops and bars and there are regular buses to Palma, Alcudia and other places and taxi’s to and from the port are cheap as chips.
It’s also easy to hire a car and travel further afield, but the best bit about staying at a cycling friendly hotel is that the pool area is very quiet during the day.
If you’re still undecided, speak to someone who has been previously or have a look at the numerous websites dedicated to cycling in Mallorca – the worst that could happen is you’ll have an amazing week of cycling in the sunshine, come home as tired as you want to be and set yourself up for a great summer of cycling at home.