Day 1 – Puerto Pollenca
Mark, Denise, Diane, Chris F, Chris H toddled off to the Max Huerzelercentre to collect our bikes. In his excitement Chris F took off with a bike not only too small but also had the wrong pedals. The guy on the reception was not at all impressed but all was sorted and soon we were all geared up and ready to test them out. We agreed a short ride to Puerto Pollenca along the coast was in order to test the bars err bikes. We regrouped a few hours later in kit and headed off. With Chris H navigating (Which is always a bit risky) we headed into Alcudia Port and up into the old town, from here we took the coast road out to Puerto Pollenca. The wind was quite bracing but the heat of the sun more than made up for it. Passing bathers, wind surfers and kite surfers we got to Puerto Pollenca, found a nice restaurant and stopped for a snack. A few beverages later Mark suggested to return via the road up to Pollenca town and return to the hotel via the back roads. Nice smooth roads lead us into the town, navigating through the narrow streets we headed out the other side, back onto the main route to the chicken roundabout back to Alcudia. Much debate ensued and lead us to agree it was in fact a cockerel but it just did not have the same ring to it. Working our way back, past farms and lemon groves we made another unplanned diversion but all ended well as the hotel came in sight. On our ride analysis we apparently spent more time in the restaurant than in the saddle but hey what does Garmin know.
Day2 – Pollenca, Cala Sant Vicenc & La Victoria
The full Ensemble. Peter, Matt, Mark, Denise, Diane, Chris F, Chris H. Congregated outside the hotel, we followed our leader on the back lanes to Puerto Pollenca . On the road up to Pollenca we saw a Bird of Prey circling overhead and later identified it as a Red Kite. On route to Pollenca we took a right towards the coast and Cala Sant Vicenc. As we approached the beach Mark shouted ‘Stop’ thinking he’d had a mechanical , a few of us stopped only to find his nose pressed up against a classic car/motor bike showroom while the rest were braking due to a group of riders approaching from the right only to find it was a reflection in a large window and they were stopping for themselves. We Rode back up the hill to Pollenca, got settled at the restaurant in the central square and ordered refreshments. Chris F, Chris H, Diana and Denise took a tour of the town visiting the beautiful 13th-century church (Our Lady of the Angels) and climbed the 410 steps which lead up to a chapel on top of the hill. We were rewarded with magnificent views of the valley. Amazingly we met up Matts partner just as we arrived and she joined us for drinks. We continued on our journey towards Alcudia peninsular and onto the beach of Playa de Sant Joan. Matt suggested a nice short, flat ride along the peninsula to the ‘Ermita de la Victoria’, the only fully preserved 12th century fortress on Mallorca. This ride started ok as we rode passed the Marina but then the road started to twist and climb to a 12deg incline at its summit draining whatever energy we had left, exhausted Pete stopped at a shelter not knowing there were only 100yds go. Diana usually the model of manners and etiquette was swearing like a trooper turning the air blue so much so, even the Majorcan viper hiding in the grass did a u-turn a scurried off so as not to encounter Diana’s wrath. A few of the team stopped to help a German woman who had fallen off , they helped pick her back up and sent her back down the hill. The reward at the top was well deserved as we had a great view overlooking the Mediterranean. Well rested we headed back through to the port and onto playa de alcudia and back to the hotel, well knackered but happy in the achievement.
Day 3 - Petra
The team converged on the front of the hotel after having a hearty breakfast. The planned route was to Petra. Matt said this was relatively flat, We didn't believe him but headed off all the same. The team headed south through Playa de Muro on to Can Picafort turning right inland towards Petra. The group picked up the pace forming a tidy looking 2x2 formation. Further we headed up the Petra road picking up speed passing other pelotons on the way with the Velo greeting of Alan, Alan, Alan….Steve. The road steadily climbed inland to the summit, Christine had a chain malfunction and took a tumble in the verge, with a few scratches and fortunately no major injury we regrouped with the smooth undulating twisting downhill gradients right into Petra town. Petra a small sleepy Spanish town with restaurant lined plazas. Drink and food ordered we were given complementary oranges, which were refreshing in the midday sun. Continuing on our journey we headed towards Sineu and then on to Muro passing its imposing Catalan-Gothic church of Sant Joan Baptista. Mark took the leaders mantel using his Garmin to navigate the maze of back streets. Heading back to Alcudia we took the smaller roads through the farm lands passing the poppy lined corn fields. Looking out over the field, dancing in the breeze, you could see the shimmering red colour growing through the corn. Following the narrow avenue of bamboo, which created a 10ft high avenue of flora and fauna, led us gratefully back into Can Picafort and back to the hotel. Clocking nearly 50 miles.
Day 4 – Selva
The full complement minus Chris F who was taking a break after a touch of derrière excrutianus left the hotel via the back roads, headed out towards Campanet, passing the Caves of Campanet we climbed steadily towards the village. We bypassed the village and carried on with even more climbing in the midday sun passed Moscar and onto Selva. A small village topped with an impressive 17th century church. Its forty-two steps lead up to the more gothic façade looking over the market square. We decided we’d had enough climbing and chose not climb the further 400m to the monastery we settled down in the restaurant opposite the church for drinks. Mick and Chris F took public transport and met us at the village, after a nice break we headed back out leaving Mick & Chris supping beer. Mark took to the helm and navigated us back via Inca. The traffic got a little busy passing through the town but we were soon passed it and on the quieter roads towards Sa Pobla. The headwind was a little challenging and we all took turns out front carving a route through the wind and back into Alcudia.
Day 5 - Five and the mysterious lighthouse
Five left Alcudia. Mark, Denise, Diane (who were first timers to this route) and Chris F, Chris H & Timmy the dog. Followed the now familiar route up to old town and along the coast road to Puerto Pollenca. Once there we regrouped and with Mark leading the way we headed up the Formentor road. There was no gradual lead-in as the road started to climb almost immediately. Settling down into steady pace we climbed and climbed, spectacular views over the bay lead to another bend in the road and more climbing until finally we reached the halfway view point . At last there was some respite as we walked up to the viewpoint looking out over the Med. With the group photos taken we progressed on. By contrast the next section headed downhill weaving in and out of the valley passing the Cala Figuera beach before starting to climb again towards the tunnel. Two mountain goats decided to jump out in front of Diana halting her progress but she soon caught the rest of the group up. Reaching the Tunnel we adjusted out shades, switched on the light and with Denise leading continued onwards. More Climbing ensued before the final descent to the lighthouse. The troop refuelled at the grossly expensive café while some helped themselves to the complimentary fruit. The route back was just as cruel with a steep climb right from the off making the now relaxed legs groan in effort. Once over the top it was a rocket pace decent to the Playa de Formantor beach for the rest of the group to sample what Mark & Denise enjoyed last year. It didn’t disappoint, with a small cove of talcum powder sand and a café to provide much needed refreshment. Ginger Beers all round was followed by the Shoes & socks off and paddling in the sea to cool down the team in the baking sun. Chris H passed the time skimming stones on the water but Mark showed that he was the master at ducks and drakes with a huge bounce count of 10+ Well rested we set off again back to Puerto Pollenca, regrouping at the resort we headed towards the front. Denise rode over a drain cover and her front wheel wedged itself into the slot making her and her whole bike flip right over onto the pavement. With Denise injured flat out on the floor, Mark fuelled with concern rushed back and checked the bike was ok. Luckily the was no serious damage to the bike errrr… I mean Denise and we headed more steadily to the third café stop of the day on the Pollenca beachfront. Mark got ice for the now swelling injury while we all drank more Ginger beer. A steady ride back to hotel with some diverting off to look at the ironman set up. We all agreed it had been the best day so far. Where’s Timmy? Dam we left him at the lighthouse, more Ginger beer anyone?
Day 6 – Arta
Chris’, Diana, Mark, Pete, Matt & Christina re-joining the group. Headed down the coat road through Playa de Muro and Can Picafort. Keeping to the main route we headed towards Arta taking in the first 17miles of the 20mile route climbing. Weaving through the narrow streets watching out for traffic, there was barely enough room for a car fit never mind to pass, Chris & Christina touched wheels and she went down but again no injury we 9:30s are made of stern stuff. We all made the final climb to the Sant Salvador an impressive walled fortress dating back to the 10th century. The route back was much nicer with the majority being downhill. A busy route traffic wise but a nice destination to tick off the list.
Exclusive reporting by Chris Higgins