Sa Calobra, Mallorca

Sa Calobra, Mallorca

Sa Calobra, Mallorca

With another scorching day on the cards, Ryan wanted to take me to Mallorca’s infamous climb, Sa Calobra. He warned me however there was going to be a lot of climbing! Formentor had possibly been the most climbing I had ever done, but now it was going to be Sa Calobra.

Sa Calobra, Mallorca

Heading up the Col de Femenia, the long ascents of the day began. This first climb was possibly one of my favourites of the day. It was quiet and everything was so untouched. Being so early in the ride, the climb wasn’t easy. The encouraging writing on the roads may have been just that…if I had a clue what any of it meant being in every language but ones I understand. I make that sound like I can speak a few languages, but it’s just English unfortunately. Learning Spanish or French would be good though.

Sa Calobra, Mallorca

Finally hitting the top of Col de Femenia, I could spin my legs a little. Normally I’d stop and have a breather, but I’ve figured it’s better to keep going past the top of climbs so my legs don’t seize up. My body definitely doesn’t like stopping and starting!

So we passed a few cyclists and had a little descent to ride, but climbing would soon resume. We had a break at a T-Junction where Ryan said this was the point I could bail on the ride if I wanted to, and we could go left to go and do more riding on the flat, or right to Sa Calobra.

Whether I could cope with the ride or not, we went to Sa Calobra. I knew I would have regretted turning left and not going to see what Sa Calobra was all about.

Sa Calobra, Mallorca

I don’t remember much about the climb to Sa Calobra if I’m honest, what has stuck is getting to the Orange Seller at the top of it.

6 miles of descending lay ahead to the Port at the bottom.

I imagine going early, the descent would have been a lot less cluttered. Buses, cars and other cyclists not too confident on the descent meant it wasn’t as flowing as it could have been. Next time, I think I’d love to get up earlier and get there before the crowds did. Ascending wasn’t too bad when it’s busy, but descending can be a bit sketchy!

Getting to the bottom I realised I’d not quite filled my pockets with enough snacks to get me round. So although Ryan advised me not to, I grabbed a baguette as it felt like I’d already burned through my breakfast! I’ve hit a wall like that before, where you’re stomach feels empty. It’s just a downward slope for me from there. Even with the 6 mile climb we had to go back up, as long as I wasn’t going to sprint up Sa Calobra I’d be fine.

It’s funny what you learn from cycling when you’re younger and how useful growing up on the trails at Llandegla has been…ha! That climb taught me how important pacing was, which not many other cyclists going up the Sa Calobra seemed to understand. It wasn’t easy but I managed to ride all the way up. I stopped for one photo…but soon regretted it so just carried on to the top after that.

Sa Calobra, Mallorca

Going down Sa Calobra you don’t really get chance to take in the view because you’ve got to have your full attention on the road. But going back up makes up for that.

I was happy to leave the busy Port that had a train of buses dropping people off every few minutes. There’s a few cafes, but that’s all there is down there.

Ryan sprinted off to try and beat his last time up there, but I wasn’t up for that. As long as my pedals were still turning I’d be alright…I hoped!

Making sure to take in the view, Ryan managed to come back down to meet me before I got to a corner where photographers were. Operation get photo for above the fireplace was go…ha!

Sa Calobra, Mallorca

Now it was the last push to the top.

When the Orange Seller came back into view, it was a big relief. A 6 mile climb may not sound like much, but I’ve never ridden anything close to it before!

You’d think the blog post would stop there, but unfortunately my stubborness meant the ride didnt’t stop there. It didn’t stop going up either.

Puj Major, Mallorca

Back when we got off the coach at Hoposa Villaconcha, the driver joked if we were going up Puj Major, which is the biggest climb on the island. You can get to from by the Orange Seller. We were on the slightly easier side up and I asked Ryan how far it was to the top of it.

5 miles, which meant an extra 10 miles onto the ride.

The 5 back will be downhill I thought, so why not? I was most of the way there…

It turns out, the climb up Puj Major wasn’t bad in comparison to Sa Calobra. It wasn’t as steep, and there were plenty of views to take my attention away from my aching legs.

It was like cycling through a holiday brochure…ha! A glimmering blue lake, blue skies and mountains dominating the skyline.

Puj Major, Mallorca

This road was so quiet compared to the Sa Calobra. Only one or two cars and coaches, rather than the streams of them which were on Sa Calobra. For such a picturesque view, I was surprised so many tourists were letting it pass them by.

The higher you got the more of the valleys revealed themselves. With a tunnel marking the top, the end of the tunnel opened up to the top of Puj Major.

Puj Major, Mallorca

That’s one skill you should master before riding in Mallorca, removing your sunglasses whilst still riding. It’s not ideal stopping to take them off whilst riding uphill!

With the view from the top, riding up Puj Major from the other (and longer) side will definitely be on the list. However the other side is 14km long, so I’ll ork up to that…or just be as stubborn as this holiday and do it regardless.

Puj Major, Mallorca

Then there was the bonk.

My legs started feeling weird and I was struggling to ride straight.

I needed to stop.

Pulling over, luckily Ryan had brought more food than me. So I had an energy bar and a gel. I normally don’t go for the emergy bars/gels. I’d rather eat normal food that isn’t so packed with sugar.

I’d hit rock bottom though, which is no real surprise when the longest rides I’d ever done were 40 miles and this one turned into a 70 mile ride….

A quick stop at a petrol station where I debated between a Mars Bar and Twix (ironic when I’ve just been talking about sugar I know…desperate times ok?). We soon got back on the bikes, as the wind was picking up and I was starting to get cold. All I wanted right then was a warm shower. No jumping in the pool to cool off unfortunately, I needed the opposite!

Close to tea when we got back to the hotel, I jumped straight in the shower so we could be the first in line! I was so hungry and craving pasta…ha.

Sa Calobra, Mallorca

It was all a bit surreal really. I’d always wanted a big day on my bike, but never been able to do more than 30 or 40 miles. I’d seen so many new places and didn’t realise how many miles had passed by. I didn’t realise how much I’ve missed riding in the hills over Winter too.

Do you still remember your first cycling holiday? Have you got any memories? Drop them below!

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Lighthouse of Cap de Formentor

On the first day in Puerto Pollenca, the manic handful of early mornings and jam packed days had caught up with me. So whilst Ryan went off on his bike, I went for a run along the seafront.

A fairly chilled first day however lead to a day on our bikes with Ryan showing me around Puerto Pollenca. To ‘ease’ me into cycling in Mallorca we made our way out to the Lighthouse in Formentor. A road that climbed out of Puerto Pollenca before meandering down and down to the lighthouse.

Unfortunately it was far from a ‘training’ ride for Ryan as I felt the need to take photos at every viewpoint. Everywhere was just so damn pretty! It was pretty obvious I was the newbie to Mallorca.

Blue sea. Blue skies. A lot of the time all you could hear were birds and your tyres on the road.

It was bliss.

The first time riding my Liv and on dry roads for a good few months, I was certainly hesitant to descend. I was following Ryan and then all of a sudden it was like I flicked a switcn. Literally at the snap of my fingers my nerves went.

I’ve never ridden corners like it.

No potholes either, which was a definite bonus!

At the Lighthouse we didn’t actually stay that long. It was getting pretty busy and I didnt fancy getting cafe legs 15 mile in. We had a lot of hills to go back up…ha! Luckily our 30 mile loop could take us back along the seafront in Puerto Pollenca to Tollo’s. A cafe extremely popular with cyclists thanks to it being full of Bradley Wiggins memrobilia. With Nacho’s and coffee ordered we could of happily sat there in the sun all afternoon.

Dragging ourselves away from the sun, I ended up doing a session in the pool whilst Ryan went to do hill reps…you know the normal things you do on a holiday…!

I don’t think I could have anything but an active holiday to be honest. Training and then sitting by the pool in the afternoon seems to be a winning combination for me.

Got any traditions or habits you do on holiday? Got memories from routes you’ve ridden round Mallorca. Feel free to drop them in the comments below!

Puerto Pollensa, Mallorca Cycling Holiday

Over the past few weeks I got to a point where some time off was long overdue. My weekly routine was feeling monotonous and I craved being in the sun so bad. The result? Me and Ryan booked a holiday a week before flying and had the most amazing few days away.

Mallorca

Exploring Puerto Pollenca, Mallorca

The last time I went abroad was something like 2010, so it was a mad rush to figure out what I needed to take with me. The mad rush put aside, we were checking in at the airport on our way to the cycling mecca of Mallorca.

Puerto Pollenca Beach, Mallorca

Puerto Pollenca Beach, Mallorca

Sun, smooth roads and beaches were all this girl needed to switch off for a few days.

After the nerves of hoping my bike got there ok, the first time I’d be riding my Liv this year was on the lush roads around the island of Mallorca.

A hotel with a big presence of triathletes, I could even jump in the heated training pool or go for a run if Ryan wanted to do a crazy training ride.

Hoposa Villaconcha Training Pool

Hoposa Villaconcha Training Pool

We were staying in Hoposa Villaconcha in Puerto Pollenca and I was so happy to be so close to the beach. A short walk and the golden expanse of sand revealed itself with cafe’s and their bike stands lining the sea front. I’ve never seen somewhere with such a focus on cycling. There were families that had hired bikes mixed in with seasoned roadies going on mega rides into the mountains. Hills aren’t really a thing in Mallorca, they’re definitely mountains.

We managed to fit so much in to the few days we were there, I’m going to split in all into a few blog posts rather than one HUGE one! So look out for what happened when we tackled:

  • The Lighthouse of Formentor
Formentor, Mallorca

Formentor, Mallorca

  • Sa Calobra
Sa Calobra, Mallorca

Sa Calobra, Mallorca

  • Walking Puerto Pollensa to Cala Boquer
Cala Boquer, Mallorca

Cala Boquer, Mallorca

So I’ll be posting more about each day, so keep an eye out on my Instagram so you don’t miss a thing!

Are you off on a cycling holiday this year? Mountain bike or road, leave your favourite destinations below!

Exploring Dolgellau: Unsuitable for Motor Vehicles

Pulling the tent out of its bag trying to figure out which side was the door, the jagged ridgeline of Cader Idris dominated the skyline behind us. Us being me & Ryan and with some blue skies the idea of camping for a whole Bank Holiday weekend seemed somewhat more bearable. I’ve never had a great amount of luck whilst camping but this was a weekend I’d been looking forward to.

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Once our tent was set-up it wasn’t long before the road bikes brought out where Ryan and I found ourselves descending the hill into Dolgellau. Turning here, there and everywhere we began climbing out of the village and up into the hills. The gradients of the climbs changed yet my reaction to the ever-changing views did not. Round each corner or through each tunnel of trees opened up a view of lavish hillside the hedge-lined country lane before us meandered through. Token Welsh sheep dotting the fields around us and the history-ridden walls of farmhouses appearing few and far between.

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Whilst part of me wanted to push hard on the pedals during this road ride, the adventurous side wanted to take it easy so I didn’t miss a thing.

Over cattle grids and through gates the hillside soon opened up to uncover a view of the great blue expanse of the sea. With complete silence and a view so picturesque, it was one of those moments you won’t ever forget.

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But it was at this point the road ride became a little bit eventful…a country-lane descent of 25%. And things were going well until trees began to overhang the lane and moss covered the surface beneath my tyres.

O good god! What on earth am I doing?

With a final sharp turn to the right after some sketchy where I wished I had MTB tyres to rely on, Ryan ended up having to stop me in my track so I didn’t go straight out into a main round at the bottom! My rims were hot to touch, but I suppose he could have took me up it! So that was a bonus!

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The fairly steady ride home was mostly spent contemplating what we had just done. That was possibly the most bonkers things I’ve done on skinny tyres! Soon back & climbing up to the campsite my legs felt like they had done a lot more than 16 miles…

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