Autumn 2013 and we started to look at plans for 2014. We had enjoyed cycling in Mallorca at the end of April 2013, even although the weather had not been very good. Jet2 were doing an offer of free bike carriage so we decided that two weeks at the end of April in 2014 would be a pleasant holiday. We booked the flights and aparthotel (same one as we stayed at in 2013 as we knew they were set up well for cyclists) on the last day of the offer!
We decided to take our own bikes - this meant buying bike boxes to ensure their safe arrival so Paul spent some time on this investigation. Before departing in mid-April we had been able to do some reasonably long cycles from home but were really looking forward to doing some cycling with warm feet!
All the travel went very smoothly, none of the chaos we experienced at Chambery when skiing. Palma airport was deserted! The bikes arrived safely and Paul assembled them the first afternoon. The nearest supermarket is about 300m away so rucksacks on and shopping.
The cycling was great - we covered quite big distances most days and climbed lots. In general the roads are good, except the road out to Cap Formentor. It is great as far as the bay at Formentor but then it is rough, broken up tarmac. We left early for this cycle and were glad of that as the road is also quite narrow and becomes busy after about 11am.
Paul did the Sa Calobra descent and ascent while I had a wander around the lanes of the flatter areas. I had fallen over while running (just tripped on something) and badly bruised my knees and one had an open graze. In the end I decided that if he took an hour to do the climb back up I would probably take almost twice as long and did I really want to spend my time grinding it out?
We had one cycling incident. We decided to go to Arta, about 50km away from Puerto Pollensa and take a small road towards a monastery from where there were meant to be good views. Well, we got part of the way along the road to the monastery when we heard the emergency vehicle sirens. A cyclist had come off their bike and so the road was closed. Descending back towards Arta I had a blowout on my rear tyre. I had to walk the bike about 1km down the road until it was wide enough to pull off. A car had stopped so I was able to ask them to get a message to Paul, he had already turned as he wondered where I was. It turned out that there was actually a slit of about 1cm in the wall of the tyre as well as through to the inner tube. I had a new inner tube, but new tyre? Paul mended to slit with ‘gaffer tape’ and we put in the new inner tube. It was a slow cycle to Arta, where the map indicated that there was a cycle shop. We asked someone where it was and he indicated that it would not open until 5pm, it was about 1:30pm at this time. So, off to the square for lunch and things got better as we had an excellent baguette and coffee while we hatched a plan. In the end, after not being able to locate the cycle shop, we decided to cycle back towards Alcudia where there were loads of cycle shops where we would be able to get a new tyre. If the patch did not hold up then Paul would go ahead, get my tyre and return back to me. Well, the patch held for the 50km back to Puerto Pollensa! We eventually got a tyre, a bit difficult as we wanted a 25mm and most sold 23mm.
As well as exploring a lot of the northern and eastern parts by bike, we ran a couple of times and did some open water swimming. I was not all that keen on the swimming but it did get better each time which I feel quite happy about.
The weather was really good this time. The nights were cool when we arrived but the temperatures were generally in the low 20°C. Some days were very windy but we found that we could ride and just had to be careful with the downhill speed. At times we rode the same routes, at other times we planned to do different routes.
It was a reasonably cheap holiday as we catered for ourselves most nights and ate in the hotel a couple of times. The costliest part was the daily ice cream, purchased after a walk into Puerto Pollensa seafront; well, I say walk but sometimes this ended up being about 8k as we explored!
Would we return? Probably as there are still parts to explore. Paul was talking to a cyclist who visits twice a year (spring and autumn, very different) and has done so for about 8 years.
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