Majorca 11 May 2013
While sparrows slept, Dave, Roy, Christine, Janice, Stewart, Chris & Julie Kaye boarded a JET2 for Majorca. Janice had coordinated the holiday with Audrey of Majorca Wheels, which meant that we were met at Palma airport by a taxi to whisk us off to C'an Picafort. Though cloudy when we landed, the sun got out filling us all with anticipation of good rides. Arriving at Hotel Janeiro, Stewart and Chris built up their bikes in the garage / bike store while the others went to hire their bikes. Julie doesn't ride, she walks, and knits and reads. The evening meal was the first opportunity to check out the food and load up for the day's ride ahead. Christine and Janice particularly excelled with 5 courses each which was never equalled by anyone all week.
12 May - Orient
Dave had most of the bright ideas for rides and we started off with a pleasant ride through a gently undulating landscape, even managing to find the wonderful Waterpipe Road. Bunola was the destination for lunch and we struggled a bit to find somewhere with food left, there were so many bikers out. Fuelled up we set off up the climb to the little village of Orient, good steady stuff in lovely weather. Over the top we dropped down to another cafe in Alaro before making our way back to the hotel, all happy bunnies.
13 May - Formantera
An easier, shorter ride was planned taking us up the coast through Port de Polenza with a coffee at Tolo's and a look at Wiggo's yellow Pinarello inside. Then on to the bottom of the road which climbs up 5km to a car park and spectacular viewing point. Another lovely day meant quite a bit of traffic, but not a problem to this point where I got a good photo of Roy getting to the top. The next 13km included some rough roads and a load more ups and downs and fabulous views if you dared take your eyes off the next hairpin. The destination is a cafe at the lighthouse which has a narrow road in the final approach and there was chaos with standing traffic jamming the road; never seen it anything like that before. The cafe food was good and another rider obliged by taking a photo of us all. The ride back to the car park after the jolting downhill was an even gradient allowing the ascent in one gear all the way. If you can avoid traffic on the final descent from the car park it is beautifully smooth and exhilarating; another brilliant day.
14 May - Lluc / Calobra
I've been to Lluc a few times and it's a great ride up to the cafe / petrol station. Previously I have gone on to the monastery and the cafe before dropping down; but today we were going on to Calobra, which means further climbs until you eventually get stunning views and then the longest descent I have ever done until you reach the cafes at the bottom by the sea. The cafe we used served poor food at high prices, but it was Hobson's choice and it got us going back up. The climb is extraordinary and is something to be survived; but when some young lad flies past you out of the saddle you have to be impressed. After most of the climb the road loops at a cafe where I took a breather; as I set off again I passed a well tanned young chap slumped over his bike talking to a guy on a motor scooter. As I toiled up the road I heard the scooter approaching from behind, quite slowly, then it passed me, with the young cyclist holding on to it; I thought someone has seen a business opportunity on this big climb, and it is big, the Garmin shows the ascent to be around 2,300 ft, makes what we did out of Hebden Bridge in April a piece of cake. Once we had cracked that we got together at Lluc garage again, well that's what we said we'd do, but as we got together we were missing Roy, but no-one had seen him. Dave doubled back for a bit to look for him while we went on, skirting round suicidal sheep with bells on down to Selva, where we found Roy waiting for us. All back together again we pressed on back to the hotel with thoughts of a hot bath to soak our sore legs.
15 May - Day off / Easy ride
I took the day off the bike to spend time with my wife. No rest for the legs because we went walking quite a few miles to look at a meseolithic burial ground by the sea, then through a nature reserve which claims to have tortoises; it does, we found one. We also got rained on a little bit but dried off. Everyone else went for an easy ride to shake their legs out and they got wet too, but also dried out before they got back.
16 May - Cala St Vicenc
The weather became dull and threatened rain, so we elected to do a shortish ride up the coast to Cala St Vicenc which I remember for a good fish retaurant near the beach. Started dry and during this period Janice suffered the only puncture in the whole holiday. Shortly after we got going again the rain set in and we all donned rain coats; then heads down until we reached Cala St Vicenc and found a welcoming cafe. I say welcoming, as soon as we went inside the lady quickly whipped all the cushions off the chairs, fair enough; then as we put coats on the backs of chairs she whipped those off too and hung them on chairs outside. Best was they made good pizzas, we ordered two which came precut as usual in 8 segments each. We were nearly down to the last piece when the calculation was made there should be 3 pieces each plus a spare one; the last piece was someone's third, so who had had 4 ...... Roy had a big grin on his face. He's a fast eater, look at the photo, the food is just a blur near his mouth. The rain had eased a bit when we left, good to get back; hire bikes hung up, my bike got a clean first.
17 May - Cura
Last chance for a good ride and the weather improved, dry again as we set off south west to Muro with a stiff headwind. Onto the Waterpipe Road to Santa Maria, then turned south east to Algaida and on towards the foot of of the climb to Cura. Another lovely climb with staggering distant views and a cafe at the top which could do better. A good climb has a good descent and we progressed steadily back to Santa Maria where we turned to get the promised tail wind which made the girls giddy and rush to the front. They had to be restrained occasionally, we certainly got back very quickly and then the hired bikes were returned to the shop.
Altogether a great holiday and good preparation for the lucky ones going to the Alps very soon,