20161008 October Tour – Mountains, Weather & Fun

Anybody fancy the Mountains? This Tour week was full of surprises!  From what looked like it could be a very wet week, to the request for lots of climbing before we even turned the pedals to the wonderful mixtures of characters and experiences that we shared.

Day 1 was a brisk ride out along the coast towards Arta before heading inland towards Manacor. We didn’t take the 1st right down into the valley, as last time we picked up 7 punctures (well actually Richard had them all!). Twisting along the super smooth road was followed by the inevitable climb out of the valley – short and sweet! Swoop down into Petra and then enjoying the view in the square while eating and drinking. As the weather forecast was changeable and with a slant towards wet for the week, we decided to add on an extra climb today and a few km, so back via Llubi station and then take in the view atop the Puig de Santa Magdalena.  Great first day, good average speed and no punctures!  82 miles and 3,500ft climbing.img_7822 img_7830 img_7835 img_7836 img_7837 img_7838 img_7843

Day 2 was a trip through the Orient. We decided to traverse this from the Bunyola side, so a steady ride out to Santa Maria, where we stopped and topped up with cakes and coffees. The clouds had parted enough to take the next leg of the route, so after the 20mins of getting the legs spinning again, we enjoyed the pretty quiet road as we climbed up Coll d’Honor.  Group photos and then along the valley to Orient, swiftly up and then a very enjoyable descent to the Alaro junction. We then headed to Lloseta where we stopped for lunch and more coffees. Similarly to day 1, with the ever present threat of rain the next day, we added on the climb of Coll de sa Batalla to the famous “Petrol Station”. The girls mentioned that this sounded like a cheap date line… No time for sampling the drinks today and straight over and down to Pollensa to end a wonderful day out on the bikes.  86 miles and 5,050 ft climbing.

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Day 3 was Sa Calobra – Nothing more needs to be said! It would be either up or down and hurt a bit or a lot! In the interests of safety and increasing our chances of staying dry, we set off as early as possible and didn’t stop for our usual coffee at the Petrol Station. Keep pedalling until we reach the Arches, a quick regrouping, bottle top ups from the van, then down to the bottom. A pretty empty road for our descent and lots of fun going down – count those hairpins! Don’t forget to check the rapidly changing views on the way down.  Group photos with the boat behind in the bay, very deep breaths and then back up to the top, maybe going for a Strava segment on the way.  Me – camera work – so intervals on the way up!  We regrouped over the top down at the Arches and then with the drizzle starting, we were swiftly on our way back to the Petrol Station, where we finally succumbed to stopping for a drink and food. Now it was raining and it must have been bad as even Sean Kelly pulled in for a drink today!  Today we had a Birthday in the group, so while stopped we had Birthday Madeleines all round and a slice of cake for Helen – complete with Happy Birthday music in English and Spanish! We spotted a small window of less rain in the weather and headed down the Mountain to Pollensa and back to base for well deserved hot showers or baths. Another day  of achievements and Sa Calobra crossed off the list of places to go!  60 miles and 6,200 ft climbing.

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Day 4 was the rest day that turned into a ride day – no mountains today!  With the rain looming on the horizon, we headed out along the coast, right to Santa Margalida and then had a quick look at the view from the church before grabbing a quick coffee. Played it safe and looped around Muro, Buger and Campanet before back along “Shampoo Valley” and Pollenca.  50 miles, 1,500ft climbing.

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Day 5 was another avoid the rain loop. We had to pay a visit to Mr Marvellous, so out to Sineu for massive cakes and drinks!  A few laps of the lovely outdoor velodrome before heading across via the quarry road to Petra but not before a quick ascent of Bonany! Who mentioned tired legs, it was a great view! Across to the coast and another stop at Son Serra, where we opted for expensive coffee but a great spot with a view of the sea. Back to base at an enjoyable pace and minimising any more spin to the legs…  72 miles, 2,500 ft climbing.

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Day 6 was officially the rest day (at last!). The day started with some interesting views in the Port due to an extremely high tide and a storm during the night, so sunbeds relocated, sand shifted and new places to swim! Back to the rest day – of course most ventured out on their bikes… However, well worth the venturing as the route covered more beautiful lanes with a stop at Costitx. Rides completed, bikes packed, only one thing left to do, head out into the town for a last night meal/celebration.  So we did! Silly prizes for those outstanding achievements earned throughout the week – and that stays a secret with those who were here!

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Thats it – week completed!

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