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Trek Travel Mallorca (March 15th, 2015)

It was sad to roll out on my last ride for the vacation, but the weather cooperated as it did all week, so that made for another good ride.  But we just barely made it back in time.  Rain/hail started to fall as we pulled into the hotel, so although the ride was fairly short, it was just the right length.  I’m happy with my totals for the week, with over 300 miles of riding and over 30,000 feet of climbing.  I’m tired, but I think my body responded well to it all as I was seemingly able to increase my power to weight ratio throughout the week.  Of course, since I don’t race, that stat isn’t any more than some fun numbers to calculate, but it makes me feel like I have something to take home with me in addition to the memories and nice pictures.  I still have to endure the Palma to Madrid to Chicago to Phoenix flight home, but I think it’s safe to call the trip a success.

Trek Travel Mallorca (March 14th, 2015)

Today our riding group set out for a ride to a quaint mountain town called Deia.  As we approached the first climb, a couple of the new riders to the group from the French part of Switzerland cheered and attacked the climb.  Earlier in the day we struggled to communicate, me using my limited French and them using their limited English, but now there was no longer a language barrier, it was clear they loved the hills.  And of course, that’s what we got today, more hills and more scenery.  The weather was cold and a bit rainy, so I didn’t get too many scenic pictures, but I did manage a few.

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We stopped at a bakery in Deia, owned by the brother of a pro cyclist (IAM Cycling), a stop I highly recommend whether on a bike or not.  It was another nice touch to a great week of cycling.

Trek Travel Mallorca (March 13th, 2015)

Another day of riding in Mallorca meant more spectacular scenery, and of course more climbing.  The ride was out to a lighthouse on the northern tip of the island, which gave great views of dramatic rocky cliffs along the way.

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Since the planned ride was over 90 miles long, I took advantage of the van support and cut the last 20 miles out.  I’ve never used van support before, but it worked out quite well.  I got to see the great scenery, and didn’t have to repeat the same road that we used to start the ride.  It was a great way to optimize the ride.

Trek Travel Mallorca (March 12th, 2015)

Today was a casual day on the bike, an unsupported ride that was meant to be somewhat of a recovery ride.  Being a fairly flat ride, I was expecting it to be a bit boring as well, but I was pleasantly surprised with yet another great day on the bike.  Although the scenery wasn’t as dramatic as our previous two days, we rolled through a mix of scenic farmland and wineries on our way to the single climb of the day.  Our high point of 1723 feet doesn’t sound like much, but it gave unobstructed 360 degree views of the island.  I didn’t get any pictures that properly convey the scenery, but I did get a good picture of the sunset last night.

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Being a more casual riding day today, we relaxed with a pizza/wine lunch at a quaint café in Santa Maria after the ride.

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As you can see, the café is very bike friendly, which seems to be a common theme here in Mallorca.

Trek Travel Mallorca (March 11th, 2015)

With yesterday’s ride being all about climbing (although the scenery was very nice), today’s ride was all about scenery (although there was plenty of climbing).  The highlight of today’s ride was winding along the Northwest coast of the island along Ma-10.  The road is often described as being similar to Highway 1 around Big Sur in California, but with all the traffic removed.  Here’s a few views from the road.

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Aside from the scenery, it’s spectacular from my perspective because there seems to be more bikes than cars on the road, and the cars that are there are very respectful of bikes, so it’s a great place to ride.  And what’s a good road without a scenic spot to stop for coffee.

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I’m not quite sure how to top the last two days of riding.

Trek Travel Mallorca (March 10th, 2015)

The first full ride of the trip was an epic one.  The morning ride board gave a good overview of the upcoming challenge.

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Each climb came with great scenery, so it made it worth trudging up each one.  The last climb, for which the route was named, was especially scenic because we started at the top of a mountain range and descended down to the sea.  The road is often described as what a piece of spaghetti looks like if it were thrown on a mountain.  Since it was the last climb of the day, all I could think about was how good a bowl of spaghetti would taste at that point.  Here’s kind of what it looked like.

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And here’s the scene at the bottom of the climb.

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As you can see from the details of the ride, it was a solid day on a bike, but exactly what I want out of the trip.

Trek Travel Mallorca (March 9th, 2015)

Today I headed off to the Reads Hotel to start the trip with Trek Travel.  Since this is my fourth trip with Trek Travel, I’ve gotten used to fantastic experiences, which is why I keep going back.  And it looks like this trip is going to fulfill my expectations as well.  My initial “wow” experiences were my hotel room and my bike.  The bike is a Trek Emonda with electronic Ultegra derailleurs and Bontrager A3 carbon wheels.  Here are a couple of pictures of it on the small climbs that we did today.  I’m sure I’ll have some close ups later this week.

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The hotel room is far bigger than I need, but it’s the balcony that really excites me.  Here’s the balcony view I have when lounging after a ride.

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The ride today was short, basically a warm-up ride to make sure the bike fit was suitable and that we were happy with the bikes.  The ride included a couple of short climbs, and some nice views of the valleys below.

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Best of all, there seems to be a good car/bike relationship here in Mallorca, which probably helps explain the huge riding culture here.  Despite the small streets, cars don’t get impatient, they just accept bikes as part of the culture of the island.