Bikes built, blue skies – time to hit the roads – day 1 of riding has us warming up our legs cycling the climb to Sant Salvador.
Originally built in 1348, the Santuari de Sant Salvador offers stunning views around the island. The climb is a mere 4.8 kms, gentle switchbacks climbing through forest as you wind your way up to the monastery. Welcome to cycling Mecca! In my 5 years of coming here, I have never seen so many bikes! Colourful jerseys from all over Europe and around the world weaved their way to the top. It was clear to see that the bikes far outweighed the car traffic on the road to the top.
Morning chaos as we had breakfast for 10 and final bike fittings led to a brilliant day on the road. Perfect blue skies and quiet rolling roads makes riding in Mallorca so perfect. We skirted around Porreres on the road to Felanitx, virtually having the road to ourselves as we passed a couple of riders along the way. From Felanitx, the road started to climb and the groups of riders grew. There must have been close to 100 riders as we made the right hand turn to the climb to San Salvador – the road was awash with colourful lycra and bikes of all kinds. The ride to the top had begun!
In all the times I have climbed to the top, I had never had more than a stop for tea and coffee, photo op as we marvelled at the view, and then descending back through the switchbacks. Today, the patio was wall to way jerseys, and the kitchen was pumping out sandwich plates as fast as they could. Sitting on the patio in the sun was amazing, the views over Mallorca breathtaking. Fresh spring water was plentiful at the top – great time to fill up the bottles before hitting the road….
Varying degrees of experience in the group, we meandered down the switchbacks – tip for those who are new – as you weave down the mountain, keep the weight on the outside pedal – will help to balance the bike and make for a smoother descent!
Not ready to call it a day, we headed out of town through Campos, stopping for pitchers of Sangria, platters of food and more photo ops along R5. A popular stop for many cyclists, the restaurant was packed, the parking lot full of bikes! We giggled and laughed our way through the menu as the waiter tried to explain what was in the Mallorquian dish that we had ordered! While we never did figure out what was under the potatoes, consensus was good. Damages were minimal as a wine glass crashed to the floor. In good nature, our waiter brought us 2 more glasses – guess he figured we would lose another one!
Cami time – one of the brilliant aspects of cycling in Mallorca! Perfect, quiet little camis link the island – super bike friendly with little traffic and picturesque stone walls all around. With a few sangrias to lighten our path, we were on our way back to the hotel! Only one wrong turn on the way and we were done!
A near 100km day – perfection!
Map check and planning for the next day in the sun – the start of a perfect holiday!