The Mallorcan weather gods were not kind to us this year, with just about everyday being wet and/or windy. Now, coming from the UK, this sounds like pretty standard fair, but on an island not accustomed to these conditions, the wet roads become slippery and treacherous, the strong gusty winds made the exposed descents slightly terrifying, and higher ground tended to attract sleet and snow. Needless to say, our optimistic program had to be modified and cut down significantly.
The week did not start well, when Captain Oh realised on putting on her kit and preparing to go out on a warm-up spin, that she had left her cycling shoes in London! The next morning we were greeted by hail. Then on Day 3, George our mechanic fell ill, and was bed-bound for most of the camp. Then Laura also fell ill. At least no one fell off their bikes.
We did manage some good rides in between the wrath of the weather gods. On Day 2 we embarked on a 120km ride along the Pipe Rd then up and over the Orient, where we stopped for lunch in a cafe with a sunny terrace and promptly stripped off our leg and arm warmers. This lasted about 10min before it clouded over and we were huddled around the open fire inside. On Day 4 we set out early on a beautiful sunny rolling ride out to the coast at Cala Ratjada and back, then sat smugly on the couch in the afternoon as it pissed it down once again. Then Day 6 brought us the mother of all rides. The annual Mallorca motor rally diverted our route to Valldemossa not once, but twice, the second occasion nearly left us in tears as we were told we had to turn around and ride back up and over the Pig (Puig Major) when we were just 35km from home. The 212km/2800m epic ride won’t be forgotten for some time. And I think we nearly killed Paino.
All this “lack of” riding left plenty of time for team bonding and there were plenty of laughs, washed down with truck-loads of wine. We took advantage of the free time to watch the cycling on tele (Go Cav & Wiggo!), make Welsh cakes and Sausage rolls, let out our competitive juices in Jungle Speed, hang out at Tolo’s, sit slug-like on the couch, and generally poke fun at everyone and everything.
So, bring on the race season. We’re ready for you… kind of…