Mallorcacation With an impending storm looming for much of Thursday, the wonderful gentlemen at Hotel Galeon suggested I take the day off to rest because the wind had picked up to 40km’h and the clouds were threatening to pour buckets of rain. Interesting weather on this island; I’ve experienced very dramatic changes in instant. Heeding their suggestion, I found myself in Puerto Pollensa walking around with my camera snapping a few pictures here and there and enjoying a café con leche in the square. When the weather doesn’t cooperate here you tend to feel a bit out of sorts; not as bad as when your bike goes missing but still somewhat unsettled. Rest days are always valuable and I was sure to take full advantage and watch one full season of Californication as I chilled out on the couch and enjoyed my bottle of Rioja after a fantastic duck confit dinner compliments of sous-chef Tony.
Friday was a much better day weather-wise and as such, Oscar stopped by at 10 to get the day started with a quick ride out to C’an Picafort. After an hour we found ourselves returning to Puerto Pollensa to watch the start of the second stage of a continental race before continuing on to Pollensa where we’d make the ascension up to Lluc from the east. Lluc is a much different climb from Pollensa (as opposed to Selva) where my power shot up to 270-300 watts and the climb took longer than the previous two sessions. A fairly uneventful climb, we met up with one of Oscar’s former teammates en route to Lluc and set a pretty good tempo to the top. Once there, we decided to return to Puerto Pollensa instead of continuing on so we could see the race as they made their way back to the start/finish near the hotel. By the time we had finished the ride we had been out for 3 hours and another 100km was clocked on the SRM. Watched the Race, snapped a few more pics and then came back to the hotel for a wonderful dinner with rabbit and paella prepared by master chef Havi. After dinner it was back on the couch to start the 2nd season of Californication before heading out on the town to see what kind of action goes on in Puerto Pollensa on a Friday night.
Fortunately last night was pretty tame which meant bed at 1:30 am. Breakfast with eggs and bacon served up with fresh made orange juice, yogurt, toast and honey came earlier than I’d hoped but I knew today was going to be one of the warmest and sunniest since my arrival so I was keen to get the day started. Headed down to C’an Picafort again (nice smooth roads and sheltered from the wind) where I headed west to Muro and then made my way further west to Inca where I found Llosetta and later as far west as Bunyola. There is a great climb from Bunyola to the Orient that I wanted to hit today and did, suffering a little as I hurled myself up to the Orient as some seriously slow speeds, hitting 15km’h at one point and having to make use of my 39x25 which I reserve for special occasions; like when I’m about to blow up or find a 12% grade. Orient hurt a little; after all I’d been in the saddle 3 hours already at this point but continued onward, descending to Alaro where I found a little café where I stopped for a café con leche and a croissant type pasty and continued further east to Llosetta and later Selva. Once in Selva I had an option, continue on the flats by hitting Moscari or going up to Lluc, yet again. Feeling a little guilty for not hitting the C711 from Bunyola to Soller I trudged on , pushed myself up the mountain as best I could while trying to maintain the speed and power from the previous 2 climbs but this time about 4.5 hours into my ride. Reached Lluc and was surprised to learn that I could actually still pedal at the top so I zipped up and headed back down the side I had just climbed yesterday toward Pollensa where my hotel in Puerto Pollensa eagerly awaited my arrival with a cold beer, a hot bath and some fresh bread with olive oil. The day’s stats aren’t that impressive but to go from doing an hour long spin class to a 5.25 hour ride in a week wasn’t something I was going to be disappointed by. Clocked 156 (solo) km’s with 2 notable climbs which saw an elevation gain just over 1200m and an average speed a hair under 30km’h.
At this point I consider all of these climbs up to Lluc and the Orient to be foreplay for what lies ahead, Sa Calobra, Puig Major and Puig Roig. With one week of riding left, there are still some big-ticket climbs awaiting my sweat and tears (if I am hydrated enough to produce them).
We’ll see what tomorrow brings; might be time to tame the cobra soon.
The physiological adaptations to exercise that occur at such phenomenal speed never cease to fascinate and amaze me. In another life I’m quite certain that my calling was to be on a bike.