Mallorca 2015 Day 7 – San Salvador

Its not all fun in the sun here, as we woke up to thunderstorms and gales! A lot of milling around with “who’s coming?”, “who’s not coming?” questions and eventually 13 of us headed out under a grey sky and damp roads.
Out to Alcudia and a change of original plan as weather dictated a route away from the mountains. On to Manacor and then the picturesque Porto Cristo for lunch. The rain had blown away now and we had blue sky again, still gales though. On to Felanitx and another disaster for Fergus as for the second time this week a spoke broke – the rear wheel was just about ride-able, if a bit wobbly. So when we arrived at the climb to San Salvador Fergus and Jim F headed off for coffee leaving the rest of us to tackle the last climb of this trip.
After regrouping at the bottom we set off to find the advance party – much wandering around a deserted town, phone calls and “where are you” and as we set off for Petra they found us! On to Petra battling the wind and a last serving of massive cakes and coffee – just about enough to fuel us for the run in.
It was route 1 home from Petra via Santa Margalida, Can Picafort and the usual blast from Alcudia along the bay back “home”. My OCD got the better of me and with 97 miles on the Garmin headed along to rack up the century.
That’s it for this year’s Mallorca trip, another great week of cycling.

Mallorca 2015 Day 6 – Petra

There were some sore legs and other parts of the anatomy 🙂 so plan was an easy recovery ride on a flattish run to Petra for cake.

Nine of us headed out over the bumps to Sa Pobla, Llubi, Sineu and it was lumpier than I remember and my legs were empty! Lunch was very good in the usual packed Petra square, after a wee wind up to Karen that we weren’t stopping, sorry 🙂

Home via Santa Margalida and on to Can Picafort where the pretense this was an easy recovery ride vanished in a flash, or was it a blur of spinning legs? The blast back from Alcudia to Port de Pollenca was fast, very fast for me as the 2 McFadyens took it in turns to shred our legs and wind up the pace. My Strava feed for the run is full of new PR’s as I clung onto wheels with burning legs and almost certainly the only Strava segment where I have a better time than the pros Alex Dowsett and Niki Terpstra – thanks guys 🙂


Mallorca 2015 Day 5 – Mallorca 312

Getting up for a 5am breakfast before a 210 mile day on the bike is pushing the boundary of the word “holiday”. Writing this the day after and it’s all a bit of a blur really, but here goes! There were 4 of us planning on doing the full 312Km route and 11 (ish) planning on doing the 167 and so breakfast ith Team Wheelers carb loading and trying to shake ourselves awake. Plan was to leave at 5:45am for the 8 mile roll to the start in Alcudia. As we all busied about getting ready there was some terrible news as some utter b*****d had stolen Joe’s saddle, seatpost and wheels during the night from the “secure” lockup, effectively leaving him without a useable bike and so his plan to ride was scuppered before it started.
So it was a gloomier mood as we set off in the dark for Alcudia and joined 3,000 others. At 7:05am we were off in a mass start through Alcudia. I will leave it to the 167 folks to post their reports as we never saw them again! The 4 of us doing the 312K stuck together (Graeme, Jim F, Jamie, Ciaran) during the usual frenetic start, keeping it easy at a “steady” 24mph out to Pollensa and the start of the climbing. Team Plan was to climb and descend at our own pace and regroup at the first feed stop at Valldemossa. It was still cool an ideal time for the lumpy stuff, and dry, so good for the descending stuff. Ciaran and me stuck together up Femenia, Lluc, past the viaduct and over the Puig Major before the fabulous descent to Soller. The road from Soller to Valldemossa is one of my favourites, it is stunnin. As we went past Valldemossa, cue lots of “where’s the feed stop” as we passed where it was last year, on past the route split where we say goodbye to the 167’ers and on over another climb. Just as we doubted there was one, the much needed feed arrived. Stuffing our faces with the excellent supplies we waited for Jamie and Jim and then set off.
I had never been on the road to Andratx, it is stunning, some amazing views, and a few leg stingers too. After a fantastic descent we were joined by a group led by a Spanish club from Manacor as they guided us to the next feed station where we regrouped again. With the majority of climbing now behind us, we decided it was a good idea to wait until the Spanish Team left and we would tag on. Turns out about 50 others had the same idea as when they set off so did everyone else! Chapeau to them though they led the group briliantly and took us all the way to Petra (about 15 miles from the finish!).
The rest of the run really is a blur as we sat in a large group watching the scenery and villages pass us by, so what I do recall:
– Palma is not any fun to cycle through even with a dedicated lane closed off for us, seemed to take ages with stop – start through the traffic until we got out the city
– I realised how long the day was when at Palma I looked at my Garmin and saw we weren’t half way yet and I had been cycling for 6 hours!
– At some point we were joined by Mat who had decided at the split to do the 312 and so Team Wheelers were now a 5
– leaving Porto Cristo Jim remembered there was a tough climb still to come, but I said it was just a drag to Arta, oh how wrong was I. As you leave Porto Cristo there is a 500m wall at 16% average, it really was cruel.
– arriving at Arta we thought we had reached the finish line as there was a massive cheering crowd, blaring PA music, people handing the riders beer and hugging them and the real Didi the Devil cheering and posing for photos and high 5’ing me 🙂 This is where we said goodbye to the fantastic Spanish Team who had looked after us.
– we finally hit the run in to Can Picafort and on to Alcudia where the 5 of crossed the line together for the official team photo – we didn’t try linking arms as reckoned we would have crashed before the line!
– if you take it easy you can cycle 200 miles in a day and your legs don’t feel too bad, however all of us had sore shoulders and the phrase “my ar$e is in tatters” was a current theme 🙂
– I could easily live without drinking another coke, High 5 energy drink or eating a gel ever again!

Big cheer at the finish line and we were given a Finishers “waistcoat” which is a furry gilet – nice! Grabbed some food and drinks and then rolled the 8 miles home.

An amazing day, a great well run event and with a cycling top and waistcoat the “goodies” are above par too.

We were 12 elapsed hours from start to finish, with 10hrs 40 moving, so 1hr 20 stopping and eating with an 18mph average for the longest club run ever 🙂 All the results are here and

Mallorca 2015 Day 4 – Recovery Day

Another cracking morning saw 15 of us head out to Alcudia and past Can Picafort where Mat turned back for home. We headed to Santa Margalida for coffee and free cake! Then turned back to Alcudia so we could register for the 312 event tomorrow.

Home along the bay and on to Tolos for a belly busting pizza lunch – carb loading I think it’s called 🙂

We did it, we did a recovery ride and actually took it easy!

Think there about 15 Wheelers and Stevie K and Kenny from the Thistles signed up for the 312Km  / 167Km event tomorrow – good luck everyone.

Garmin to show the route:


Mallorca 2015 Day 1 – 3

After leaving home before 2am, and with all the bus / plane / coach travel going well, it was good to be out on Day 1 for a “steady” run out to the lighthouse. Robin, Oonagh, Jill and Andrea set off to get a head start and we didn’t see them again until the lighthouse cafe! Good run out, up the climb to the car park, drop down and then a lumpy run to the end of the road. The new surface is great, so much better than the old lumpy road and the views spectacular. No idea why they didn’t tarmac the last 200 meters though? The cafe stop in the sunshine was fab.

The run back was great, climbing back to the car park, regroup and blast back home and to Tolos for the traditional post ride refreshments. Great start to the week. 24.3 miles and 2,769 feet of climbing.

DAY 2 – Sa Calobra

The “fast” guys wanted an flatter day, but the ladies section decided we were off to Sa Calobra. As it was our first big run, everyone came out to play, joined by our Thistle and Deeside friends must have been close to 30 of us out over the lumps, on to Selva and the first biggish climb.  I do like the Sa Battala climb, a nice 8Km through trees and opens up to great views. We regrouped at the cafe at the top and set off for the viaduct, to find Robin had beaten us there! Then the 2.5Km climb before the 10Km drop and the hairpins to Sa Calobra. Some stopped for coffee but others didn’t and we set off back the way we came. It’s a great climb, tough going, but the headwind really wasn’t needed. At times you turned a hairpin to hit a wall and almost come to a halt, oh, and then it started raining (thankfully not for long). We regrouped at the viaduct and on to the Lluc monastery for coffee and to wait for the second group who had stopped for coffee at the bottom of Sa Calobra. We set off back up Lluc for a few miles to see them whizz past us – time for a quick U-Turn and chase to get back together. The descent from Lluc starts with a couple of leg stretchers and then a blast downhill at pace before hitting the flattish road back home. This is where Joe “unleash the beast” McF comes into his own, with Jim F and me trying to hold his wheel while he drove the pace on and on – impressive stuff. On to Tolos for a refreshment and chat over the days fun. 76.6 miles and 7,753 feet of climbing.

DAY 3 – Orient – Puig Major

We split into 3 groups today, one going for a flatter run to Petra, one going to the Orient and Banyola and one group having a day off! There were 13 of us heading out to Selva and on to Alaro at a good pace where the lumpy stuff started and we climbed to Orient, Honor and then dropped down to Banyola for a much needed lunch and great ice cream. We were joined by Ian Stewart who has hired a scooter and then Ian A and Jerry who had been following us. Our Deeside friends headed off to Santa Maria while 12 of us now went up the climb and descent to Soller – with the last 2Km possibly the fastest bit of road on the island! Yet again we hit the longest climb on Mallorca the Puig Major at the hottest part of the day, with 30 degree showing on the Garmin! We all made it up, mostly in one piece, all a dripping sweaty mess. Why nobody has set up a hut with drinks and ice cream at the top is a mystery, it would be a licence to print money! Then on to LLuc Monastery, via drinks stop at the viaduct, and some great coffee and cake. With sore legs all round the decision was to take it steady home, hmmmmm.  The steady bit lasted until the descent proper kicked in and that’s the last I saw of Joe, Jim F and Fraser until dinner as they shot off. Report from the front is that the beast was once again unleashed as Joe shredded Jim and Fraser to blast home. The second group home weren’t hanging about much either, Ian A and Jerry driving us on to the end. A cracking ride on a very hot day and with another 88.2 miles and 7,812 feet of climbing in the legs. Rumour has it there may be an easier day tomorrow, saving the legs for Saturday’s 312 Event – I’ll believe it when I see it 🙂

A lot of folks are taking pictures and videos so hopefully we can gather them all together and post them up.

Here are my Garmin stats for the 3 rides:



Evans Ride It Callander 2015

You know that old saying about if you don’t like the Scottish weather, just wait 10 minutes until something different turns up….. After spending all week looking out my office window at glorious sunshine and seeing all the various folks who don’t seem to work posting their Strava runs I was thrilled to dig out my winter gear and turn up at Callander in 3 degrees cold and lashing rain 🙁

The Evans events are probably the best value, about £17 to register and then you get pretty much all of that back in a High5 Race Pack, and they are well run too. Registration was easy and then you get set off in waves of 20-30. Three routes to choose from and with the medium (55 miles) and long (88 miles) you can choose after about 45 miles, where they split, which one you want to do.

Joining me were Ciaran, Ian Stewart, Jamie and 4 guys I know from Leslie Bikes / Kinross and the plan was to “stick together” 🙂  At 9am we set off and by 9:05am I was soaked through. Route went out from Callander towards Loch Katrine on truly shocking roads, a theme for the day, as the bunch were continually shouting out potholes and weaving all over the road to try and find tarmac. After 8 miles you turn left and the first climb over Dukes Pass, about a 3 mile steady climb with a fast technical descent to Aberfoyle where we regrouped and then immediately split up as the Wheelers were told just to go on.  The route was then a loop round Loch Katrine back to the bottom of Dukes Pass again. Ian was planning on doing the shorter route so he said “go on” and then there were three. A lumpy section round the lochs with the best road surface of the day on the private road round the north of Loch Katrine which helped when the 20% sting arrived to the sound of mashing gears and much swearing!

Back up over Dukes Pass and the descent to Aberfoyle, and now the sun was shining and so I took off my rain jacket. We turned left and out to Port of Menteith and round the Lake and the rain started, then it got heavy. At Arnprior there is a long nasty climb and to add insult it was here the hailstorm started. The descent to Kippen was good though and then on to the feed station where we regrouped and it was now warm and sunny, and windy!

The last section was a real sting in the tail as you get to Thornhill and then spend an hour going round in a lumpy circle in a strong wind to end up where you were, ohh the temptation to just cut across was tough to ignore. It was here that Jamie now said “go on” leaving Ciaran and me to struggle on together.

With 85 miles in the legs they then throw one last hill at you and I can you tell the language was choice particularly as it had a false summit! Finally we had a mile downhill and then a mile into a headwind and we were done, well and truly done.

Is it possible to have an out and back loop where there is more climbing than descending because it felt like it, seemed we were always going up and rarely going down!

At the finish you get to use the Sports Centre changing facilities, showers etc and there is cafe for much needed cake and coffee and a comically grumpy lady taking your order – great to see people happy at their work 🙂

Overall a tough day out not helped by the weather and the state of the roads, but it is a great route and a well run good value event.