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Majorca Trip 2022

Day 1


Cracking start despite the adjustment to new bikes(in most cases better bikes) - lovely route 107km on a very busy route. Team work into the wind was excellent. Two long stops in amazing villages. Muro was a gem and great views. One great moment after leaving muro, we came on a stream running over the road- only it was much deeper than we thought and we all got soaked. Clare discovered her new cleats are not waterproof 😁😁Deirdre Byrne guided us to Alaro and a fab restaurant for a well earned lunch. Roads not great from Alaro to campanet. One funny moment to share. Martin called out walker ahead but there was no walker - just a cyclist who had just passed us out. Lots of slagging from the crew ensued about what did he eat etc. shortly afterwards we did come across a walker, to which Martin shouted “I told you there was a walker ahead “😁😁

Great crew who worked really well and great calls and support.

Relive 'Mighty Mallorca blues'


Late start for the Blacks (aka the 4 Johnnies group) as some people needed to spend time drooling over their new bikes. When we eventually headed out there was a little navigation confusion with our route master John Mc preferring to trust Garmin over humans who had ridden the roads before. Fortunately we took John Slater's tip and stopped for first lunch in Sa Ruta Verda, an excellent and recommended cycling cafe in Caimari. It set us up nicely for the climbs ahead - we were headed for Sa Colobra to test ourselves as the forecast was bad for Saturday (and not because Rob Ryan was looking to ensure Joe Feely wouldn't be able to compete for the club KOM).

We arrived to Port Sa Colobra in beautiful sunshine but there was definitely nervous banter as we all considered the 10k of switchbacks we'd just descended. In the end Rob needed have worried about the KOM and completed it in an outstanding 36:44. Gerry T, having conserved his energy at the back all day, poured it all out and also managed a sub 40 mins time of 38:12. Not to set the wrong tone - it was a big day in the saddle, but it wasn't about competition and anyone who was showing signs of tiredness or worse, was well looked after by the group. Gorgeous cycling weather, one of the world's most iconic climbs, a great group and top banter. What a start to the weekend.

Day 2


Definitely a case of will we or won’t we all morning. Lots of weather checking but finally made a call to get off our butts and head out. Settled on a nice 50km route to cap formentor and home via Sao pablo. Wind was pretty rough out there and we lost Caroline and Ciara after 10k. Remaining 5 hardy bucs and buccettes headed on and we got drenched in a downpour near cap formentor. Took shelter under a bush and thankfully no stories developed from that. Rain passed and we drove on cycling into a gale. Quick change ups worked a treat. Martin has a real fancy bike with deep rims. At one stage he nearly flew off about three fields away but thankfully I managed to grab his jacket and hold on to him. Marta was cycling at a 5% angle into the wind for about 5k. It was both hilarious and testing at times. We were so anxious to get the wind behind our backs we took one of Clare’s famous shortcuts. Good god it brought back memories of going to the big as a kid in west cork. Pictures tell tgeir own story. We finally got the tailwind and we flew back. Another great call by Clare - really was a great call- to visit cal st vincente. By now the sun was out and temperatures rising. We stopped for one and stayed for two. Would still be there had I been given my choice. Great day and fab experience. Finishing group was Clare Jenny Marta Martin and myself 👍👍

Relive 'Blues day 2'


It took awhile but we eventually got going. Sure didn’t we have all day! Nice 120km route with a decent climb in store in the later stages. A few stops to fix a sinking saddle give us all a chance to admire each others machines. We all seemed happy with our chariots. On to Alcudia. Turns out navigation is a skill they just don’t teach anymore (at least not in Mayo! Poor Brendan). But we eventually found our way through some beautiful little towns and made the day of a little café owner in a town called Sinea. €1.30 for the coffees! Finding lunch proved more problematic - either everything was closed or there wasn’t enough bread for 10 hungry souls. But eventually we found a place to fuel up for the climbing that lay ahead, with all the chips one could ever eat. And so on to the climb, 8km and endless vertical metres of grinding our way to the top, as the elite athletes (& Thomas) sped by whistling a tune. Never has a petrol station looked so beautiful! Thomas, ever the gentleman, even took it upon himself to venture back down to round up the straggling crew. From then on we sped downhill (mostly!) back towards home. Great roads and an even better crew with much banter and chat along the way. Polished off with some well earned beers by the seafront. Brilliant day !


There was much weather forecast discussion at dinner on Friday night and ultimately the decision was made to head inland along the farm lanes to the town of Sencelles, for a "handy ton" sheltered from the worst of the winds. We'd also hopefully time an early lunch to avoid the worst of the rains and would be finished in plenty of time to rest ahead of Sunday's big day. Eight hardy souls headed off just after 9 - Rob, Matt, John C, John Mc, Joe F, Gareth, Mark, & Will (3 of our number migrated to the afternoon yellow spin but at least Gerry T had an "injury" for an excuse). The rain was light enough so that the spin was enjoyable at first but it turns out the rumors about the roads of Mallorca being like glass when wet were true. After a couple of close calls with spinning wheels, your correspondent ended up in a field - but upright - after his front wheel went out from under him on a corner. A couple of punctures and 20 minutes cycling into driving rain and a headwind had most of us regretting our life decisions (not staying at home until the afternoon like the other groups), but the oasis of the Cafe de Paris in Sencelles was ahead. After sandwiches, strong coffee and banter with the locals, one of whom insisted we sample their chocolates, we were off again. The wind was behind us all the way home and we avoided the rain, although a homage to Paris Roubaix ended up with Mark getting his second puncture. All things considered not a bad day in the saddle given the weather.

Day 3


The time of mutiny was set the previous evening with the suggestion of a route covering 146km and 2,900 plus metres of climbing including the formidable Sa Calobra. The time was set. However, talk of going anti-clockwise with “escape routes” allowed for an unholy truce. There was still debate and various plans a, b and c being mooted as we set out the next morning. Democracy! So we headed for the hills. The “Twomey” continued in full practice without any of us quite realising how it was done. An art! We climbed our way up to start the decent down to climb Sa Calobra only to realise that was a false start because you had to climb further to start the decent to do the climb. Confused? We certainly were! The seemingly endless decent underscored the beast of a climb ahead. One way it, only one way out (unless you have a boat!). The scenery was breathtaking. The twisting turns were frightening!  Nervous giggles we’re the order of the day as we assembled at the bottom. Pat’s soliloquy on the garden of gethsemane lightened the mood but we all knew what lay ahead. Good lucks all round and away we headed. Up, up and up, the grinding sound interspersed with the whizz of the next groups heading past us on the way down. We all made it up in roughly an hour, elated at ticking a big box on Mallorca’s climbing list. Well done but never again! We refuelled on coke and orange cake. Sure didn’t we deserve it! Back to mutiny again - Thomas was the only one with the appetite to complete the 146km, despite trying hard to recruit a wingman. We whizzed down and climbed up for the next stretch before a lunch stop in yet another picture perfect village. A solo German lady lingered for quite a while chatting as we wondered which white middle aged man in Lycra she was keen on. The consensus was it was Pat but who knows! Onwards to home with a new found spring in our strides through gorgeous country. Probably the best day on a bike ever for all of us. Memorable.


At 116km and 2,400m of climbing we knew Sunday's spin from Andratx back to Port de Pollenca across the rugged coastline and over Mallorca's highest peak - Puig Major - was going to be epic. But it turned out getting to the start was an adventure in itself with one of our buses getting a blowout on the highway. As a result it was after 10:30 when we headed up the Coll de sa Gramola (5.1km at 5.2%) to start a long day in the saddle. A beautiful climb was just a prelude to a day of stunning scenery and picture postcard views. The next 50km was possibly some of the finest cycling any of us have ever experienced, with a photo opp at every bend and grins on our faces as we sprinted up and down the coast on smooth roads in 20 degree sunshine.

Lunch in the hillside town of Deia turned out to be a much needed roadside refuelling from the local Spar to get us ready for Puig Major. There was more freewheeling down switchbacks to Soller and the start of the 15km climb to the Monnaber Tunnel. Gerry took the club KOM despite finishing hand in hand with Rob, thanks to his patented approach of starting at the back. Everyone completed the climb in under an hour although at least one of us had to stop at the side of the road for a chat with himself. Over the top we had to remind ourselves to drink in the beauty of the crystal blue lakes so overloaded were we with stunning views. Soon we were zipping past the turn for Sa Collabra put Joe resisted the temptation to nip down - sure we need a reason to come back next year.
Although the group split on the way home, we were on familiar roads and arrived back with smiles all round after one of the best days most of us have had on the bikes.

Day 4


The call went out for an early rise for a complete group photo on the prom before our attempt to conquer cap de formentor. Formalities over we discovered Martin forgot to put on his alarm and was MIA - well that’s his excuse. Unfortunately Caroline also could not make it due to her injuries but glad to report that she is well on the road to a full recovery. We were joined today by Pat Walsh and by Thomas Duffy. After a few complaints from yours truly we decide to accept them into our merry band and head off. We were climbing quite nicely or do we thought when a certain yellow - Martin o gara flew past us giving rise to suspicions of either a hidden electric motor or he was on Ma’s turtle soup!!!!

First climb was conquered with lots of photos - super surface and great questions from other cyclists where we from, great club, lovely uniforms etc
Great down hill run followed by another climb. Yours truly was abused by mister Twomey for calling out the gradients - we hit a 13% grade at one stage😁😁💪🏻
Anyway second climb conquered and arrived at gate from preventing us going any further. More photos and back to Porto pollensa for a coffee and orange juice. Cycling over and all happy to be finished in one piece, bikes were returned and bags packed. Incredible 4 days and all wanting to come back again asap. Great trip by Mark Whitney and an unforgettable 4 days