With the year almost at an end and with over a year of rides completed, myself and co organiser Vroni decided to take a break and visit Mallorca. Famed for its hills and bike friendly roads what better plan than to take two newly built Brother track bikes and see how they handled the terrain!
Packed and ready to rock we boarded a plane at London City Airport and began our adventure.
Brother Bike 1:
Frame - Brother Cycles R725 Track
Bottom Bracket - Sugino
Cranks - Sugino 75
Chainring - Stronglight
Chain - Izumi
Sprocket - Halo
Lock Ring - BLB
Wheels - Halo Wheels Aero Track
Headset - Chris King
Stem - Nitto
Handlebars - Nitto risers
Grips - Strong V
Seat Post - Thompson
Seat - Brooks C13
Day 1 (Monday)
We landed in a storm, rain pouring off every surface, creating rapids in the guttering and skating rings on every polished floor. We would be staying in the quiet and relatively secluded area of North Mallorca known as Port de Pollenca. To get there we decided against the bus due to the weather and settled for a cab. Not the cheapest option but definitely the easiest given the conditions.
We arrived weather worn but grateful to be safe and dry. After a little nap and now with the weather calmer we ventured out into the evening to find some dinner and celebrate.
Day 2 (Tuesday)
Bikes ready and prepared we decided to ease ourselves into the week by attacking the biggest climb we could find, which unknown to us at the time, was the historic Formentor hill climb. With fresh legs and eager to prove it was possible fixed, we stopped, one third of the way up. Perhaps this was a bit more than we could handle on essentially our first day of riding.
Admiring the view and having taken a few pictures we hit the down hill. Wow, with sheer drops on every corner and the odd goat ready to jump out from a bush, it was definitely a terrifying ride down. Finally at the bottom and having peeled my hands from my handlebars we decided to explore somewhat flatter territory and ride to Pollenca aka The Old Town. It was six miles down the road and a beautiful cycle lane stretched out before us, peppered here and there with the carcasses of small birds and rodents.
Even though we had a huge cycle lane to enjoy cars speeding down the road still gave us space which was a happy change from London. Soon we arrived at Pollenca and began investigating the narrow, steep roads that make up this beautiful town. Eventually we made it to the centre, where in Summer a bustling market heaves with tourists and tradespeople. In November it was desolate except for a small cafe on one corner. Parched and hungry we stopped for a well earned meal and relaxed contemplating a huge set of stairs which lead from the square up to the very top of the town.
Seeing the challenge we decided to accept , flung our bikes over our shoulders and commenced the accent. Probably not the best of ideas, however we were rewarded with stunning views across the island and a greeting from two rather unusual cats, one missing an eye and the other wearing a red scarf. Pictures taken and cats stroked we plummeted down through the cavernous streets and back to our apartment to refresh and reload ready for another day.
Day 3 (Wednesday)
Mad mountain time! Given our first Formentor foray we decided to take it steady and work our way up to the summit then decide whether to continue or head back down to the beach. One two and three hairpins in and we were still going, already enjoying an amazing panoramic view into and across the valley below. We finally stopped on a shallow bend, unpacked some water and caught our breath.
This was a lot harder than we imagined but the struggle was exhilarating. Watered and mildly recovered we soldiered on, another hairpin and the road flattened slightly, bringing into view a bunch of roadies descending at speed and looking at our bikes disapprovingly. Also eyeing up the roadies but perhaps with a different agenda was a goat. This goat was on a mission, it seemed determined to cause havoc and perhaps worse. It looked at us as we passed and then at the roadies, now plummeting towards us at top speed. Thankfully the roadies shot past missing the goat, unfortunately the cars following, were not so lucky. As if on cue the goat decided that the cars were the required signal to cross and pandemonium ensued. So far ahead now it was hard to tell the outcome but let's just say we learned a valuable lesson. Another ten minutes of slogging away and we finally reached the summit. Staying on it once there was a whole other ball game. The wind was ferocious but the view staggering, with sheer drops on either side of our platform and the see wide and terrifying, stretching out to the horizon and beyond.
We felt very very small indeed and began to inspect the onward route from our vantage point. Having done zero investigation into the route before we set off we had no way of knowing just how long and mountainous the route would continue to be. Hedging our bets and mindful of our combined abilities we decided regretfully to throw in the towl and wait till another visit to attempt the full journey to the end of the road and back, goats and all! We quickly shot back down the hill, mindful after our first run the day before. Safely down we decided to make good use of the weather and continued along the almost dead roads to the next nearest beach town of Port d’Alcudia where we relaxed before heading home to rest.
Day 4 (Thursday)
Rest Day , what more can I say, rather than ruin ourselves for the rest of the trip we decided to bus it to Palma and check out the most famous city on the island. A beautiful day and fantastic architecture, not to mention a really cool bar and tapas joint called Juan De Juan Antiguedades. Heads up, it’s not on Google Maps for good reason but you can find it here. Thank us later.
Day 5 (Friday)
I guess you could call this the, get lost and hope for the best day. Running out of short distance options we opened up the map again and spotted the small town of Cala Sant Vicenc, soon to be known by us as, the ghost town. En route we shot some more film, riding around the marina and the seafront before hitting the beach for a short break.
Refreshed and a little damp we sped towards the main road before hanging a right down a back road towards Cala Sant Vicenc. This road was perfect, brilliant views and rolling hills with little to no traffic other than a large lorry and some workmen doing a spot of resurfacing. Beyond this we finally found the town, it was almost completely deserted except for a chemist and one restaurant. Everything else was closed or boarded up for the out of season months. Wanting to take full advantage of the deserted roads we set to work, first capturing footage coming down one of the wide open roads. Next we tried a blind bend that looked out over the sea, and then tried a track stand. Done for the day and slightly wind swept we packed up and headed back to the apartment another successful day of exploring under our belts.
Day 6 (Saturday)
Time to break down the bikes, pack them away and head back to London. The week had a been a great success, the weather beautiful and the riding fantastic. We both looked forward to taking the bikes on the track and releasing their full potential and to returning in the new year to ride the rad roads of Mallorca once again.