On the 31st of March myself and two friends flew to Mallorca for a 10 days of cycling, cycling, cycling, a little running, and even some swimming. We also did this 2 years ago, only I was significantly less fit then.

Mallorca is Spain’s largest island and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s very popular with tourists, and especially Germans. In Germany people often refer to it as Germany’s 17th state. In spring however, it’s not quite warm enough for a beach holiday and the island is taken over by cyclists and triathletes. With countless miles of quiet country roads, long but commonly not too steep climbs with breathtaking views in the mounaineous North, it really lends itself to getting the bike miles in. One is however served well, especially in March and early April, to pack arm and leg warmers.

This year we are staying at the Blue Bay Resort just outside Can Picafort. The location is great because we are not far from the mountains but also have plenty of flat terrain on our doorstep. There are a few trails and quiet roads for running, we are a short walk away from the beach as well as the supermarket, there is a heated 6 lane 25m pool as well as a longer unheated one which we have used for wetsuit swimming and icing the legs after the day’s work is done.

Being here with two significantly stronger cyclists is tough but my own choice. It may hurt now, but the fitness gains in return are so worth it. This for me really puts it into perspective: I find myself looking forward to an 8km long 6% climb because it means I don’t have to push myself to stick to Toby’s back wheel as everyone rides the hills at their own pace. Toby beat Chrissie at Roth last year – and I think we all know that not many men can do that. So I really have the work cut out for myself.

I’ve yet to return from a ride with my ’emergency’ gel still untouched in my pocket – I’ve always needed it on the way home. Poor Jan has been subject to a few rants already when my energy levels were seriously dropping. On the positive side I’ve managed to surprise myself time and time again by finding just that little bit extra to sprint back to the wheel in front of me and by learning just how deep I can dig.

Today we had planned to do our longest ride yet: to the other side of the island and back over the mountains. Instead I’m writing this blog entry while the boys are out running, because for such a long ride we really wanted it to be sunny, but it’s not despite the weather forecast predicting otherwise. It’s been sunny so far apart from one rainy morning. However it really doesn’t matter too much. We’ll do a short ride later today, and attempt our epic tour tomorrow instead. I’m sad that we’re more than halfway through our time here already.

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