Before I started cycling, Mallorca sounded like an island people visited in summer, where the beaches would be crowded with (mostly German) tourists and the terraces filled with even more (mostly German beer drinking) tourists. Not exactly a destination in the top three of my bucketlist.
So how could it happen that I ended up visiting Mallorca two years in a row now already, with German company only? And it had a happy ending? 1. It wasn’t summer. 2. The Germans were cyclists.
I first heard of the Alpecin All Star Training camp on Mallorca through my dear cycling buddy, Andreas, last year. I think it were only two weeks later I hopped on a plane and left for a short visit to Mallorca. I stayed only three days and had a bit of bad luck with the weather, but still I felt a new and lovely tradition was born!
This year I knew a little bit longer in advance Mallorca was coming and it would be a rendez-vous with not only the people I met the last time I was on Mallorca, there would also be a lot of familiar faces of cycling lovers I met in 2019. No need to say I was looking forward to it a lot. A whole lot.
Weather was going to be good. The winds had been blowing in the weeks before (pffffeww), no rain and a lot of sun were forecasted. Happiness ahead.
I met two familiar faces on the airport and after the flight, we travelled towards our hotel. They brought their own bikes and as they waited for another cycling enthousiast (which would later turn out to be the best route planner!) to arrive, I picked up my beautiful rental at the Canyon base just opposite the hotel. Luggage was brought to our rooms. No need to unpack yet, the need to rock and roll was greater.
Day one. After grabbing a quick lunch, we all met at Canyon base. This would be the daily meeting point for the entire training camp. And after a bit more then 6 hours from departing a cold and windy airport, we all sat on our bikes. Feeling the sun kiss our skin and the pressure on our upper legs. Pure happiness.
We only went for a short 60k ride, it was arriving day after all.
We got back at the hotel just in time for coffee and cake and to discuss the program for the days to come. How many kilometers did we want to cover? Which monastery’s did we want to visit? What climbs did we want to do? Who was going to arrive in the next days? What food would I put on my plate during the buffet tonight? Who would I sit next to during diner? Would or wouldn’t I drink alcohol in the hotel bar? If these questions are the only thing you need to worry about, one can honestly say life is good. Even though the alcohol drinking in the hotel bar was not really a question.
Day two. The group, gathering at Canyon base, had extended. More cycling follies arrived later the night before or early that morning and were, just like us, eager to get those wheels rolling. The coffee break, half way in Petra, was good. The pace better. The company the best. I can honestly recommend everybody to book a cycling trip in winter to get your spirits and motivation up, just before the season starts again.
Right before the end we splitted, some strong men decided to take on an extra climb. The rest of us were happy to arrive back in the hotel, just before the late lunch buffet would end. It was only day two, after all. We registered 85 kilometers and rolled right into another great buffet and cosy hotel bar, another evening of drinks and laughs ahead as well as a day of cycling the next day. Living the happy life.
Day three. Breakfast and gathering at the usual hours. An even bigger group and larger plans at Canyon base. Today we would go over 100 kilometers. For most of us the first over 100 kilometer ride of the year. For some even the first over 100 kilometer ride ever. It turned out to be yet another beautiful ride with an intense climb and thrilling descent. We rode 105 kilometers with over 1.000 hm. I was a bit tired but all the more satisfied. A short break in the hotel room, followed by buffet and bar. Ride. Eat. Drink. Repeat.
Day four. The biggest group so far. The longest ride so far. Where others would stay longer or arrived later, for me this would be my last day of riding. Only a day of sightseeing planned for departure day the next day. But that was not on my mind yet. I had a great day ahead. The longest and best route so far. The climb as well the small descent to the beautiful monastery combined with perfect weather were absolutely unforgettable. The perfect ending to my cycling camp on Mallorca. In all ways the ultimate happy ending.