Let’s talk cobbles. Why oh why would anyone think riding over gap strewn paving would be fun? It’s pure evil I tell you!
I went cycling in Flanders recently, heading to Belgium to ride the famous climbs and routes from the Tour of Flanders, or Ronde van Vlaanderen, as it’s known to the cycling mad locals, or simply The Ronde. Here’s my routes, along with an insight into cycling in Belgium, riding the cobbles, bergs (hills), and wind, plus a certain type of cyclist.
The deconstruction of a hill climb gone wrong. Very, very wrong.
The summit. Finally. My body quivers, arms and legs shaking, in shock, for they know not what their master has just put them through. Dumbstruck, they remain numb. Nothing works. My eyes see double, triple, the many horizons wobbling before me.
Asphyxiated, I’ve climbed to the moon and cannot breathe. What on earth just happened, I wonder, staring accusingly at my legs, my head shaking. The banana I ate two hours earlier does its best to rise and see what all the fuss is about. Mustn’t let the precious energy escape my mouth.
Green pastures dotted with sheep, rolling hills wrapped in mist, the odd castle ruins here and there, jagged rock and a soul-searching isolation. This is cycling in Wales. Around every corner is a hill, the incline rarely gentle, the view usually breathtaking, assuming of course, the climb left you with breath from which to take.
Team Sky train there and the cycling is so good on the island, they (i.e. we Brits) named it twice. Yes, I’ve just enjoyed a week in the Mallorcan sun riding my bike.
This was not a training camp of any kind. It was a holiday and a chance to combine everything I love about cycling. Climbing, descending, sunshine, breathtaking views and smooth roads.
Why Majorca? To be honest I was being lazy. I was tired, oh so tired. I wanted somewhere I could simply get off the plane, get on a bike and ride. I considered France and Switzerland also but on this occasion the logistics made my legs ache before I’d even left the house. As much as I love a good tour complete with panniers, this time I just needed a break. If there’s such a thing as a cycling holiday, Majorca is it.