Why do cyclists climb mountains?

Cycling up mountainsA strange addiction. Climbing to the skies, slow motion, pain, body revolting, hour after hour of mental questions. Why am I climbing this mountain?

We’re a strange bunch us cyclists. Speeding along dressed in tights, bottoms padded, riding great distances much to the bemusement of non-cyclists.

To them it’s unfathomable that riding up a mountain, a mountain for god’s sake, can be pleasurable. If only they knew.

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The thin red line | A tempo ride

formentor-3Charting the emotions of a tempo ride to the Formentor lighthouse, Majorca’s best cycling route.


Dawn. Sun yawning. Sky, sea, eyes pink. I set off, legs still snoozing. Air warm, thick, already. Streets empty, beach deserted. The masts on the boats in the harbour clank and clatter, ringing in the new morning, birds waking, the roost all a tweeting, more a cacophony than a chorus.

Legs spinning reluctantly, the warm up for the climb ahead is a quaint dawdle along the beach front, eyes glued to the ever changing colour of the sea and sky, red now, almost orange, the day warming up quicker than my legs.

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A return to Majorca – Flat rides, hard rides

majorca-return-2Returning to ride in Majorca was a little like meeting an old friend. We knew one another’s ways, we respected the other yet said little, mutual appreciation unspoken.

For Majorca is a cyclist’s friend, smooth roads, manageable mountains, rolling hills, billions of hairpins, long coastal roads, picturesque rides through orange groves and verdant valleys. Oh and did I mention the weather? Sun, and lots of it.

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Road cycling in Majorca – Routes and climbs

Sa Calobra Cycling Climb

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.

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