Majorca training camp

Myself, Alasdair and Malcolm went to a cycle training camp in March. Leisure Pursuits ltd. run a very popular camp based right on the coast near Puerto Polensa, Majorca, which caters for all abilities – several different groups went out each day providing sufficient action for elite or slower individuals. A van carrying water and bags and a mechanic supported all the rides, and there were light hearted but interesting talks in the evening by the very friendly Leisure Pursuits staff on topics such as nutrition and bicycle computers. The rides themselves were sometimes spectacular, covering 80 or 90 miles including an 800m, 10 km long climb or two, and on other days relaxing and leisurely, with enjoyable café stops.

On the lazy days we ambled but occasionally chain-ganged through the pleasant countryside and ancient little villages. I was surprised at the care and consideration of the majority of motorists ? many would stop in the middle of a roundabout to give way to the bunch! I soon realised that a blast on the horn from behind was meant as a sensible reminder to meandering cyclists that a vehicle was about to pass, rather than an angry expression of "get out of my way"! The accommodation at the Club Pollensa was superb ? I had a quiet, airy room with all mod cons including UK news channels, and the huge choice and consistent quality of food from the self-service buffet was beyond all expectations, which even made meal times exciting ? especially as we were burning thousands of calories a day and could afford to, nay, had to, indulge ourselves! A couple of glasses of best Majorcan Rioja complemented the feast ? wonderful.

My favourite day was the very last of the fortnight, when I felt ready to tackle the toughest hill on the island, the famous Colobra ?11 kms of hairpin bends snaking from almost 1000 metres down to sea level. Here the
inimitable Majorcan café leche was sipped as I and scores of other roadies glibly eyed the coach-delivered, boat-embarking, hot and bothered hordes, and contemplated the coming climb with excitement. Up I relentlessly plodded for 52 minutes at an economical pace in the 39x25 (and for 99% of the time in the saddle ? none of that energy-sapping honking for me), as professional team riders and others infinitely fitter than myself pushed past, and up? and up. The weather on that day and on just about all the other 13 was sunny and hot ? perfect. I flew back to Porto Pollensa touching 50 mph at times, contemplating my final treat of a superb fortnight full of treats ? a massage in the luxurious health suite back at the hotel. Amazingly, I punctured with only 2 km to go, but made my appointment in time. My overheated muscles relaxed under the firm but soothing hands of my masseuse and I put out of my mind the ribbing I would later receive from my companions about these innocent administrations.

If anyone is interested in training camps they should check out the ads in Cycling Weekly towards the end of the year, or look on the web.

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