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 ?
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.