Saturday, 9 March 2013

Mallorca Day 3 - 7

Time certainly flies when you’re having fun.

Tuesday saw the arrival of the first Tri Camp Mallorca group. The hours leading up to their arrival were spent doing the last few bits of admin and getting teas/coffees ready.

17 smiles greeted me, all excited about their week ahead. I’m sure going to be a master at remembering names after this 10-week stint.

I awoke to the pissing rain on Wednesday morning but got out for an 8km run regardless. Thankfully it stopped before the group rode down to the pool for their swim analysis session.

I joined the group for the afternoon ride to Lluc, making sure to smash myself up the climb. The beauty of riding climbs with varied abilities is that once you get to the top, you drop back down to the last rider and ride back up. It’s a great hill session.

Thursday’s ride is fairly flat and fast. On what we call the Reed Road (road is flanked with reed beds), I got down on the drops and started a great little chain gang. We kept at around 45km/h for what seemed like ages.

The 60km ride ends at Port de Pollenca, met by the van carrying our wetsuits. It was sunny but the water’s still too cold to be in for longer than 20/30 minutes. Getting a taste of the salt water was just enough.

Friday is a big ride day. Sa Calobra. In my opinion, one of the most beautiful mountain climbs in the world. It’s like a kid took a black crayon and scribbled on the side of a mountain. Switchback heaven. At the end of the day, my Garmin read 80km ridden, 2,000m ascended. That’s mega.

With the weather coming to the party, we declared Friday evening braai evening. Naturally the South African in me couldn’t resist volunteering. No pressure.

I needed to get a long run in this morning. Fortunately a few of the group were keen too so off I went with 6 others.

I’ve pretty much spent the rest of today drinking coffee at a café (free WiFi) then lounging next to the plunge pool on the roof terrace. It wasn't all rock n’ roll as I had a mound of laundry to sort out.

That said…la vida es buena.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Mallorca 2013 - Day 1 and 2

There’s a definite calmness to this place. Possibly because most people arriving are holidaymakers, but most certainly because it’s an island. What island isn’t chilled out?

It can be quite freaky coming from the hustle and bustle of London, especially when you’ve spent the night before at the Fez Nightclub in Putney – pure chaos.

Squeezing our way through the streets, we arrived at the villa in Pollenca. What a beauty! It’s open plan, rustic, filled with solid looking décor and multi-layered. A rabbit warren of sorts with multiple staircases leading to the same place, interlinking corridors and rooms without doors. 2 days here and I’m still learning my way around.

The best way to find your bearings at a new destination is to go for a run. So that’s exactly what I did.

After surfacing from an 11-hour sleep (obviously still recovering from the Fez), I took to putting my bike back together. A meticulous task that should take about 30 minutes, but goes on for 3 hours. Tinker, tinker.

It’s not simply all fun, so time was also spent getting the house ready for the Tricampers arriving on Tuesday, talking logistics and showing off my fire making skills. I do love a fire.

With only a few hours of sunlight left, it was time to ride my bike. I headed straight for the climb that’s featured on the Mallorca 70.3 race and immediately fell in love again. The roads are marble smooth, empty and switchbacked. Like being acquainted with a long lost lover, I was soon out of breath, smiling a mile wide.

There’s something very spiritual about riding up a mountain and my head swarmed with thoughts. With the sunshine in my eyes and sweat dripping off my nose, I reached the top of the climb. In a matter of minutes I was back at sea level, having dropped like a stone down the descent.

Braaing for the TriCamp staff on the roof terrace closed out a close-to-perfect day. Only having a few special people here would have made it absolutely perfect. But that time will come.

Mucho amor.