Each month we will be featuring a guest blog from a Love Velo traveller. This month, Ian rode out to Cap Formentor, Mallorca and shares his story on the 'best 40km ride in the world'.
Where to go on holiday? – The eternal question. After a bit of negotiation with my wife, I was allowed to take a few days to go riding, but the destination question remained. I’m not quite sure how I settled on Mallorca, possibly too many cycling videos on Youtube, but that turned out to be a good choice.
I arrived in Mallorca and picked up my lovely carbon framed bike which had been set up for me in advance. Love Velo had provided some routes in GPX file and I was pretty set on riding to Cap Formentor. Speaking to the owner of one of the best bike shops on the Island, I was convinced that was the ride to take after he called it the best 40km ride in the world.
The next morning I was up early and off I set. A gentle spin along the sea front in the cool morning air was a great warm up for the ride to come. Just as you leave Port de Pollenca you hit the Ma 2210 and the ride begins. The first climb up to the viewpoint is amazing - it’s about 800ft but it gives you a feel for the rest of the ride and it was my first taste of Mallorcan switch backs.
Once you get to the top, the views over Pollenca bay and over the Med are incredible. A few photos and a quick drink then it’s off again descending into a lovely wooded scene – something I wasn’t expecting. The sound of goats grazing with their bells clanging make for a unique experience.
Once you reach the edge of the trees, the views start to take your breath away – azure sea with clear blue sky against a very striking alien landscape compared to the UK. The tunnel is a bit of a surprise – but the layby just the far side gives a great photo opportunity. The road starts to climb and fall in earnest whilst it zig zags across the peninsula. This is where I remembered the words from the bike shop owner – this is truly some of the best riding in the world.
At this point, I made my way round an out crop of rock which is where I got my first view of the lighthouse. You follow the left hander into the descent before some awesome switch backs that seem to defy road building physics, before a final short climb to the light house. I realised I’m smiling just writing this – I can’t wait to ride here again.
For a tourist spot the Café isn’t expensive and they serve decent coffee as well – time to sit and enjoy a breakfast pastry and a café con Leche looking out over a gorgeous sea scape before you force you self to grin and start the most enjoyable ride back ever.
Best thing about this ride is also is only bad point. A 29 mile round trip is just too short! I rode it twice in my 3 day stay- not through lack of anywhere else to ride given Mallorca is the most bike friendly place I’ve seen. I did it twice because it’s just a great ride and you don’t have to be Chris Froome either – the climbing is hard but with the right gearing shouldn’t be a problem to riders of reasonable fitness.
It will take some doing to knock this off my favourite ride spot.
Base yourself in the north and ride some of the most perfect cycling roads in Europe. The road that snakes its way out to Cap Formentor and the lighthouse is a true highlight for any cyclist, or experience the ride to Lluc and into the heart of the Tramuntana mountain range....