HOW TO GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR CYCLING HOLIDAY IN MALLORCA
Cycling abroad comes with lots of questions so we thought we would put together our top tips for cycling in Mallorca. From how and when to tackle well-known climbs like Sa Calobra or the stunning 40 kilometres ride to Cap Formentor, to other handy tips from our many years on the island, read on to get the most out of your holiday.
ROUTE TOP TIPS
1. Descend safely- Mallorca's descents are epic and known to be the best in Europe, with the added bonus of beautiful mountains surrounding your ride. Just so you know, beware of traffic on the bigger climbs. Fortunately, traffic can be quieter on many of the less popular climbs like the Coll d'Orient and Coll d'Honor, but the road surfaces can be a little dodgy as they aren't used as much so just take care when riding through. In addition, the Coll de Randa and Sobremunt are both almost totally deserted allowing for you to have an entirely exclusive experience. It's a good idea to be particularly mindful when you are about to descend hairpins at a fast pace.
2. Research the route you are taking beforehand - Take note of the map and route so you are prepared for the journey ahead. Technology can break down so it's also good to have a mental note. We're here to show you some unbelievable routes, Love Velo have all of our experiences on our website. Our favourite routes are:
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE ROAD
3. Avoid the Sóller tunnel - Cyclists are banned from riding through the Col de Sóller tunnel under the mountain and so if you're planning a route that uses that road, the only way intot he mountains is the Coll de Soller itself which adds significant climbing to any ride.
4. Make yourself visible - Use lights on the front and back of your bike to make you more visible, especially in the tunnels. The tunnels on the way to Puig Major and Cap Formentor are poorly lit so take lights.
5. Appreciating Nature - Enjoy the unbelievable views of nature, Mallorca is home to many animals wandering through the mountains, like cattle, sheep and goats. Watch out as you may bump into a few on your journey and be careful on your descents.
PREPARE BEFORE YOUR CYCLING TRIP
6. Train before your trip - Mallorca is a cyclist's paradise but make sure you are fit and equipped for the task ahead. In order to climb some of Mallorca's more famous rides, we recommend some training to make the most out of it. Gradients are at between 6-8%, on climbs like Col de Soller and Puig Major and so not overly difficult but accessing them can make for a long day in the saddle.
7. Fuel Your Body - Make sure to leave with your energy levels high - eat and drink before your climb. Additionally, it's a great idea to pack some energy bars and gels in case you can't find a shop to source some from on your journey. There are some great cafe stops en route in the mountains so it's also wise to see how they fit into your ride. The small Cafe Escorca which is hidden between the tallest peaks of the Tramuntana mountains and nearby a beautiful ancient aqueduct is a great stop, as is the OJ shack at the top of Sa Calobra.
8. Correct Gearing - Climbing in Mallorca is inevitable and most riders will prefer a compact 50-34 chainset with an 11-28t cassette. For more assistance on steeper roads, you should go for A cassette with a 30 or 32 tooth sprocket which we can provide.
9.Checking Your Bike - Check your bike when you hire it. Whilst we set the bikes up for our riders, you might want to make small adjustments before you ride. We also have a support number ready in case of a mechanical emergency.
WHAT TO TAKE
10. Clothing -Even though the climate is warm make sure to dress and pack accordingly. Warm weather gear is a must but we also suggest packing a gillet for early morning riding and arm warmers for any cool descents, especially in the colder months.
11. What to pack - To be safe it's a great idea for you to pack a toolkit in case of a sudden repair job. If you can bring some essential spare parts such as tubes, CO2 canisters, tyre levers and a small pump.
WHEN TO RIDE IN MALLORCA
12. Starting early: During the hotter summer months, it's a good idea to start earlier to avoid the midday heat. This also allows you to have time to cycle and relax during your trip. Mallorca gets extremely warm in the summer and it is advised to not cycle at some points throughout the day. Particularly from 12:00pm-15:00pm.
13. Researching cafe stops: During off-season months from November to February many cafes may be closed. Make sure to take cash, cafe's in rural areas may not accept cards.
14. Prepare for the weather: As we all know weather can be unpredictable, particularly in the spring and winter months. All months are great to ride in Mallorca and even in the summer months, you can predict a little bit of wind as the mountains are a few degrees cooler than at sea level. We advise you to pack consciously in case the weather becomes cooler than expected in the spring/winter. For example, if you are cycling in April it can get a little brisk so packing a light jacket or gilet for the evening is wise.
15. Hydrate and wear SPF: Cycling in the summer is lovely especially when keeping hydrated, make sure to drink lots of water before and during your journey. Be sure to avoid heatstroke by applying suncream throughout the day.
16. Braking Hazards: Allow for stopping distances by taking extra precautions when it rains. The roads in Mallorca are built for warm climates, meaning the floor doesn't melt. Unfortunately, the granite that is used to prevent this, makes the roads more slippery.
17. Take vitamins for cramping: Cramping is common especially when cycling in the heat. Electrolyte tablets can be diluted into your water bottle and they help to get rid of cramps.
THE TOP TEN CLIMBS
We can't list our top tips for cycling in Mallorca without mentioning the climbs. We have listed our top 10 routes and climbs to make sure you don't miss. As well as the biggies like Puig Major and Sa Calobra, make sure to discover discrete hidden gems like the Coll De Randa and the Sobremunt.