The HC Bike Tours Training Cycling Camp in Mallorca held March 31 to April 12, 2019, proved a great opportunity for attendees to ramp up their performance on the bike, with up to 13 days of riding possibilities as well as fun off-bike options on multiple days. Unlike traditional bike tours, where there is a focus on scenery and tourist attractions in addition to the riding, at a Bike Training Camp, it is all about the cycling. With no concerns about preparing food or securing lodging, you can focus all your best energy on riding hard and recovering just like the pros do. Also, because the Camp is run from a central “Headquarters Hotel”, you can arrive late to Mallorca Cycling Camp or leave early, or even extend your “Camp stay” as your schedule requires or allows. HC Bike Tours has been running Bike Training Camps for over 5 years, with many repeat customers who make it a foundation of their training season.
HC Bike Tours’ owner Aigars Paegle makes his off-season home in Mallorca and he prides himself on his deep knowledge of virtually every road (and every café!) on the island. Mallorca Bicycle Training Camp attendees received multiple bike route options each day, ranging from the spectacular classic ‘all-day’ routes like Cap Formentor to rolling and fast flat roads to ‘easy-spin’ recovery rides.
With the guidance of KSSK professional cycling coach Karlis Smilktens, each participant was able to set challenging but realistic goals for the cycling camp, and HC Bike Tours worked to help every cyclist meet or even exceed their personal goals. Participants said they could imagine the life of a pro rider, focusing entirely on fitness and recovery, with no need to worry about food, lodging, or route-planning. While on the bike, with support from a scooter-propelled photographer and SAG van support, no need to carry food, extra clothing, or tools. What could be better!?
The 2019 Mallorca Cycling Camp group of 14 included riders with a wide range of fitness, so several route and pace options, planned around a specific destination, were provided each day. Most riders were between ages 30 and 50, with 4 women and 10 men participating. Some riders brought their non-riding family members along, to enjoy the beautiful weather, scenery, and tourist attractions.
Camp participants began arriving in Mallorca in late March, and the official ‘camp’ kicked off on March 31 with a camp kick-off meeting as well as bike fitting for those who rented HC Bike Tours’ top-quality 100% handmade in Italy Sarto bikes or bike assembly for those who chose to bring their own bike. This year we chose as a base Son Galceran Hotel in the historic village of Esporles on the west side of Mallorca but conveniently close to all the services in Palma, the major city on the island. With the opportunity for up to 13 straight days of riding ahead, the group eased into ‘training camp’ mode with a couple easy days riding in one big group. The first day was a 3hour ride exploring the flats to the south, and the second ‘warm-up’ day picked up the intensity with another 3hour group ride with some local climbing. And both days, the ‘café stop’ tradition was adopted with great enthusiasm.
Starting on Day 3, the campers split up into two groups (and some days even three groups), to accommodate everyone’s needs and abilities. With Aigars leading the ‘A’ group and Karlis leading the ‘B’ group, and the photographer on scooter leading the C group when needed, they dug in for some serious training. They found a good riding rhythm alternating epic and moderate days, with a rest day on Day 6 and an additional optional rest day on Day 8. The big days provided 4 to 6 hours of saddle-time and multiple summits, and the recovery days 2-3 hours of flat to moderately hilly riding. They were well-prepared to tackle the legendary Mallorca`s cycling climb Sa Calobra on Day 9, a full day of riding which offered the challenges of ascending up into the clouds on an unusually cold and foggy day in addition to the expected climbing. During the Mallorca camp they ‘bagged’ all the most famous climbs in the Tramuntana mountains: Sa Calobra, Coll de sa Bataia, Coll d’Honor, Coll de Femenia, Puig Major (from Soller), Coll dels Reis, actually complete the Ma-10 road from Andratx till Pollensa. They also explored the south of Mallorca cycling some lesser-known but wonderful riding including rolling hills and the climbs to the historic sanctuaries Satna Magdalena, Santa Llucia, Cura, and our favorite climb in Mallorca San Salvador.
Of course, it wasn’t all just hard work and no play… Each morning started with a hearty breakfast and each afternoon the team had time to socialize, enjoy snacks while basking in the afternoon sun on the patio and rest before a hearty and delicious meal at one of the local restaurants. The hotel has a big orange tree garden everybody could eat as much oranges they wanted. Some of the campers hiked on their off days, and for their Day 6 day off, the HC team organized a day-trip to Palma, to see the tourist sights, visit the markets, to do some shopping for local merchandise and stretch out their legs with some walking.
By the end of the Camp, all participants felt they got a significant ‘jump’ on their Mallorca spring training through participating. Unfortunately, the weather was unseasonably cool, but to this tough group of mostly northern European riders, even cool Mallorca weather was a good reprieve from the extremes of the northern winter. And the cool weather just made the ubiquitous ‘Café stops’ even more enjoyable and essential.
Look at some Mallorca Cycling Routes > Aigars Strava activities:
EPIC Sa Calobra ride
Small EPIC Cap Formentor ride
#Aigars Paegle, #Mallorca Cycling
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