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Dan Dale, Berkshire , England, United Kingdom

Lighthouse, Monasteries & Switchbacks

The BBC, Met Office and iPhone weather apps have got it wrong everday so far, but luckily today they are spot on - cloudy and little chance of rain.

Heading out of Alcudia we ride toward Pollenca, and the straight run across the bay which is dull as dishwater and made worse by a bitch of a cross wind.

Formentor was going to kick off the and the additional climb to the tower (Wachturm Talaied d'Albercrutx). We were told by a local guide, previous tour professional, that the climb and views were good from the top. Surface was pretty crap, as far as Mallorca roads go, very loose which would make the descent a interesting.

Our morning goal was the Lighthouse at the Cap de Formentor, an undeulating route, skirting the coast line. When you look to the left you see fantastic coastline, you look to the right and you have dramatic mountains and luch greenery. Be careful of the tunnel, drop the shades to the nose or take them off completely as the darkness can be so disorientating that you move in to the gutter!

Having reached the Lighthouse, bursting for a piss and potentially something more, to find the WC's closed we didn't stay long. So back on the bike we headed back taking in Platja de Formentor. The year before calm seas and beautiful crystal clear waters greeted the tourists. However, this year choppy messy water, so Nick had to show me a picture to prove how nice this bay could be.

It was on to Lluc, but not before heading into Pollenca, a place often missed by the mass of cyclo tourists and shouldn't be. Its a lovely little town, tiny streets, all leading to the Vila Center. Be warned most of the bars do not take cards, only cold hard €'s.

On to Lluc after a belly full fuel consisting of Lemon Fanta, Cortados and Bolognese. The road all the way to the top was stunning, a sad fact of the cycling fraternity, we all become very aware of the asphalt and take in its quality. I can assure you that this is grade A. Apprently it had been relaid since last years outing from my travel companion.

The climb is is supposed to avg 5.5% for 7km, but my Garmin didn't go below 7% for a long time. That said the climb is very pretty, lots of great scenery to take in as you climb skyward. Trouble is you lose any concept of where the summit is. 

We hook a right into the Monestir de Lluc, a rest stop and perhaps some devine intervention to the cycling god to help find my climbing legs. We entered the main church, with signs warning visitors to show respect and act accordingly in the house of god. The door creaks open letting everyone inside know we are there, even though we tried our best to heed the warning on the door. You know like when you come in late at night trying to be quiet and everything you touch or move is a 1000 decibels louder than normal! To make matter worse, our cycling shoes make us sound like a couple of oddly dressed tap dancers moving across the floor. However, that said what is inside is amazing and we take a seat and take it in.

Lluc done it is time to head home, down the mountain, no more climbing today thank f*** - I've had enough of climbs and the legs feel the same. We descend off Lluc, but are held up by a line of cars and a lorry. So do our best to manoeuvre through the traffic at well timed passes on the tight switch backs, where the cars are no match for the bikes. The lorry poses a different problem, but we find the perfect spot and overtake, only to pull over 250 meters later to figure out if we are going in the right direction. At this point the drivers show their displeasure of our riding style.

On the way back we pass through some pretty towns and get a chance to meet some locals who indulge us with a photo. The atmosphere as you ride out here is amazing, I can't put my finger on why, but you just ride with a buzz. Highly recommended and I will be back, may be next time the Colnago will be my steed..


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Lighthouse, Monasteries & Switchbacks
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Dan Dale, Berkshire , England, United Kingdom
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