Getting your rear wheel stuck in a tram rail in Sollér, that’s Mallorca.

Diary

Day 00 (2019-03-27)

  • daily stats: 1500 km by airliner
  • sleeping: Palma, hostel
  • early wake up at 4:00 (going to bed at 1:00), sleeping on the train to Vienna
  • free afternoon in Palma, not many people out (siesta)
  • hour long nap to replenish energy and reduce headache due to sleep deficit
  • doubts about plan: Sollér, Sa Calobra?, Lluc

Day 01 (2019-03-28)

  • daily stats: 65 km, +1931 m, -1452 m
  • sleeping: nearby Lluc monastery
  • very slow morning because bike rental opens only at 10:00
  • can’t use my payment card for the reservation
    • the cause was limit on internet payments that the rental used
    • phoned the bank to adjust the limit
    • the rest went smoothly
  • ad hoc changing to cycling clothes in a park and learning how to handle the road bicycle (especially gear down)
  • well-marked cycling path got me out of the city
  • meeting the first cyclists, they’re obvious pros
  • lunch in Sollér, the main square is full of people, the waiters have to watch out for the tram and the tram passengers are litteraly few decimeters above my plate
  • the main climb of the day/trip to the tunnel Son Torrella
    • the continuous flow of cyclists is like a race, I can beat only a German retired couple
    • quick pass around the lakes and dams on the top
    • downhill is quite chilly
  • no energy and time to descent to (and ascent from) Sa Calobra
  • arrival to Lluc monastery, it is emptier than I expected (later people come out, they are accomodated there)

Climb to Coll des Puig

Day 02 (2019-03-29)

  • daily stats: 113 km, +769 m, -1091 m
  • sleeping: fields near Porreres
  • surprised by pain of outer calves and my posterior after getting up (~8:00)
  • descent to Inca (visiting patieseria, refiling water)
  • journey to Manacor
    • flat terrain but windy (hooked a pro upon arrival to Manacor)
    • every pothole hurts (my butt)
  • poorer/unreconstructed suburbs of Manacor got me to the historical center with narrow streets
    • smaller towns ~ less Germans, more minorities ?
  • big road to Portocristo, big traffic
  • afternoon break and relax (drying sleeping bag) by the sea in Portocristo (~1 hour)
  • road to Felinatx (along sea) is surprisingly hilly
  • necessary shopping due to minerals (salt) deficiency
  • evening ride is easier, harder looking for a sleeping place (many lands are private)

Stain and stainless in Portocristo

Day 03 (2019-03-30)

  • daily stats: 116 km, +954 m, -1104 m
  • sleeping: Palma, hostel
  • early wake up (7:15), early depart to Puig de Randa (8:15, summit 9:30)
    • I was not the first (tires of cyclists at Mallorca make humming sound even at climb)
  • quick downhill to Llucmajor, returing in a group of cyclist who headed to Puig de Randa, I continued to Algaida
  • Algaida–Santa Maria was the quickest part (tail wind + energy)
    • Santa Maria is crowded cycling crossroad
    • continued to Bunyoala with same pace but then had to refill fuel (trembling members)
  • repeated climb to Coll du Sollér (the training paid off, I outpaced a cyclist)
  • tiring downhill/flat arrival to Palma
  • sugar refill at the coast and because I still had the time before returning the bike a cycled the coastal cycling path
    • tourist hell (hotels, beaches, shops)
    • unexperienced e-bikes riders in narrow turns

Outlook from Puig de Randa

Day 04 (2019-03-31)

  • daily stats: 5 km, +342 m, -342 m (walking), 1500 km by airliner, 8 km (city walking)
  • sleeping: buses Vienna–Brno–Prague
  • no particular plan for the day
  • ad hoc trip to Pollença
    • climb to Puig de Maria
    • the path so crowded I had no privacy to pee
  • weather turned bad just when I was leaving Pollença
  • I looked for a bakery at the airport so I had to walk against the crowds in the corridors, it felt unconsciously a bit uneasy

Natural sights

  • various puigs

Practicals

  • for quick security check, get ahead of the crowds from the airport train
  • low-cost baggage and travelling light
  • ~25 minutes from landing to bus stand in Vienna (when everything goes smooth)
  • cycling path(s) in Palma
    • distinctive red color (the road)
    • sometimes the track goes in opposite of traffic (left side)
    • complicated turning left (you have to cross path of cars going in parallel with you)
  • abundant infrastructure for road cyclists everywhere

Manmade sights

People

  • Slovak girl who travels alone and rents a car (flight neighbor)
  • group of Moravian cyclist (~50 years old) on the plane
  • Spaniards
    • they wear apparently winter clothes at ~12°C
  • contrasts
    • a tourist girl with black lipstick and unshaved legs vs road cyclists with shaved legs
  • bike mechanic girl doing maintenance of a bike (changing chain?) in gloves (cf a mechanic guy with dirty hands in Czech workshops), clean and professional
  • artists accomodated in Randa
  • no fat old people
  • kitchen in restaurant opens at 19:30
  • Max Hürzeler
  • cyclist stratification
    • 0–50 m: tourists, e-bikes, city bikes
    • 50–150 m: hobby cyclists, families
    • 150–1000 m: true road cyclists
  • many sunburnt faces on the plane back

Food

  • day 00
    • bought iron reserve in the evening
    • pizza Mallorquina on day 00
  • day 01
    • breakfast in hostel
    • lunch in Sollér (pasta, feeling full)
    • dinner and desert at Lluc (overfilling continues)
  • day 02
    • few candies as a breakfast
    • empanada as a snack
    • lunch in Manacor (pasta)
    • snack in Felinatx
    • dinner at camp (1/2 baguette, 130 g fuet)
  • day 03
    • breakfast: sweet pastry + 3 Kinder sticks
    • during day: 1/2 baguette, 30 g fuet, sweet pastry, burger bread (iron reserve)
    • dinner: pizza + ice cream

Equipment

  • condensed water under raincoat moistened sleeping bag (no dew)
  • punctured my sleeping mat on a stub/stick/straw
  • Specialized Tarmac 2017
    • 56 cm
    • gears: crankset 50/34, cassette 11–28 (11-speed), i.e. ratio from 1.2 to 4.5
    • Ultegra set

Lessons learnt

  • buffers for transfers (2.5 hours outbound was enough, 0.5 hour inbound did not suffice)

  • account for low-cost airline delays,
  • train delays, buffer for transfers
  • Wien Hauptbahnhof is closed between 1:30 and 4:00 (and no trains in that window)
  • trip joy depends on number of participants

Dependency of joy on number of participants of a trip

  • it is possible to do the shopping alone in small groceries
  • it is possible to do the cycling vacation with lightly sore throat
  • it is possible to go to number 2 when cycling alone
  • training tips
    • at 5% climb, interleave 5 minutes light gear and 5 minutes off-seat pedalling
  • riding with backpack bruises where vertebrae are bulging
  • prepare program for a day if departure is in the evening