Every October, we take a group of riders out to the warm island of Mallorca for a relaxed week of cycling on beautiful roads with stunning scenery, great company and some of the best cycling Europe has to offer.
This year’s Autumn Camp was no different – we had a lovely group made up of camp regulars, new cyclists, club riders, racers, families, couples and friends. We aim to ensure that anybody who joins an Andy Cook Cycling Camp, no matter their ability or experience, has an enjoyable time with us – and most importantly, gets what they want from the trip.
Despite some localised flooding to the island the week before we left, arrival day was positively hot! In fact, the hotel had set their thermostats to the ‘winter’ setting after the previous week’s drop in temperature, and were pleasantly surprised to find that summer had returned, in time for the Andy Cook Cycling camp. We were all extremely happy to arrive to this glorious weather, which continued for the first half of the week. On Sunday, the first day of riding, three groups, supported by our experienced ride leaders Andy, Jacqui and Tony journeyed through pretty lanes, delightful little villages and over some small hills to reach the lovely town of Petra – famous for it’s square full of cyclist-friendly cafes and the slices of orange provided on arrival to hot riders!
Monday saw all groups take on the iconic Lluc climb, up to the Garage for coffee and cake. Although this climb is sometimes seen as just a hill on the way up to the famous Sa Calobra mountain – the 3.2km from Caimari to the Garage is actually a 5%, category 3 climb with just under 170m elevation. Our camp participants rode beautifully – and we were very proud to see everyone make it to the top! We could see some pretty large clouds forming further up in the mountains, so most decided to call it a day after Lluc and journey back to the hotel via various routes. Three people went to do the whole Sa Calobra climb, and a small group rode up to the cafe with the view – which is seen as the summit of Sa Calobra, but you have to descend down to the bottom before you can complete the climb by riding back up!
Tuesday and Wednesday were both sunny, lovely days of riding – with different groups enjoying trips to Randa, Santa Maria, Campanet and more. More impressive group-riding was seen and there was much fun had out on the bikes, and in the evenings back at the hotel. On Thursday and Friday, the rain sadly meant it wasn’t safe to take groups out on the bikes, but instead lots of us went to visit the beautiful Old Town Alcudia by bus, enjoying coffee, a bit of shopping, lunch and even a trip to the Assos outlet store in Alcudia. On Friday, the rain really came down and flooding meant lots of local roads were closed. Luckily, the famous Tolos cafe in Port de Pollenca was still open – so that’s where a lot of us ended up for a long lunch whilst the rain came down outside. The long afternoon meant bikes could be packed away in a relaxed fashion ready for the following day’s homeward journey – and then the facilities of the hotel could really be enjoyed! The state-of-the-art spa and gym proved very popular as the sun wasn’t shining and everyone arrived for the final night gathering happy and refreshed.
We were sad to see everyone go home on Saturday – it was a really great week of cycling and fun, with lots of friendships made. We’re looking forward to getting back out to Mallorca next March for our flagship Spring Camp!