One of our clients, Laurie Cohen, shares her reflections on our 2016 Signature Cycles trip to Mallorca:
There are many ways to experience the cycling paradise that is Mallorca and I considered most of them. I’m not one for hauling panniers or sleeping in fleabag hotels. Nor do I want to bike a little and dine a lot. After hearing a rave review from a colleague about Signature Cycles’ week-long trip to the island, I signed up and went in April 2016. And I’m thrilled that I did.
I arrived at the local airport on a Saturday morning and was met by our guides from GPM10, who escorted me and other guests, with our luggage and bikes, to our hotel, the lovely Hotel Cost d’or, which is nearby the town or Deia on the northern coast of the island.
As I ate my first Mallorca lunch, Signature’s crack mechanic, Justin Bagnati, assembled my bike to get me ready for our afternoon ride. Cycling, I discovered, is an awesome antidote for jetlag. We didn’t do a long ride that day; we did about 15 miles out and back to a beautiful lighthouse at Port de Soller with stunning views of the Balearic Sea.
By day two, we split up into two groups, a fast one and a less fast one. I hung back and joined the latter one. I like to stop and smell roses every now and then and I hate being off the back. The groups were led by Justin or one of the GPM10 staffers who were familiar with the routes and roads. I was usually at the front of the pack, but not by a lot.
Our rides in Mallorca after that first day were anywhere from 40 to 65 miles, though there were always options for longer and shorter routes. The one thing about the island: there’s a lot of climb. As Signature owner Paul Levine told us, “Take the hills one pedal stroke at a time.” My mantra that week: “The hills are my friends.” There were a couple of days of 6,000 foot climbs, but they never felt that hard because the Mallorca roads are really well laid-out with ascents that are never much more than six percent grade.
My favorite climb of the week: The seven mile trek up Puig Major to the Monnaber tunnel. Though long, it was never terribly steep. The view at the top of that climb was spectacular and the next stretch of that ride was even more fantastic. We lunched at the peak of the road from Sa Calobra, one of the most famous spots on Mallorca. Half of us did the optional descent down to the beach and the very steep climb back up to the top, probably the hardest climb of the week. Afterwards, lunch never tasted so good, even though it was probably the worst meal of the trip!
Speaking of food…I exist on vegetables, fish and cheese. Our Mallorca meals accommodated my pescatarian diet as well as my fellow cyclists’ carnivorous leanings. There were always choices and the hotel dinners were surprisingly good and ample. On a couple of nights, we ate dinner at local restaurants. My favorite: Our last Mallorca supper at the El Olivo restaurant in the high-end Belmond La Residencia hotel. Delicious. I’d eat there every night if I could.
My favorite part of the Mallorca trip wasn’t the food or even the cycling, but the friends I made. There were about two dozen of us on the trip and months later, I remain in close touch with seven of the people I met. I’ve even cycled with several of my new pals since I returned. While I make friends easily on vacation, I rarely keep in touch in the months afterward. This trip was somehow different: We were all there because we loved cycling, we loved beautiful scenery and we shared a sense of adventure and a taste for foreign travel. For many, the Signature Cycles Mallorca trip was something of an annual pilgrimage, a trip they looked forward to year after year. I now understand why and I look forward to my next Mallorca visit with Signature.
If Laurie’s story has you inspired for a 2017 Mallorca trip with us, find out more and save your place. Contact Paul Levine at firstname.lastname@example.org