Mallorca Rookie mistakes to avoid
Improve your Mallorca cycling trip with these tips
Why miss out on the even quieter roads? One of the most common Mallorca cycling mistakes is to sleep late and not make the most of those perfect mornings. Even during the peak seasons it is still possible to have the roads to yourself if you are out and about before 9 in the morning. This is especially relevant on the busier routes like Cap Formentor or Sa Calobra before the traffic builds up.
Not carrying a form of photo ID.
Spanish law requires all persons, whether resident or tourists to carry photo ID at all times. The police are within their rights to fine you for failing to comply.
Treating the road surfaces as you do in your home country.
Here, the surfaces are wonderfully smooth, but have a higher granite content to help deal with the hot weather. This sometimes makes the roads slippery especially if there is moisture about. Take a little extra care when cycling in Mallorca and you will be able to appreciate how brilliant the roads are without getting a too close look at how good they are! Leave the mountains for a dry day, there are over 308 of them each year!
Not riding the best cycle route in Mallorca.
The coastal and forest route from Andratx back to Port de Pollença / Alcudia / Can Picafort is pure joy. If this was the only cycle route you could ride for the rest of your life, on every occasion it would still be an absolute pleasure. Oodles of beautiful scenery, leg challenging climbs and excellent cafés to keep you busy whether you choose the 115km or right up to the 162km distance route. Tough but absolutely brilliant. You won’t regret it. A common Mallorca cycling mistake is to avoid this ride for fear of not being fit enough. If this is you then get training and get yourself fit for the occasion! You will be thrilled you did!
Not riding out to Cap Formentor.
Regularly ranked in the top 20 routes in the world, this very scenic and slightly hilly ride out to the lighthouse on the most northern point of Mallorca is excellent. Use it as a first day or a last day ride, as a leg loosener or as a reason to come up from where you are staying in the South. Any reason will do.. If you have the legs, take the extra spin up to Talaia d’Albercutx for views including Formentor (and on clear days as far as Barcelona). If you are staying too far from Cap Formentor, then organise a bike shuttle to get you there.
Not riding Sa Calobra.
This world class climb is a must do for any keen road cyclist and whether you choose to ride there and back or take the Sa Calobra Express one way to conquer this Cat 1 mountain with fresh legs for a PB, just ensure you do it. This climb is reason enough to come cycling in Mallorca in the first place, and will stay in your memory for years, whether that recollection will be for the winding road and scenery or for the achievement probably depends on your fitness. If you have completed Sa Calobra previously and would like to add some extra sting to the legs and additional beauty for the eyes then consider adding Cala Tuent into your day. It’s a truly stunning add on diversion.
Forgetting to buy bike rescue.
Sh*t happens, usually at the least opportune time. When bike or body break down, Mallorca Bicycle Rescue saves you time and frustration by getting you speedily back to where you are staying or to the nearest bike shop, your choice. Murphy’s law and all that. Don’t be that person that holds up the group – everyone’s time here is as precious as yours.
Forgetting to wear sunscreen.
Chances are very high that you are going to spend a lot of time outdoors whilst you are here. The amazing routes, surfaces and climbs make sure of that. With an average of 308 sunny days a year beating down onto your skin, it deserves to be protected. 30% of visiting cyclists have some sort of heat stroke during their trip out here, so it is worth taking care to limit your downtime. You should take regular cafe stops to hydrate, fuel and apply sunscreen.
Riding too much on the first days.
Pace yourself and have recovery rides between the big ride days. It is very common to see riders with ‘Mallorca fever’ (caused by great weather, smooth and car free roads) overdoing it when they first arrive and not being able to ride much in the second half of their stay. More café stops it is then 🙂
Drinking too much alcohol.
Warm sun, nice terrace, cheap prices, brilliant day out, time with your mates.. Ice cold beer and great gin and tonics are perfect for rehydrating, or so we like to believe! Moderation is key as you may regret having overdone it the next day when your rise and shine wake up alarm rings out to tell you that it’s time for another day of riding in the glorious sunshine. Too much alcohol and your cycling holiday can easily become a ‘wish I had been able to cycle more holiday’!
Thinking cheaper is always better.
Paying extremely low prices and expecting amazing service or accommodation is unfortunately not going to happen. There are hundreds of brilliant sustainable businesses here that charge fair prices for excellent services and accommodation, you will be better off using one of them. Fair does not mean expensive!
Riding on pavements and walkways.
Pavements and walkways are only for pedestrians. There are about 10 000km of smooth roads on the island, your bike is better suited to enjoying rolling on those.
Riding the wrong way on the Alcudia to Port de Pollenca cycle track.
The red cycle path along the coastline from Alcudia to Port Pollenca is one way towards the port. There are huge white painted arrows on the path every 5m showing this (although the signage as you leave the port is somewhat confusing as it goes from a blue cycle path in both directions to one way when it turns red). There is plenty of room on the other correct side of the road, use it rather than being the one causing the accidents. Safer for you too!
Not treating local drivers with respect.
Many local drivers are cyclists themselves and are in the habit of treating cyclists with respect even though thousands of us arrive each year and clog their roads! Maybe we can all do our bit to show them equal respect?