34 cycling members came to Training Camp this year, including members from across the UK and from Switzerland. The weather in Mallorca was a bit mixed and we had some rain showers but still plenty of sunshine and it was certainly warmer than back home.
I arrived on the Wednesday before the start of the main programme, joined by a few others over the next days with almost everyone else arriving by Saturday ready for the seven days of the main programme.
We were based in the resort of Can Pastilla, which was still very much out of season for the summer tourist but fully functioning for the cyclists, which was good as the place was teaming with cycling groups.
Our hotel is a large resort hotel but as a group we made our own environment and everyone else was background. The hotel was set back in its own gardens, so nice quiet nights allowing bedroom windows to be flung open all night.
The hotel was very busy this year, indeed it was fully booked. The hotel is certainly pushing for cyclists and there was a noticeable shift from the older Spanish tourists to sporty cyclists. Breakfast and dinner are both self-service buffet and as we were ready for early meals we had our own set of reserved tables. If someone arrived later they could always fit in. We all progressed through the different courses of food at our own rate. Usually followed by a walk along the sea front and a few joining in the line dancing later in the hotel with the other guests.
We had use of the secure bike stores in the hotel, which was rather full this year even after the refit during the passed year.
Can Pastilla is about midway along the sea front cycling path that runs from the harbour in Palma to El Arenal. This path connects with a number of low traffic routes so the need to cycle on any busy road was very minimal. Indeed in just one kilometre from the hotel we could be in small lanes surrounded by flowering fields.
The programme of rides was different this year as I was still recovering from a broken leg I was forbidden by my doctor to lead rides, so others who were regulars to Training Camp had to raise to the challenge to lead rides and they did. Graham reprised his role as a leader and was joined by Julian, Nasser, Helmut, Peter and Tim in leading a variety of rides. During the week a few micro-groups formed to try out more remote routes. Even a car was hired one day to reach to North-East to take in the Formentor peninsula.
For three of the most athletic club members (or at least the most mad) the final challenge of the week had to be an around the island ride in one day covering a route of over 300km but they paid the ultimate price and missed dinner.
Long and short routes were taken across the central plain. We were able to take in all our favourite mountain routes. Much of the mountain range was ridden in sections over the days. The North Coast from Andratx to Esporles. The high mountain section taking in Lluc and Soller was ridden, as was the middle section from Valldemossa to Soller. A small group used the train to shorten the ride then crossed the mountains to ride the Sa Calobra climb. Those not wanting the mountains took full advantage of the maze of lanes east of the resort and enjoyed the sight of fields full of bright wild flowers, reaching locations as far as Petra and Colonia Sant Jordi.
After everyone had left over the weekend I had a few extra days, so continued with further cycling even if on my own. Recuperation progressed well and I managed to clock up over 800km of cycling during my stay.
The trip brings a formal end to winter and after a week cycling on the island I am sure everyone was ready for a summer of cycling.
As with most years we were joined at the hotel with members from the GSWG walking group.
As the event that brings a wide mix of cycling members together each year, plans are underway for next year in April just after Easter.