Published: April 24th 2009April 24th 2009
Typical breakfast prior to cycling
Good News, I fell asleep last night fast and woke with no headache, which means all systems go for another big day of cycling. We started of with a plan which we stuck to for the most part. We headed via bike path to St Eugenia, which is a lovely town, it is the one with the lovely windmill, actually many of the mallorcan towns have windmills that look very dutch. After a little research I found out that they were originally flour mills. Speaking of we saw what looked like fields of wheat near the shore. Some of them are still in use, most are not, and in one town they have converted it to a cafe. After Eugenia we headed to Algaida which is the home to cafe Suc. Friday is market day in Algaida so the town square was hoppin. We decdied to skip suc and have lunch in a new town. If you recall I was dragging out of Algaida several days ago. It was still hard but not as hard, so I don't know if that is because of wind or my legs are getting used to cycling daily. We circled around town looking for the
on the path to nowhere
bike path to llucmajor because the bike path is lovely and the highway is not. We spent 10 minutes trying to find it with no luck or should I say lluc. Anyway we got on the highway which is difficult for several reasons the traffic is not as patient with cyclists and the wind is worse because the small roads are more protected. After a few little hills we flew into llucmajor. I don't know if I have mentioned the round-a-bouts or traffic circles but they are plentiful in Mallorca. It is just like a traffic circle in America but mix cars, big trucks and bikes. It is a little daunting the first time, but we have been through 50 or so now. The general rule is wait for an opening jump in and point the direction you are headed with your entire arm the whole time. People have been very nice for the most part, with only a few cars not getting over enough. At this point we took a look at the map and really couldn't decide which way to go we were headed to Santayni but found a bike path that was really inviting so we decided
to take the road to nowhere. It was a great road and we cruised easily still not sure where we were headed. We ended up seeing signs for a town called Ses Salines. So we headed to Ses Salines for lunch. Ed has been talking about eating tapas since he found our this was his Christmas gift and so far no tapas. So today Ed was really hoping for some tapas. We found a great looking cafe, much more upscale that we usually choose for lunch. They had great outside seats and umbrellas and were already serving a large group of German cyclists. We sit down and ask for an English menu, no luck their menu is in either Spanish or German. We were kicking ourselves for not learning any Spanish. Then the waitress asks if we want tapas. So Ed eagerly shakes his head yes to make sure she understands how much he wants tapas. She brings the tapas menu in Spanish. We pour over the menu, almost choose the Empanadas which we know and love. But the waitress sends someone to our table who speaks a little English. She assures us that the tapas are great so we
say Si. She brings us a lovely plate of olives, salt, salsa, something that looks like yogurt. Then she brings our plates of tapas. It included a very red sausage, little meatballs, diced potatoes, liver and mushrooms and potato salad with a pickled herring on top. Well, I actually like liver and all in all it was tasty and different, but I don't think it is quite what Ed had in mind. We will see if he opts for the tapas tomorrow or sticks with the Pa amb Oli.
After lunch we decided that we really needed to actually ride the few more kilometers to the south shore. We choose a location that would allow us to ride along the coast. We got to the coast in Sa Rapita and road several kilometers along beautiful blue water with cafes, and houses on the other side of the road. It was a good flat ride. The sun was out full force today, the warmest weather we have had and I have the tell tell signs on my arms and legs where I missed with the sunscreen. We found another bike path that would take us back to Llucmagor where we found
the square and Ed had a Mallorcan devil dog. Which is a chocolate filled chocolate covered croissant. We agreed that on the hills coming out of llucmagor heading into Algaida we would meet at the top it is about 4 kilometers. Ed beat me up the hills but I was not too far behind and he got on one of our favorite bike path. It is shaded which I needed and has beautiful houses, I found one I would like just fine, in case anyone is wondering what to get me for my 40th. This road has some uphills, but not awful, in fact I would compare them to RAGBRAI rolling hills.
RAGBRAI for anyone who does not know is a wonderful bike ride across Iowa. Replace the sheep with pigs, the orange and olive trees with corn and soybeans and the Pa Amb Oli with Corn on the cob and Pork Chops. Basically it is a lot like riding in Mallorca. Oh the most important part is replace luxury hotel with tent set up by the great folks at Pork Belly. Oh and replace the luxurious showers with the local swimming pool. Other than that it is just like
Actually I love RAGBRAI and anyone who loves to cycle or thinks they might like to cycle has to do RAGBRAI. It is not just a test of your legs but of your ability to live like a pig. "live like a pig" is the motto of Pork Belly which is the group that hauls our stuff around, sets up tents in the baking sun and feeds us endless cookies. Tammy and Pete who run Pork Belly Rock!
Ok back to my lovely bike path from llucmajor to Algaida. We were going down a pretty big hill and Ed was flying, he later said he was practicing his decent which is more scary that uphill. As he is almost at the bottom he rounds a corner and the road is full of kids in the 12 to 14 age range just hanging out. They make no move to move so Ed has to stop and they are anxious to chat, I arrive in a few seconds and they really want to talk to us. We try to explain that we don't speak Spanish, they want to now where we are from. They are very excitied that we are
from America. I felt bad that we could not communicate with them because they wanted to so bad, you could tell they did not want us to go on. They were very nice, but we said Adios and headed into Algaida. We then headed back to Saint Eugenia where I took a wrong turn and got us back on the wind tunnel highway that Ed hates. I noticed coming into Saint Eugenia that Ed looked very uncomfortable, he asked me how I was doing, so I said "great- No pain at all" He wanted to shoot me They funny thing is, Ed is much faster in general although we ride together, but when it comes to enduring discomfort I am much better. My mom would laugh because as a child I hated any discomfort at all. I chalk it up to going on wheat harvest as a kid, plus I have two of the unwhinest parents ever. I am positive that if my dad decided to ride a bike he could accomplish the tour de france and say what's next. Ed loves to be comfortable, which is why I am surprised he enjoys cycling so much because it is a ton of fun, but comes with the occasional discomfort. Martin who did RAGBRAI with us 2 years ago can vouch that Ed whines the most. Anyway, I took Ed back on the wind tunnel, he survived and I rewarded him by getting home in time to go to the spa and use what we thought was they hot tub. It is a cold tub. Ok at least our legs should benefit from cold jets. My map guy has just informed me that we did 81 miles today. That deserves one big Yahoooooooooooooo!
Several cycling notes, for anyone who cares. We started by riding regular cheap hybrid bikes. I mentioned to a friend that I had been riding my bike a lot and she said well do you clip in? I had no idea what she was talking about so she sent me to Paul Fabish. Paul is a guru of bikes. He outfitted my cheap bike with clip pedals and I got my first pair of bike shoes, bike shorts and a second water bottle holder. I started going longer distances and agreed to do the 50 mile steeple chase with a friend. I overtrained and when it was over said let's do a century. I did the century with Ed, it turned into 120 miles because we got lost, but at that point we were both hooked, we invested in "real" road bikes and have not looked back. We both ride guru racelight bikes, which are not common, but think lightweight. There are tons of great roadbikes, so just find one you like. We rented Giants here in Mallorca and brought our own pedals and seats. They have been great. I use a little round pedal called speedplay, I call them lollypop due to the shape. Ed uses look pedals which are pretty common, what you see most people using. We both use Rocket shoes, which are form fitted to your foot. They are good and if you wear them out, they fix them for you. Ed has sent his in once and mine will need to go in this fall. As far as clothing, we are not traditional in the sense that a lot of people will buy jerseys that represent a team. I would feel like I was wearing a redskins jersey at a game so I don't do that. I love Terry cycling for women they have great shorts and shirts. The assos brand glove is amazing, much better than Pearl Izumi. for socks I can use almost any bike sock. I never get blisters from my shoes, so almost anything works. For helmets, find one that is comfortable because you have it on for hours. Oh and don't forget cycling glasses, the wind will drive your eyes nuts if you don't wear them.