The Cycling House hosted our 3rd annual camp in Mallorca, Spain. Mallorca is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea between the mainland of Spain and Algeria. The geography of the island consists of; dramatic coastlines, the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range and the central island farmlands with over 4 million almond and olive trees. The island is rich in history, culture and cuisine. The first documented inhabitants date back to the paleolithic period from 6000-4000 BC. In more recent history Mallorca was dominated by the Moors from 902-1229 AD. On December 31, 1229 King James I of Aragon conquered the Moors and took control of the island. In the early 18th century the War of Spanish Succession resulted in Mallorca entering the unified Spanish monarchy. In 1716 Mallorca officially became a part of the Spanish province of Baleares. Influences of the Moors still remain as well as the previous sources of income; vineyards and olive groves.
Tourism has become Mallorcas economy and over 8 million tourists visit the island annually. Mallorca is dominated by the beach scene and the majority of the tourists spend their time in Palma de Mallorca the islands capital. The remainder of the island sees much less tourist traffic and the small backroads offers some of the best road cycling options in the world. Cycling has become another major revenue source for the island and many Europeans frequent the island during the winter months to get in some training. Team Sky of the pro peloton has hosted several training camps on the island. Mallorca has also become the host to an Ironman 70.3 event and has recently scene a dramatic increase in triathletes travelling to the island both for training and racing.
The warm spring climate made Mallorca a great venue for The Cycling House after we close up our doors in Tucson. We have been fortunate to work with Ken Whepdale an American transplant to Mallorca Spain. Ken works for USA cycling as team leader for both the UCI world championships and the Olympics. Sam Schultz recommended Ken to Owen and the rest is history. Ken knows the island very well and his family adds a unique Mallorcan touch to the camp. Ken’s wife Magda and mother & father in law have helped out at all of the TCH camps in Mallorca and this year they had major rules and were a huge part of our success. Tony and Ero (Ken’s father & mother in law) with Ero cooking all of our lunches and dinners and Tony support driving and assisting Ero in the kitchen. It made for a very unique touch and everyone was able to indulge in many of the traditional Mallorcan dishes. The Paella was a huge hit and it came just in time after an epic de on Sa Calobra; an 8 mile descent down to the Mediterranean.
Our week of cycling Mallorca was magical and we had some great rides, amazing food & wine, and new friendships formed. Cycling in Mallorca is easy because it is a huge part of their culture and economy. The roads are very small and often times just big enough for a car. However the best part is that you never feel vulnerable on a bike because the majority of the population is very supportive of cycling. Having a local guide allowed us to get on some of the best kept secrets of roads and routes. We had a good supply of some of the staple Hammer Nutriton products on hand for campers to use as well. The cycling was epic and we made sure to make plenty of stops for cafe and cortados.
Needless to say The Cycling House will be keeping Mallorca Spain on schedule for 2014. Check out The Cycling House website for 2014 dates. Until next year….