We are eating at ristorante il Giardino in the town of Polencia. There are kids playing in the court yard and we are sitting outdoors drinking vino and absorbing our awesome trip.
Today's rides was 87 or 53 + miles and considered a recovery ride with a stop half way. We had lunch at such a romantic and absolutely old world feel restaurant. Three course meal with the ambiance of an old fashioned court yard made this a dream destination .......I will be back with my wife to take in the culture, sip some more vino and eat to my hearts content. This afternoons lunch reinforced my love for this island and the ride to the top of yet another mountain with gradients from 4 to 6 to 10% over looking the island was to die for! The amount of effort it took to reach the top was nothing compared to the vista and majestic panoramic view I witnessed to end my journey in Mallorca. I found myself thanking God once again for this experience.
The ride back was without surprise. We flew back with me being used as the sacrificial lamb. Scott the stud said, " come on Pablo...pull us along!" So with my ego in high gear, I did all I can to make the triathletes proud and hold a strong steady pace up each climb. It felt like an 8 mile stretch and when the final sprint came to fruition I was no where to be found........but I did my job and pulled with honor.....with my heart in my mouth!
Break time......here is some more experiences from the campers;
Yesterday was the epic mountain stage. Everyone was nervous with anticipation of the 14 km climb that was looming. As we took off one by one to tackle the climbs, I latched onto the back wheel of Jose's and put my head down. Jose set a blistering pace that was hard to keep up with. Thank god he slowed down a bit and paced me steadily up the hill. As my heart rate climbed with the altitude, Jose steadily counted down the distance and pushed us further up the hill. The view from the top was breath-taking. What a day. Thanks for the ride of a life-time, Jose.......your new climbing buddy, David.
Third time back and just as challenging and beautiful as the first. This is truly a cyclists playground. And one of the most scenic landscapes on the planet. I cannot imagine my life without this annual Mecca. And as for today's "race" back into town......I couldn't have done it without you Jose ! Righteous leadout !!......." The stud," Scott.
Well firstly Scott's 'victory' will need to re-assessed. Some dirty tactics to isolate his main opposition from 30 k out means a re run is in order. The best battle of the trip was up soller the previous day. navy seal Paul made young Paul w enter the pain cave like never before! Jamming to sugar hill gang with Jose, Matty Long, and the rest of the crew on the last night made my trip complete.
I arrived In Mallorca with only a few miles under my belt. I suffered on day one attempting to pace the group and at times redlining. Days two though four destroyed my legs, my endurance and confidence. Climbing 14k on day five was the first day I could settle in and find my own pace. Day six I was fit.
This fucking guy keeps breaking my balls! Matt Long
The best part of each ride is to hear the words out of Hose-B's mouth when he sees the view at the top of the climb. Just classic! We love Jose!! Vic and Meg
P.s. don't tell him we spiked his drink! We heart Gareth!
And the extreme bike riding just wasn't enough for Jose so he had to get his run and swim in afterwards. Don't ya just luv the guy?!? Liz and Paul
Justin: I have never been to a more amazing place in my life. Mallorca has great climbs, descents, and the ocean all in one place. Spending this week with this group has been great fun. We all have meshed so well,in both riding and socializing. The great part about suffering uphill all day is enjoying a glass of wine and great food at the end of the day. Thanks so much for the company Jose!
Greg: I knew the riding was going to be both beautiful and epic. I did not expect to meet such a lovely group of people. I am just a guy with a bike surrounded by great people with extraordinary stories, which has transformed these rides into a community journey. I have made some great new friends, which are even more memorable than this memorable trip.
Willis: This was a crazy trip for me; a series a first. First time I have ever been to Mallorca. First time I have ever been on a cycling trip. First time I have ever had a bike accident. After 4 days of incredible riding and painful climbs, I had a pretty nasty accident that resulted in a fractured arm. While I didn't get to finish the ride, I learned so much from everyone and got the cycling bug even stronger. I'm going to finish what I started next year but in the interim I am going to enjoy the great friendships that I made.....On a side note, Jose has drug dealer like qualities. I was on the verge of bonking every day until he made some concoction that had me riding like a mad man. The nurses questioned what I was on when I went to the hospital and all I could say was "Jose gave me something." Can't wait to get on the bike again.
Heh, this is Lenny's; I have ridden in Mallorca twice; this year was off the charts amazing: the riding is always incredible, but this year the people were incredibly special, the sunshine never ending. The laughter unending, the Spanish food and wine was to die for--- and the memories are going to last a lifetime. Lenny S.
High I'm Rick .. I was introduced to this man from my good friend Lenny. I introduced Mr Lopez to nutrition whom he is convinced it is not legal. I have to say Mr Lopez is extremely talented and has passed me on most of the climbs ,,...... See you next year
Next is Tim........
Hi, I'm Tim, from Larchmont, NY, close to NYC. I've been coming to Mallorca for 5 years--it's an addictive experience to come to one of the best cycling destinations in the world to get an early start on the cycling season. The camaraderie, beautiful roads, climbing and fun keep me coming back year after year. I'm now 60 years old and have been cycling and racing for over 40 years. This kind of physical effort is challenging at my age but it's so satisfying to climb Puig de Major or Sa Calobra and convinces me that this can be a lifelong experience that starts when you're a young competitor and keeps going until you're oldish like me. Tim Porter
Ok, we arrived back at the hotel and assembled in a conference room to view a culminating video of our cycling around the island of Mallorca. Great way to end the most memorable vacation I have ever been on.
We walked out of the video hugging one another and vowing to meet on the roads of Mallorca next year. Until that happens I am confident that many of you will be on a ride leaving from my home or on a destination ride to Bear Mountain and get an opportunity to meet up with one of the great individuals I have had the pleasure of spending 8 days riding, climbing, descending, pulling, pushing, laughing, eating, drinking and on the magnificent island of Mallorca, Spain.
Having shared with my wife was a blessing and made for a complete experience beyond our expectations.
I will end by thanking Paul Levine and the GPM 10 group for making this journey a most memorable one. First class and five star rating for sure!
Pictures and video to come.......