Mallorca Training Camp: Cap de Formentor

This ride was an easier outing after doing a significant amount of climbing the previous day. We set out with the aim of extending the route on the way back depending on how we felt later on in the ride.

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First view point of Cap de Formentor route.

The route began very flat as we cruised alongside the coastline heading towards the north of the island. The first climb was mostly in shade and led us to a stunning view point where we regrouped and took pictures. From here the route was rolling and we all settled into our own rhythm. The sunny, clear blue skies and the Balearic sea provided a stunning backdrop throughout. We were heading to the northernmost point of the island where there was a lighthouse amongst the cliffs.

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Well earned treats from the lighthouse coffee shop.

We reached the top of the lighthouse to discover that there was a production crew filming scenes for a film. We also found a small coffee shop, we settled here for a short while tucking into the treats on offer.

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At the lighthouse. The group, from right to left; Jav, Abu Thamim, Monjur and me.

 
 

We then headed back the way we came. At the first viewing point we bumped into quite a few cyclists including some from England. Monjur then decided to split off from the main group to do reps of the climb. The three of us then set off to Sa Pobla, a small town around 20KM from our hotel with the intention of finding a masjid to perform jummu’ah (Friday prayers).

We arrived in Sa Pobla and spotted a sister who gave us directions towards the town square. As we headed in this direction, we spotted what seemed like a grocery shop. It turned out the shop was in fact a halal butchers owned by a very helpful Arab brother. With a combination of broken Arabic and sign language, we managed to get directions to a local masjid. The masjid looked quite unassuming from outside, however inside it was very spacious and also had a separate floor for sisters.

Smashfest Training Camp: Cycling in Mallorca

It all began in March last year when someone suggested we go abroad for a cycling trip. I decided to go because I hadn’t done something like it before and also saw it as a good opportunity to bond with individuals in the group.

Our group consisted of four people (including myself). Abu Thamim, who conquered Stelvio earlier this year, planned and organised everything for this trip. Javed, based in Birmingham brought a wealth of experience and a steely mental resolve. The final addition to the group was Monjur who is more known by his reputation for randomly attempting cycling activities extreme in nature.

It was decided early on that we’ll be heading to the Spanish island of Mallorca as it is a well known and popular destination for road cyclists, amatuer and pros alike.

As I began reading about Mallorca and the popular cycling routes, I realised that most of the routes will involve a significant amount of climbing. The climbs were long in length and the gradients were testing. A lot featured hairpin bends; something that is alien in England (especially in the South!). Not having the opportunity to test myself on similar climbs beforehand made me feel apprehensive. All sorts of thoughts ran through my mind; would I be able to make it up Sa Calobra without stopping? Will I be reduced to the walk of shame on Puig Major?