But before you do, let me apply a little bit of chamois cream on me bottom to help prevent chafing. This was the first cycling related thing I haven’t done for a number of years until this point. The second was getting into full lycra. The third, and it now seems inevitable, will be the clipping in and out of the clipless pedals once more whilst wearing some awfully stiff shoes.
Firstly, however, we had to walk to Niu Wave Bicycles, where we were collecting the hire bikes, 1.2km away. Down country lanes. Past cute, stray cats. In flip flops (we were in the flip flops, not the cat). The questionable footwear choices were just unrelenting.
Still, our rides for the next four days, mine, the shop’s own brand NWB, were ready for us when we arrived and once my pedals were attached we were good to go. Riding on the actual roads. Starting with one of the main ones. Near a big roundabout. No better place to start getting used to the shoes again. And so I did. How very undramatic.
Anyway, I had plenty of time acclimatising to the bike before the ride proper, as we had to go back to the apartment to pick up some forgotten water bottles and drop off some flip flops. Our gentle warm up ride of just over 30km went from the Old Town Alcudia to the Port, past a couple of British Cycling vans (after this holiday, it’ll just be a matter of time before we get the call up) across to the Platja d’Alcanada before doubling back past the bike shop and along a very convenient and smooth cycle path to the Port de Pollenca along the side of the bay.
We didn’t spend long in Pollenca as it was an off season building site and there was a lot of dodging of work men and pot holes required to navigate the promenade, so one big loop around the town later we were back on to another cycle path and, apart from coming across a crazy, weaving mountain biker who seemed to like moving eratically across into our path, our trip back towards Alcudia and the apartment passed without incident.
Cycling is hungry and thirsty work, so after a shower to remove the chamois cream more that anything, we went to the market place and the Cafeteria El Passeig to eat a lot of tapas and sample some Estrella Galicia beer, at the waiter’s recommendation, before heading off for another walk, this time to the supermarket, again in flip flops, again along country roads and again in the company of cats.
Alcudia – Platja d’Alcanada – Port de Pollenca: 32.7km