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Day 4

Today was an ‘active recovery’ ride to the Chocolate Factory Café down the coast at C’an Picafort. We were as usual divided into two groups, but were honoured to have Andrew and Huw with us who immediately bored us all rigid by continually commenting on the slow pace compared to what they were ‘used’ to.

We had in our ranks two unsigned riders, John and Gareth. Andrew and Huw had clearly done an excellent recruitment job on Gareth who had committed to signing for the mighty Dynamos, however, there was still work to be done on John. During the gentle ride down the coast I was at one point cycling behind Carlton and John, with Carlton extoling the virtues of the Aces. Clearly this far from objective, one-sided view of John’s options had to be challenged. I therefore felt duty bound to point out to John, a man of some style and immaculate appearance, the shocking clash of colours and rather dated style of the Aces kit compared to the clean, contemporary lines of our shirts that go with anything (a fact acknowledged even by their own fashion coordinator). I could see John was wavering so went in for the kill and offered a free bottle upon signing. Only time will tell…

The 12 mile ride to the café saw us sitting in the glorious sun looking out over a wide bay with the sun twinkling off the occasional ripple on the surface (forecast spot on Sweaty). Despite breakfast having been consumed what seemed only a matter of minutes previously, it was a large slice of chocolate gateau all round (Huw and I did, however, go for the healthy option with a slice of lemon meringue pie).

It was now shopping time. Rumours abounded that there was good value cycling kit to be had from a chain of shops run by a large cycling tour company Max Hurzeler. The first shop was just up from the beach and a group of about 15 of us descended upon it like a swarm of locusts. It was indeed the promised land if you were prepared to be a walking advert for the tour company.

We had been warned that the weather in Majorca could be variable and to bring waterproofs, so I started the week with my winter rain jacket strapped to the back of the saddle. This prompted many unflattering comments asking if it was a tent or perhaps a parachute to slow me down on the hills. I was therefore drawn in to a lightweight semi-transparent wind and waterproof jacket that packed down into a small pouch. This was ideal not only because of its size, but you could see our stunning Dynamos shirts through it.

Not satisfied with one shop, there was apparently a bigger and better shop just down the coast so off we went. Down to one pair of decent shorts, the next purchase was a fetching pair of black red and white bib shorts in the hope they might match the Dynamos shirt. Carlton, clearly swayed by my pep talk to John on the relative merits of our kit, was also seen sneaking out with a similar pair of shorts. Kim, unable to contain herself in the unfolding retail frenzy bought some cycling mits.

Shopped out, thoughts turned once again to food so it was back to Port Pollenca for lunch. Toros, the traditional cycling venue was full, so we carried on along the bay to find a very acceptable venue in the now roasting sun for a pint and something to eat.

We had by this point adopted a new honouree member to the ‘Taffioso’ clique. Robbie was part of the RAF contingent who were on the camp as part of their ‘Adventure Training’ programme and so were effectively on duty (i.e. we were paying for their holiday). As they all came from different bases, they didn’t necessarily know each other and Robbie was the only one who didn’t have the official RAF kit. At only 22 (and 6’ 4”) and seemingly abandoned by his fellow servicemen, he looked a bit lost so we adopted him. A careless application of sun tan cream on day one on his pale limbs resulted in an interesting piece of modern living art that caused us all much amusement and him much pain.

Before we knew it, it was supper time and despite the rather sedentary day devoted to eating and shopping, we still managed to pack supper down in anticipation of riding the ‘Big One’ the following day. Not much to report at the evening meeting other than a warning about the weather forecast and how it might affect the plans for the following day. A quick nightcap after the meeting and early nights all round (apart from Pat and Brian who continued to attempt to empty the mythical wine lake).