April 27, 2015 at 5:38 pm #28112butcherboyMember
Clover, Huw and I have just spent the weekend in Majorca riding the 312. Which is 312k or 193miles around the island. The route starts in Playa de Muro which is in the north east of the island and takes you anti clockwise around the coast.
We were on the start line at 6.20am ready for a 7.oo start, all very nervous. I really wasn’t looking forward to the start, even though the first 25k was closed roads the thought of 3000 cyclists starting together worried me.
Huw and I were side by side with Clover just behind. There were cyclists jumping over the barriers trying to get up front rather than take their place at the back. one cyclist jumped over and kicked Clovers back wheel. He quickly checked there was no damage and thought no more about it. Little did we know at the time there was damage, and 1.3miles after the start the chain jammed, it turned out the jockey wheel at the back was kicked and twisted and his day was over. Gutted for him.
7am came and off we went, the start wasn’t that bad. We all quickly dispersed, I asked Huw after about 4/5k where was Clover. And we thought we could see him about 100metres in front of us, little did we know at that stage what had happened to him. Huw and I arranged before hand that we would go at our own pace, and after about 20k we parted company.
For those of you who have been to Majorca you will know the mountains are all in the north, and that’s where the first 100k was taking us. The climbs aren’t that steep but they are long. First climb up to Puig Major is the highest point on the route, which is 56k from the start, a climb of around 30k. For the next 100k it was pretty much up and down, with climbs of around 4-6k at around 5% average.
We went through the capital Palma at 150k. Again we had a closed road of around 5k in the middle of the city, but it was very busy, I didn’t like that and I was beginning to hit a mental block on the ride. Knowing I was not even half way around wasn’t a good feeling and I had to give myself a good talking to!
Once out of the city I felt a lot better and picked up the wheel of a German who was flying, we picked up another Spanish and English guy along the way and the four of us worked well and we were eating up the miles. And then typical of me, we took a wrong turn somewhere and ending up in a small fishing village with no signs. We all swore at the same time in our different languages. The Spanish guy spoke to a local and it turned out we were only 4k off the route (not bad for me, I have been known to be a lot further off route than that!!).
We quickly joined the route and made good time to a feed station in Ses Salines which was 224k into the ride. Jan, Helen and Chris who had hired a car for the day had arranged to meet us there. It was nice to see them as I rode in. I asked them what time did Clover go through and it was then that they told me what had happened, couldn’t believe it.
I left them at the feed station and, looking around I found I was on my own. I didn’t want to cycle the last 90k on my own. I could see in front of me a group in the far distance and looking behind a cyclist was about 200metres behind me. I was in the middle. As I caught the group in front the chap behind also caught up. He didn’t hang around, he flew straight past the group. I was feeling ok then so I jumped on his wheel. It turned out to be a great decision, because he was very strong. He was German but spoke good English and we worked well together. We rode the last 70+k together in just over 2hours with him probably doing about 60% of the work.
What a feeling it was to see the finishing line. I got in at around 5.30pm, after cycling just over 10 and half hours. Clover was there to cheer us over the line and have a beer ready for me. Which after what he went through was fantastic. Huw came in just after and he agreed it was a very special day.
Great event, plenty of feed stations which were well stocked, they even had sun cream for us. Plenty of marshals who were stopping the traffic at almost every roundabout we went through.
If you can, get over to Majorca, its a great place to ride a bike.April 27, 2015 at 6:27 pm #28114Sweaty EdsMember
Sounds amazing, mate. Bloody well done to you and Huw.
Real shame about the Clover Train.April 27, 2015 at 7:15 pm #28117RogerMember
See comment on Huw’s post…..gutted for Clover…and you ..as I’m sure you anticipated getting on the trainApril 27, 2015 at 8:30 pm #28118MatGMember
Well done both excellent ride huw absolutely fantastic andrew & nightmare my sympathies cloverApril 29, 2015 at 6:04 am #28126stumpyMember
Congrats to you Andrew and Huw a real shame for Clover maybe he can make up for it on the Narcar
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