It’s no secret that Majorca has some of the greatest road cycling routes in the northern hemisphere, but in order to test how diverse a traveller’s cycling experience should be in order to tackle some of the most impressive on the island, we decided to ask the experts.
A trio of the UK’s leading cycle influencers Sophie Radcliffe, Hayley Jane Warnes and Emma Lax, and two of Germany’s – Radelmädchen and Linderella recently took to the hills of the Spanish island with the purpose of uncovering the highs, the lows, and the routes with the most outstanding views – you can see what they got up to here.
We caught up with the cyclists on their return to the UK, to find out why they think Majorca is the perfect place for a cycle break.
What do you like most about Majorca?
Sophie: Majorca is the perfect destination for me because it has the mountains, the beautiful ocean on either side, the weather, and it’s just such an amazing place to cycle.
The landscape in Majorca blows you away, we’ve seen the most beautiful coves and beaches, the blue glistening water, you just feel like as you’re cycling up a mountain you can’t wait to go and dive in that water. With the delicious food as well, it’s the whole package.
Hayley Jane: I think Majorca’s just the perfect place to ride your bike, try a few routes, spend the afternoon on the beach, enjoy nice food, have a glass of wine… It’s such a good mix!
What did you know about Majorca before your recent trip?
Emma: I did know that Majorca was very cycling-friendly and it’s somewhere that’s been on my radar, but I think also had a bit of fear that it was more of a professional cycling space. A lot of the people that I’ve known who have been before have been much more experienced cyclists, but it’s opened my eyes up to the fact that Majorca is really accessible.
Linda (Linderella): A few friends of mine have been to Majorca to cycle too, but I never knew how incredible the roads were and how breath-taking the landscapes were. I definitely wouldn’t come to Majorca again without doing a cycle tour. That would not be an option for me anymore!
What is the best thing about cycling in Majorca?
Sophie: What I love about the routes here is that the gradient is really accessible. The climbs here are really tough, but they’re not as tough as what you find in the Alps, which are steeper and longer. Here it’s a perfect combination and it definitely presents a challenge without 100% being in the Pain Cave.
The roads are super smooth and the cars are really accommodating for cyclists because it’s an island that’s so friendly and they want a lot of people to come here and cycle. This is literally my dream cycling destination. You’ve got plain roads, people that are very accommodating, beautiful views and the climate is just amazing. It’s perfect.
Hayley Jane: I don’t know anywhere in the world that has road surfaces like here. Literally nowhere. I also love the heat, I’m the weirdo that likes cycling in the heat – I don’t know why, it’s quite masochistic, but I love that.
Emma: It has really nice gradients on the climbs, so it’s hard and challenging, but also doable for everyday people and someone who wouldn’t describe themselves as a pro or an aspiring pro.
Juliane (Radelmädchen): I love the landscapes in Majorca because they are incredibly diverse. At some point we were down by the sea, then in the middle of a forest, and then at the top of a hill with amazing views. Plus the weather is great.
What appeals to you about cycling holidays?
Sophie: I love holidays that incorporate cycling because, while I love the idea of lying on a beach, it’s 100 times better if it comes after cycling up a mountain, getting all hot and sweaty and feeling like you’ve had that achievement and you’ve got something to celebrate. You feel like you’ve really earnt your relaxation at the end of the day.
What has been the best part of your trip?
Hayley Jane: My favourite climb has been the Mirador. We did it quite late in the day so it was quite hot, but it was a really manageable climb, really enjoyable and the view from the top was so worth it.
What does the perfect day cycling look like?
Hayley Jane: For me, it’s getting up early, spending four or five hours in the saddle, stopping for food or coffee half way and then heading straight down to the sea.
Emma: For me, a perfect day’s cycling would be a great girl gang, which I’ve had here, some amazing scenery, an opportunity to dip in the lake or the sea at the end of the day, some good coffee and good food.
Linda (Lindarella): The perfect day cycling for me would be one that involved a really big breakfast, a super beautiful route,and a great bunch of people that not only motivate you but inspire you and help you pull through the difficult bits. It would also preferably be close to the sea so that you can just jump in, with a perfect sunset to end the day!
What would you say has influenced your appetite to be challenged?
Sophie: I struggled with confidence a lot when I was younger – I got bullied at school and I really struggled to find out who I was and find my way in life. And then I found this passion for pushing your limits. I feel like the world always tries to put you in a box or tries to tell you can’t do something or put barriers around you and we need to feel empowered. Cycling and adventure and challenging myself has been my way of finding out that I can go and do that and I just think that you’ve got to go and prove to yourself that you can, there’s no one else who can do that for you and there’s no other way to believe in yourself.
What do you visualise to push yourself through tough challenges?
Sophie: Getting to the top, the views, the sense of satisfaction, the joy and freedom of cycling down the other side. Physically I love to push myself and feel what it’s like going through that pain barrier, that’s the motivation for me!
I also always think about why I’m doing this. My theory is we have two options in life and that’s either to stop when it gets hard, and that’s not just when you’re cycling a mountain but also when you have tough things going on in your career or your personal life, or you can keep going, and I always want to be the person that finds a way to keep going.
For me that mental resilience, that personal courage, that confidence and self-belief of ‘yes I can get through that’, that is the thing that is most important to me in my life, so that’s why I love challenging myself and I love cycling up mountains because you get to practice that. When you get to the top you’re like ‘I was the person that kept going when it got really tough’ and then you feel a huge sense of achievement. That has become a huge pillar of my life.
How has cycling and rising to these challenges impacted you and your life?
Sophie: It has helped me build confidence and shown me that I need to go out there and grab my life, create opportunities and not be afraid of the unknown. Challenging yourself helps you learn your limits and grow into being the best person you can be!
If you’re considering a cycling holiday in Majorca yourself but need that extra push, why not check out the beautiful video that the girls starred in while out on the island – that will no doubt help concrete your plans.