It’s not always about racing.

I love riding my bike. Whether it’s a quick trip to the shops, a late roller session, a freezing winter ride, Richmond Park laps or Tuesday Palace. Anything on two wheels. I’m happy. Free.

Sometimes I’ve got to just ride a ride to say I can. It has to be ridden. Not to prove anything to anyone but myself.

Last Monday was one of these rides.

After reading and hearing about Sean Yates riding a lap of Majorca while training for the Tour, I felt intrigued to see if I could ride one. Sean rode it in 10 hours 45 minutes for 200 plus miles.

No Racing. Just riding.

Awake at 4am.
6 Weetabix and a coke.
Half a tube of chamois cream applied.
Kit on.
Pockets full of High5 bars.
Bottle filled.
And most importantly, Garmin on!
On the road at 5am.

Riding through the dark, bricking it, hoping cars and trucks would come by, fleetingly illuminating the road. Then gone. Back into darkness. Only the stars to go by. Chugging along.

I reached Palma by ten and checked my Garmin for the first time. Worried the battery wouldn’t last the day I’d not touched it. Just soaking up the new roads and sights. Enjoying the ride. Average speed 23mph. For just under 100 miles. I thought then, I could go for Sean’s record…If the mountains were kind, then maybe…

The sole key aim – Do. Not. Bonk.

Going by this, I ate every 45 minutes. Drinking too. Planning to stop a few times. Only three in the end. My staple foods were Red Bull, Haribo and Snickers. An athletes diet..

Soul key aim – Failed.

Around a mile into Puig Major I reached a dark dark moment.

No more food.
No more water.
No more legs.

This resulted in three mid climb stops. First to have a stretch, secondly to put more kit on and thirdly to have words with myself. I had to crawl, drag, swear my way to the summit knowing that the next food stop would be an hour away at least.

Now for the descents. I needed to make up time after my episode on Puig. The only way to do that, go fast. Downhill. Taking my average speed from 18 mph to 19.2 mph in 25 miles. I think I was too tired to really think about falling off or the speed I was going! Strava PR’s all round. I hit my start / stop point outside Alcudia before dark! Garmin – STOP! !

10 hours. 27 minutes. 34 seconds.

A new record possibly. I should make it a segment on Strava and see who else is mad enough. One thing is for sure, I won’t leave so early next time…

over 20,000ft of climbing!!


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