Sa Calobra

Lluc to Sa Calobra
30 miles
Height gain 1280 m
Date 22nd October 2015

 

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It felt freezing cold as we Parked at Lluc monastery and got ready for the famous cycle ride ahead of us. Pleased to have brought warmer gear, it was certainly needed. The mist in the mountain tops looked menacing, once on the bike it started to clear and we made our way along the pretty pine tree road to the start of the Sa calabra.

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Looking down into the valleys below, solitary villas sitting proudly with poplar trees making you feel that you were in the Tuscan hills. A Cafe sits at the top, fresh Orange juice advertised for the weary but happy cyclist. A warning sign states heavy coach traffic between 1pm and 3pm. I look at the time, shucks it’s just turning one.

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We head off down, that becomes an accent for 2kms passing a sign that declares we are on the scariest mountain cycle ride in Majorca. Twenty six beautiful hairpins a sheer construction nightmare but a road to be marvelled at clinging the the mountain side. My brakes just held all the way down to the tiny port with its registered flocks of tourist and bobbing boats on the choppy sea.

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We didn’t linger long, the ride was beckoning and the coaches were starting to queue.

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Once a steady rhythm was found the ride was a total delight, the scenery wipes all thoughts of aching legs away. With so much to see around every corner, a photographer, must dream about such a road. Bright turquoise  sea, Cobalt sky, mountain goats strutting on the Ochre boulders and with towering clifftops.

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A few hairpins at 11 degrees with a  compact gear system all was ok but mainly a steady 7 degrees. The cafe was reached not in a super fast time like a sky rider in around 30 minutes , freshly cut Orange and a can of coke replenished our tired legs and set us on the way along the cliff top rode back to Lluc.

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A stunning ride for all keen cyclists to Majorca, not to be missed. We finished the day in Port Pollenca with a fabulous big bowl of homemade chilli con carne washed down

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Port Pollenca to Formentor

Port Pollenca to Formentor lighthouse

25 miles
Height gain 860 m
Date 18th October 2015

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A sunny Sunday morning in mid Autumn. Bright Blue skies, a warm 23 degrees day. Perfect cycling weather with smells of fragrant husky pines and fresh Rosemary resplendent with tiny liliac flowers. 

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Busy traffic was a pain in the bum, but didn’t stop the exhilarating beauty  of this  dramatic coastal ride. Plenty of cyclists and even some sunshine skiers made their way up the first part of the ride from the pretty port.
Steady percentage of around 6 to 7 percent, I would guess, got the legs working and the heat beating.

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A dramatic scene of cliffs tumbling steeply, into the waiting  azore blue sea demanded a photo stop on the first summit. Freewheel down through the pines to the exclusive resort for the rich to Formentor.

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Back to pedalling, passing sheep and goats shading under the Olive trees, casting wonderful shadows that pleased the artist eye.
Around the cliff tops and back into view, a vast ocean empty except for a yacht enjoying the day.

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The lighthouse is spotted at the end of the peninsula. An undulating road of such beauty  beckons  the cyclist with a mountainous finish worthy of ventoux. Just a shame the Sunday traffic is queuing to park.

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Back the way we came, I forgot to mention the dark short tunnel, that I hate!!!!! But a super super ride to appreciate the beat of Formentor.

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Cockermouth Tour of Britain

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An early morning visit to Cockermouth to see the start of the Tour of Britain 2015.

Sunny skies and masses of crowds it felt like the tour de France. Bunting and happy faces and best of all the cycle teams jostling for space down the main high street.

 

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Whinlatter Pass and Newlands pass

Whinlatter Pass and Newlands pass

Start :Portinscale Miles 22.5 miles

Height gain :2,272 ft

 

A stunning classic ride starting from Portinscale, through the village of Braithwaite and immediately start the climb on Whinlatter pass. This beautiful little pass glimpses views onto Skiddaw and beyond. Over the lake they call Bassenthwaite and on towards the west coast. Climbing steeply through the Pines with light twinkling between the leaves onto the tarmac road. The summit is soon reached a couple of miles of steady 15% and then downhill all the way through quiet Lakeland scenery to the village of Lorton.

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After Lorton head towards Buttermere. The famous Lakeland Lorton show was in full force has we cycled by with Shepherds and tourists milling around in the afternoon sunshine.

The next chapter of this stunning ride is Crummock water with towering peaks on the western shore. Light glistening on the dark threatening lake. The next pass will be on your mind. Gears at the ready for the steep ride out of Buttermere

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Stop if you dare but the heart will need to pick up pace. Mighty and beautiful Newlands pass  with a max of twenty five percent, this will get the heart racing. Steep drops and magnificent scenery will take your mind off the climb, but the final hairpin will having you gasping for air.

A truly splendid ride for any cyclist wanting a little drama.

 

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Stage two Tour de Yorkshire

A fantastic day out, especially for a Yorkshire girl. I never thought that we would get such an amazing view right on the finishing line. It was even better with two extra loops of York included in the race, so the excitement and adrenalin raced by three times. Each time I tried to see the great Sir Bradley Wiggins, in his own racing team ‘Wiggins’.

Saturday’s stage was a 174km run from Selby to York. The speed that they raced by was fast and it was a fleeting moment of wind gushing cycles and colourful lycra , luckily no crashes on the finishing line. A big shame the day before that Ben Swift came a cropper on a nasty switchback.

I managed to capture Brad and also watched Bernard Hinalt on the finishing line watching the race. The atmosphere was electric on this cold grey day in Yorkshire the crowds went mad as the cyclists raced by. With the helicopter above we know the riders were on the last lap and heading speedily towards the line.

The Dutchman Moreno Hofland won stage two of the Tour de Yorkshire and Team Sky’s Lars Petter Nordhaug maintained the overall lead to wear the Blue jersey.

 

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Penrith to Greystoke

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREPenrith to Greystoke Round trip 15 miles

Elevation 588ft

Leaving the bustle of Penrith and heading towards Newbiggin on quiet farm roads. April Sunshine and Blue skies overhead made this a total joy to be on the Bike. The Eden valley nestled between The Lake District and the Pennines enjoying open views to the Northern fells with glimpses of snow still on the very tops.

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This is where Yorkshire meets Cumbria with dry stone walls and lonely farm buildings protected by a corpse of shapely trees.

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Spring lambs shading under old Oak trees on St Georges day. The local pub in Greystoke celebrating with a few flags and bunting.

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And then we join the C2C cycle route to Penrith. I stop for a quick break at the wonderful eclectic cycling café.

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A sunny garden tea garden and also undercover barn with magazines and chilled water and juice for the thirsty cyclist.

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Passing Castles and  sleepy villages full of blossom and Daffodils still in bloom Blencow, Laithes and then Newton Reigny with the Sun Inn next door to a bubbling stream. Back to Penrith under the busy M6 but it’s an old quiet road next to the nature reserve.

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Haweswater cycle ride

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREPenrith to Haweswater

30 miles round trip

Wonderful quiet roads after you leave Penrith and head towards Eamont bridge. A right turn at Yanwath and a long clear ride ahead. This undulating ride is a pure pleasure passing the quiet villages and castles of the Eden Valley. Farmlands busy at work, Cows and Sheep gently grazing behind old stone walls. Sunshine rays leaving long shadows over the soft green fields.

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Colourful fells and glimses of the deep blue Lake, mark the start of the approach to picturesque Mardale valley Haweswater.

This famous reservoir which flooded two villages in 1935 was originally 4kms long but it now measures 6kms and it was raised by 95 feet was thought to be a cutting edge technology in it’s day. Alfred Wainwright the keen Lakeland walker was not so happy about spoiling this wonderful valley.

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREIt was one of the last places to see wild Golden Eagles we did see two Red Squirrels run across the road with a handful of beech nuts. The joys you see while cycling along. This valley does loose the sunshine in the middle of a winters day, so do wrap up warm on the bike. There is a pub  half way along which declared Afternoon tea while watching the Squirrels from the terrace.

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Exif_JPEG_PICTUREThe scenery on this varied cycle ride was pretty perfect for the cyclist passing by. Super quiet roads and a few welcoming pubs along the way and high mountain fells to gaze at.

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