Out of the comfort zone!

Yesterday was windy, today was very windy, and on a small island with some beautiful coastal roads that need exploring it can make for very difficult if not dangerous exploring.

Checking the weather local forecast we were informed that the 60kmph winds would die down in the early afternoon. We decided that, along with Si from Velo Club Ibiza, we would get cracking at around 9.30 in the morning, only suffering a few hours of the harsh wind!

The first km of the route lead us out to salines, a huge salt farm on a peninsular of the island towards the south. Running a salt farm involves lots and lots of very large, flat inlets which capture sea water and then dry in the sun for the salt to be removed and stored…great, apart from the prevailing winds which we faced head on put us at a crawling pace and constantly being buffered all over the road, luckily there was very little traffic to worry about. No photos here I’m afraid as I was too busy stopping my bike blowing away. If people think riding in wind is easy, think again. I was using a heart rate monitor today at on the flat at 20kmp I was pushing out 155bpm…typically higher than I would when climbing!!

We were then lead in land to escape the wind and then lead straight off a perfectly good but of Tarmac and straight onto a ‘camino’ or rough road as the locals call them. This wound around the foot of a the highest peak in Ibiza and then finally shot skywards!

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We were a little hesitant to start on this road due to very skinny 23mm tyres, however, the bikes were amazing and never struggled for grip anywhere on the climb, providing you were seated. This camino lead us to just under 500m and some stunning views.

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From up here we could see the whole island, all the hills, coves, beaches, roads and towns, stunning!

The descent back down wasn’t as bad as we had imagine, sure, being on my Santa Cruz Nomad would have been way more fun and we spotted some trails diving of to the sides, but that wasn’t the point.

Once back on Tarmac we had another 50km of twisty, undulating, empty but blustery roads to go before our lunch stop rendez vous with Stefan from the Rapha Continental team!

It was great to meet him and over some osso bucco, ensalada pollo and cerveza we discussed trips, bikes, mountains, travel and ideas!

The wind finally died down so the final 30km home flew by!

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We arrived home, feeling beaten by the wind but satisfied after a tough day in the saddle, with 125km and 2000m climbing!

A beer on the harbor side was very much needed after that.

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Winter Cycling on the White Island

Many people associate Ibiza with sun, sea, sand and super clubs, but we had heard a little secret about the white isle…that the road cycling there was fantastic!

We decided a week away in the sun was in order, not only to recharge after a tough winter of cycling in ski kit, but also to try and kick start our training for transcontinental and the tour de Mont Blanc.

The plane touched down yesterday at 10am and we were met with a massive smile and warm handshake by Simon from VeloClubIbiza. He was someone that we had been in contact with via twitter and had sorted us out with some perfect accommodation overlooking the sea and harbor, with plenty of space for bikes.

We unpacked our steads from their boxes straight away and checked nothing had been smashed to pieces on the flight…lucky this time. Kit on and out the door!

Simon as well as being our liaison on the island had also offered to take us riding, where he could to show us some Gems that most people would miss when they come out. After 5 minutes of cycling we were deep in the hills and well away from any cars or lorries on perfectly smooth Tarmac undulating and weaving through orange trees and white villas.

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There were some beautiful climbs and stunning cliff top roads all totally deserted and in beautiful condition. I can honestly say this was one of the best rides I had ever been on and it was just the first day.

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This ‘warm up ride’ turned into a very fast 80km around the island with over 1000m climbing, done in just under 3hours.

Our second day started with the sun illuminating our room and reminding us that even though it is early march, ibiza can get very warm. We donned our shorts and jerseys and got out the door as fast as possible to grab some coffee and food in Ibiza old town. We heard that there was a ‘festival’ on in town to celebrate the start of spring. It truly was a site to behold! All of the central roads around the port were blocked by police and children of all ages and adults were parading through town on a huge range of floats playing music and dancing all around. What a beautiful way to start spring.

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Right above us was the old town, perched high on the cliff tops over looking the sea and the turquoise water. Some very steep and cobbled roads led us right to the battlements surrounding the highest points and gave us our first proper look out of Ibiza and it’s main town.

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After a quick coffee and serano ham sandwich we pedaled off to explore the deserted costal roads and stunning views.

It was already lunch time and showing 25degrees Celsius on my garmin. For me this is a perfect riding temperature, hot enough for summer clothes and shoes, but not so hot to be drinking water by the gallon to hydrate from sweating.

We found some gorgeous secluded beaches and coves that we will go back and explore later in the week.

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Today was simply a stretch of our legs and a ride to explore the south west part of the island and to get our bearings. We can’t wait for some bigger, longer, higher and faster rides in the area.

So far Ibiza has blown me away; warm, sunny, empty roads, friendly locals and challenging rides what more do you want?

…now into town for tapas, cerveza and a little festival!

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Mansell