Saturday, May 2, 2009

Going rogue

Day 5 in Mallorca

They don’t do group rides on Wednesdays or Saturdays here - some malarkey about “rest days” – so I decide I know my way around enough to venture out on my own. I figure I’ll head up the coast to Port Pallencia, for no other reason than that it looks relatively easy to find, it’s within a day’s riding distance, and I haven’t been there yet. The trifecta of riding. I think Stacey and crew have made up and are heading out to some mountain, to ride up and down it a few times. Decided to pass on that one, even though Stacey is trying to convince me – still - that nothing here is at more than a 5% grade. Right. Somehow I don’t think 5% grades have elevation profiles and cycling jerseys made up with said profiles and the word “Finisher” on them, as these “hills” do.

I head up north, and there are enough other cyclists going the same way so that I don’t have to worry too much about getting lost. This is my new rule of thumb – if I don’t see other cyclists within the equivalent of about a block (at least in the cities), then I’ve gone the wrong way. This works amazingly well.

Since I don’t have any Germans to contend with and this route doesn’t appear to be too hilly, the only issue today is the 45 mph headwind that’s almost blowing me off the road either into traffic or off the little precipice onto a rocky beach. Is it EVER not windy in Mallorca? I’m starting to wonder.

I’m not sure what I’ll find when I finally make it to Port Pallencia – it could be quaint, or it could be a schlockfest like Port D’Arcudia, with its Burger King and souvenir shops with blow-up porpoises and the like. But it turns out that Port Pallencia is more like a chi-chi resort town, with a bunch of sidewalk stores and cafes along the shoreline, all very charming. I find a stone ledge to hang out on, lie down, turn my face up to the sun. Ahhh. Life is good. And with the crashing waves, the craggy cliffs, the beautiful old Spanish architecture, Mallorca couldn’t be more perfect. After a café con leche, I head back, this time with the tailwind propelling me along. To every headwind, a tailwind. Would be a nice philosophy of life, if life actually worked that way.

When I’m putting my bike away at the hotel, the crazy wind is whipping at the tent, sounding like it’s going to blow it over, so the comment one burly German guy makes to me, with a somewhat shell-shocked look on his face – “schone wind, ja?” needs no translation. Nice wind indeed.

Later that day, I’m hanging out by the pool, enjoying the sun and fresh air, when the buff young Speedo-clad German guy nearby jumps up from his pool lounge chair, hits the deck, and starts doing pushups. Pushups?? I *almost* burst out laughing, but that would be rude, so instead I just poke Stacey a few times to make sure she sees. Sometimes even I can’t make this stuff up…..


JoJo said...

Well it's about time you did some relaxing around a pool! Those "hills" you describe with the dead stop before the next climb are giving me flashbacks to IMCDA and I'm hating it. But I am properly impressed with your triathlon goddessness - mountain climbing in Mallorca is phenomenal - you rock!

Sherri said...

Priceless. Gotta love Rogue