My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 5 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.Thanks for your help, Eric!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Random thoughts on cycling in Mallorca

Jennifer (left) and I relishing a downhill during our mountain ride from Calvia to Galilea in Mallorca, Spain. Photo by William Fu.

Can't find 'em? Grind 'em
This was the advice I heard on Day 1 of the trip to Mallorca when a fellow rider was clunking through a gear switch. I rarely had this trouble, but the idea is to keep peddling and fiddling with the levers until the chain lands where it's supposed to. Don't hit the brakes on a group ride or you could be sporting someone else's front wheel where the sun don't shine. Painful and not very fashionable.

Quality time with granny
Riding in the mountains is where I spent this quality time. Faced with switchback climbs 5-7 km long, I put my bike in the easiest of gears (A.K.A the granny gear) and slowly and anaerobically, ground my way to the top.

Shammy time versus growing mushrooms
Shammy time refers to training time on the bike. The shammy, of course, refers to the padding in bike shorts. Shammy time is not to be confused with "growing mushrooms". The latter saying refers to the predilection for sitting around in one's cycling wear, post-ride and drinking. I'm not confessing to anything, but they called me Portobello. I'm just sayin'.

Tending my private garden
I like the garden imagery over the mushroom one, so this is my preferred alternative saying to growing mushrooms.

Sharks and dolphins
Sharks were the fast riders on the trip. These riders are the type who do repeat hills on 5km mountain climbs and can, amazingly enough, drink until 2 a.m. or later and get up and do it all over again. Freaks (I mean that in the nicest possible way). Some sharks can easily swim among the dolphins and laugh, talk and take long unshark-like coffee breaks during rides. These riders may be sharks, but they have the heart of a dolphin.

Dolphins get the job done, but more slowly and with greater appreciation for the landscape. Conversation abounds during dolphin rides and dolphins have been known to stop and shop, carrying their loot back on their bikes to the hotel. I'm a dolphin.

How do you spell your last name?
If you're the photographer who took the picture above, you have the pleasure of telling everyone, "Eff you". William Fu grew up in China and came to Canada years ago. When he was asked this question, he responded honestly and his questioner responded with "Eff you too." Great story.

Salad is for sissies
I didn't eat much salad on this trip. I always reached for the more calorie-dense options. When I'm going to be climbing my heart out, it's bacon and egg sandwiches and chocolate croissants. You can take your muesli and your celery and shove it.

I supplemented all the cycling with running sprints through airports on the journey to and from Mallorca. The consensus among the riders was that Frankfurt was the longest run. We all booked our flights separately, but we all had the mad dash through Frankfurt in common. It must have been a couple of kilometres at least.

The return trip for me also involved running through the Geneva airport and Dulles in Washington. My poor fellow travellers. I lost my deodorant the day of my return and I arrived for my flights in the nick of time, sweating and stinking of aoli from our last feast. I made it, but my luggage didn't. Luckily, I packed my sexy new boots in my carry-on. I'd include a picture of the boots, but my camera is currently in Belgium. Long story.


  1. welcome home. sounds like an incredible trip. i like to cycle, but to and from work and maybe along the canal or river. the thought of switch backs makes me want to cry.

  2. Welcome back, Patti! Can't wait to see the boots and photos.

  3. Dang, you amaze me! I just started riding my bike for four miles a day, today will be the fifth. It's hard work! I know you're laughing your butt off at four miles. Hey, a girl's gotta start somewhere! And I love the "eff you" story!

  4. It makes me happy how happy you look in that Eff You picture. Can't wait to see the sexy boots -- keep them out of Maggie's chewing zone. Let's make plans. I think Matt should be back in the country for a week-end in, I dunno, four months or so. Glad you had a good trip.

  5. Hey gals,

    Thanks for the comments. Suzicate, ya gotta start somewhere and I was there years ago. A little bit every day is how you build up to the point when you can be like me, crying quietly behind your sunglasses on an ill-advised 140 km ride.

  6. Glad you had a great trip Patti. Can't wait to hear more stories over some glasses of vino in the sauna!