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28 Cycleout members came to Training Camp this year, including members from Germany and South Africa. Like most of Europe, Mallorca was experiencing unsettled weather. The Sunday being our first day of the full cycling programme was washed out with the rain but except for a shower on the Monday the rest of the stay was dry if more overcast than usual. What we were not to know was that it would be over three months before we saw any weather as good back in the UK.

I arrived on the Wednesday before the start of the main programme with a few arriving then or over the next few days and everyone by Saturday ready for the seven days of the main programme, which for some extended to eleven days of cycling.

We were base in the resort of Can Pastilla, which was still very much out of season but everything we needed was there and the place was pleasantly busy. Out hotel is a large resort hotel but as a group we made our own environment and everyone else was background. The hotel was set back in its own gardens, so nice quiet nights allowing bedroom windows to be flung open all night. The hotel staff were so friendly, on my first evening I was greeted by the Maitre d' in the restaurant and shown the arrangements for our own reserved tables.  With the service of food being self-service dinner and breakfast were very relaxed affairs. We were all together as a group and we moved around the tables each day to mix with everyone. It never mattered if anyone was late they easily slipped into a spare seat and no one bothered if they were a course behind. New for this year the outdoor pool was open and heated and proved popular after a day's cycling.

We had use of the secure bike store in the hotel, which had been updated for this year complete with indoor bike wash. Can Pastilla is about midway along the sea front cycling path that runs from the harbour in Palma to El Arenal. This path connects with a number of low traffic routes so the need to cycle on any busy road was very minimal. Indeed in just one kilometre from the hotel we could be in small lanes surrounded by flowering fields. The programme of rides was planned to mix mountains with exploring the open countryside towards the east and south of the island.  The group reflected a very wide ability and interest range. It also highlighted that the faster riders on the flat don't necessary make the fastest hill climbers. We quickly split up into four groups most days and membership of the groups was very fluid depending on chosen routes. Long and short routes were taken across the central plain. We were able to take in all our favourite mountain routes including the 100km North Coast, which those with the SatNav recorded over 1800m of climb.

Uwe and myself having a couple of extra days at the end managed to clock up over 1000km of cycling during our stay.

Being a major cycling resort there are plenty of good cycling shops offering retail therapy and a few colourful new outfits appeared during the week, which we look forward to seeing again.

The trip brought what has seemed a very long winter to an end and after a week cycling on the island I am sure everyone was ready for a summer of cycling which we hope will be more than just a few days between the rain.

As with most years we were joined at the hotel with members from the GSWG walking group .For this year we had made contact with the local Mallorcan gay walking group and the walkers joined up with them for two days of walking. Both sides very much enjoyed the encounter and contact has been maintained.

As the event that brings the most club members together each year, Mallorca 2013 will be 13th to 21st April and booking is now open, see "Rides List".


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