A bit of background…
John and I have been together for 27 years and both have a keen interest in fitness. John has been a cyclist for most of his adult life and has done many triathlons including 6 Ironman events. Various injuries have led to him spending more time on the bike in the last few years. I had never been a cyclist and exercised mostly in the gym. In my early 30s I developed severe rheumatoid arthritis which threatened to stop any vigorous exercise permanently. Fortunately over the ensuing years with a lot of different medications I stabilised the disease but am now left with damaged wrists and right elbow.
In October 2014, at a youthful 54, I got my first road bike. Two days later we headed off to Tenerife where I learnt very quickly that the only way out of the hotel was uphill. However, it was a fantastic introduction and I discovered on those quiet, smooth roads in perfect weather that I truly loved cycling and I loved my new bike. Now John and I had a sport we could share, but I still had a lot to learn! In 2015 I undertook my first major tests, the Medio Maratona course and the Grand Fondo Prosecco, together with John. The fantastic La Fuga team were a great support in the preceding days and suberbly organised on event day.
So in 2016, we came to the La Fuga Mallorca Cycling Academy at a very different level of experience and with different expectations…
The 2016 Mallorca Academy
In the weeks leading up to the camp the La Fuga team got in touch and asked if people wanted to introduce themselves. I was encouraged to see many returning guests, two other couples and 6 women in our group of 22. However, I was still a little uncertain about what to expect and a bit nervous about whether I would be up to it as such a novice.
We arrived early on March 12th and Richard Mortiboys collected us and took us to the Club Pollentia hotel which is brilliantly set up for cyclists and triathletes and was full of lean, hairless and hungry men and women!
The camp was excellently managed by Richard, ably assisted by Andrew and Craig. Joel Jameson was also on hand to provide coaching and some evening talks. Richard ran the camp with a quiet and calm authority and smoothly organised a somewhat unruly group without ever making us feel we were being organised. We were given an outline of each day the night before so it was clear what to bring in your day bags, which would be safely stowed in the van. Despite being of very varied levels of experience we always set out together as a group. Inevitably the group split up at times but there were always three guides on the road as well as the van following, so we were well looked after with coffee and food stops well organised. It was an amazing achievement by the team that everyone was able to get what they wanted out of each day, whether it was testing themselves racing up Sa Calobra or simply managing to complete it at a steady pace (in my case!).
We mostly set out around 9am and returned mid afternoon when we tended to regroup on the patio area at the front of the hotel and down a bowl of pasta provided by the hotel accompanied by a beer or a coke.
The atmosphere in the evening was relaxed and Joel’s talks were quite informal and interactive but very informative. Dinner was a time for running over the day’s events and talking about Richard’s and Joel’s most popular topic – favourite foods!
Overall I came away with more group riding skills, better descending skills and a much greater knowledge about how to train to improve. John would have preferred more time spent working in a chain gang, but enjoyed the chance to ride with better cyclists and have the chance to push himself. He also particularly valued Joel’s experience and input.
I had an absolutely fantastic time on this camp, from the great routes and beautiful scenery to improving my climbing and riding skills with a great bunch of people. La Fuga have certainly found a winning formula and I am looking forward to returning to do the Lungo Maratona course with their help and support this July.
Thanks to one of our valued La Fuga guests for this extensive write up of their experience with us.