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2012 CLC Majorca Tour

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It’s 3am on Saturday morning and we’re at Bristol Airport. Brendan Ward (founder, Chairman, legend) is on the floor in Departures doing the splits with two young chaps who could best be described as the South West’s answer to Jedward. Having not slept for 20 hours this could be a hallucination. But a more likely explanation is that this is merely the beginning of the 2012 CLC Striders Tour de Mallorca! And with Strider celebrities PJ & Duncan, Chemical Ally and the Angel of the North (no less), action was guaranteed in the Paradise City of Port de Pollensa. After the initial excitement in Departures the weary, but resolute, band of Striders gritted their teeth in preparation for the arduous trek to the Balearics. And so the adventure unfolded……..

A few hardy Striders were up early on the first morning for their first run of the week. Hardy they thought until Steve returned with news of his own run up a mountain (!) with excited tales of a spectacular view of the coastline. Little more than an hours walk from the hotel, the immense panoramic scenery ranged from the high rocky summits of volcanic origin, to the serene aquamarine environment below via sharp edged cliff faces.

For other striders, energy save mode was switched on; as I’m sure you can Imagine. And why not, since we were, at least temporarily, in a little Oasis in the middle of the Mediterranean. By mid afternoon on the first day Chemical Ally had already managed to get sun burn. Despite this minor setback, it wasn’t long before the discovery of shots large enough to drown a great dane at the bar. They were also cheap. Evidently no need to Fight for your Right to Party here.

When the gentle warmth of Spring arrives, attention often turns to rigorous exercise. And that’s exactly what was on the minds of us Striders. Bikes were hired (road bikes of quite reasonable standard for a mere 17 euros per day) and we started to explore the coast line. After lunch in Alcudia we headed North to the coast where quaint villages and sea views dominated our thoughts. After a few minor hills we came to a tourist trap where coffees, ice cream and wondrous views were enjoyed from the cliff top vantage point. A relaxing ride back was in store until.. Snap! The chain on Duncans bike broke. Charles swapped bikes and, somewhat heroically, made an Intergalactic effort to the next garage scooter stylee.

The following day some resolved to continue their sinful pleasures around the pool, go fishing or go for a casual walk, while a few fruitloops, myself included, cycled up a mountain as part of a 45 mile round trip. The roads are perfect for cycling. True Nirvana for anyone with in interest in bikes. The mountain was consistently uphill for circa 8kms so it was necessary to Push It a tad but It’s Like That if you want to enjoy the invigorating decent. Indeed, we must have appeared like a Blur as we competed for road space with the cars. As good as this trip was, the highlight of the day for Rachel was seeing Charles in a mankini.

Next up was a day trip to Palma for sightseeing, shopping, lunch and a journey back via the Northern coast road. The cathedral was spectacular, the marina pretty, the streets clean & relaxed and the shopping good (though the ladies were only permitted 30 minutes of fulfilment; sorry girls!).

Our penultimate day involved a leisurely morning (apart from Brendon “the 3 bottles of rose can’t be to blame surely” Ward who nearly threw up on the beach after his morning run), followed by a boat trip to Pollensa Beach. Despite the short time allowed by the boat timetable, a fortunate few were still lucky enough to witness Ursula Andress search the surf for shells whilst singing Under the Mango Tree.

In the unlikely event that your appetite to sample the delights of Mallorca is still not sufficiently whetted, I shall briefly add that the food was great, the wine good, the beaches clean, the weather warm & dry, the drinks cheap and the company awesome. What’s not to love? I, for one, am very much looking forward to next years event.

Some additional highlights;

DJV not realising PJ had gone into the disused lighthouse at the top of the cliff and thought he’d been blown off in a gust of wind.

The restaurant where three of us ordered rabbit and were promptly served it whole, making it look like roadkill (it still tasted good!)

A firm decision made during morning coffee that it should be made illegal to drink either tea or coffee without a biscuit.

A few memorable quotes;

Hey PJ, fancy trying out my banana?

General have you sorted out the plan of attack for the battle ahead?

Hey DJV, have you chosen your cigar list?

I’m drunk and don’t know what I’ve eaten, can you please work out my bill?!

Hey super Gill. I told you United would smash Everton…

I’ve been crying, crying, crying over you Rach but don’t go breaking my heart!

Harpreet, have you found the brakes on that bike yet? - STOP!!!

X: Hey Y How’s your arse?

Y: It’s a bit messy

(this conversation occurred during the epic bike ride, just in case you were wondering)

Pablo, now that’s what I call a chastity belt! (RV commenting on PB’s new belt which smelt of camel p***)

Contributions from RV, DH, PJ & BW.