Mallorca 312 – 200 Miles in 12 hours
Thanks to Scott for this recount of his amazing day in Mallorca:
Back in August 2014 a good friend of mine who rides with the 0745 Rouleurs in Belfast asked me if I would be interested in going to do the Mallorca 312. Of course without checking out what the 312 was I said yes sure lets do it. The M312 is a 312km (194 miles) cycle with some 13500ft of climbing around the beautiful island of Mallorca. Let the training commence!!! After a few trips over Dree Hill, Castlewellan and Spelga on Mr Murray’s “Friday epics” and a bit of gym work I felt I was ready.
Arriving in Mallorca at night time with the temp. 18 degrees I was glad I had plenty of factor 50 with me. On Thursday morning we collected the bikes from the shop in Port de Pollenca. My ride for the 3 days was Van Nicholas a titanium frame bike with Di2 gearing (which was awesome). We headed straight out for a spin, climbing up into the mountains on switch back roads with the surfaces super smooth covering 89 miles and 8500ft ascent – much of which was in 2 mountains Soller & Puig Major around 14km long.
Day 2 was another beautiful morning with an early decision whether or not to do the famous Sa Calobra climb – 9.5km @ 7% gradient – knowing that the M312 was the day after. Of course we did it and amassed another 96 miles with 9500ft of climbing and celebrating with a nice meal and a couple of beers, then bed early for the big day.
25/04/15 5.30am morning start, kit on and I loaded myself up like a pack horse with food, tubes and the usual requirements and headed down for a quick breakfast then onto the bike for a very relaxed spin to the start line. At the line I met up with a friend from Dromore CC who joined myself and the 25 other 0745 Rouleurs for the ride. There were 3000 + cyclists at the line and at 7.00am we set off. The pace was sharp enough at the start, until things settled down. This was because we were now starting the first climb. Soon we were up in the mountains again and the scenery was growing more beautiful by the minute, but there was no time to stop and take it in. At the top was the first food stop which was pandamonium – 3000 odd trying to grab what they could then back on the bike and away.
Once through a long tunnel at the top of the mountain the fun began as we desended for 14km with a mixture of big sweeping corners and switchbacks. I was in my element flying down the mountain passing the slower guys – one of my favourite parts of the whole day. Back on the flat and soon it was time to make the decision to turn left for 167, or right for 312. The bike turned right and I followed straight into a strong head wind, at this stage there was only the Dromore CC rider and myself. The other Rouleurs had turned for the 167. At the the next food stop we picked up the only remaining Rouleur (Patrick Crawford) and this was the 3 man team for rest of the ride.
The route took us along the south coast of the island where the scenery was breathing taking, passing through small Spanish towns and mountain valleys. Soon the most of the big climbs were over and the roads flattened out we found ourselves doing all the work at the front of a big bunch. Somehow we managed to get almost everyone to do a turn and soon we were flying along at around 25-28mph with everyone sharing the work. The miles seemed to roll pass quite easily until the final food stop where everyone split up. Once back on the road we caught up with a few people, one guy from Bangor who now lived in Mallorca with his wife who were both doing the 312 the other guys were from Scotland – 6 in total.
Now we were counting the miles down as we rolled along the road. For the last 40km we hooked up with a bunch of Spanish riders who were peddling along a bit faster than I would have liked after riding for 175miles (around 26mph) but we sat in behind them and enjoyed the break. We rolled the whole way back into Alcudia with them to the finish line were it was set up like a big finish at a grand tour. Music was blasting, people were cheering and taking photos.
What a feeling to have finished this, the furthest and most challenging distance I have ever cycled and the legs still felt quite good, apart from being a bit hungry!!!!
We collected our finishing gilet & free Erdinger beer (alcohol free of course). Now the last thing was to cycle gently back to the hotel.
Garmin stopped and ride saved total 202.8 miles and 14219ft of elevation gain and moving time 12hrs 06mins.
A great experience and something that would be nice for KCC to do in the future!!!!!!