Day 1 in Mallorca and after travelling in one form another for some 10 hours, we picked up our steeds for the week!
Yes, I’m cheating on Patsy this week. Upgrading to a newer, better spec, Trek Emonda S5. It seemed fitting to upgrade to a lighter model for a mountain climbing mission here on the beautiful island of Mallorca.
Climbing here is so worth it for views like this!
And my first outing started out wonderfully. Sun shining, a smooth ride on the bike, climbing for some 2 miles and I was grinning away at the top of the first ascent!
But what goes up must come down. A fact that I’d conveniently forgotten while setting myself this challenge. Descending isn’t my favourite part of cycling, in fact, it positively terrifies me! Add in unfamiliar roads, a strong coastal wind and switchbacks to contend with and you have a rather panicked Kat!
And that’s exactly what I did. Panicked. Cried. Clutched on to my brakes the whole way down. And then turned round, quitting on the route, to head home. Shaken, upset and questioning if I could complete the rest of my challenge.
I forgot everything I knew about descending. Everything I’d worked so hard to learn last year because my brain switched to fear.
Braving a walk in the rain, to decide best not to ride in this!
A day later, sheltering in the flat with TV and biscuits from the storm brewing outside I’ve thought about it and realised despite my fear and panic, I still got down alive and not as slowly as I thought (given Strava estimates a top speed of 38mph…) so I couldn’t have done THAT badly – it’s a mental battle that I have to overcome. I also LOVED the ascending, the long steady climbs, with beautiful scenery at the top are well worth it!
I’m also too stubborn to let a shaky first day stop me. So after climbing some 3,067 feet yesterday and taking a day off to shelter from the rain today, I’ve got 4 days to climb 25,967 feet to complete March’s pretty mad challenge.
Onwards, upwards, then downwards again (only in the cycling sense!) tomorrow with appropriately 9,000 feet scheduled to climb.