Jordi takes a trip to the Spanish Isle of Mallorca. Known as a beach and party resort, but still packed with singletracks and even a bike park!
The Spanish Isle of Mallorca is mainly known as a beach/party holiday destination or among cyclists as the perfect island for a spring training camp. A lesser-known fact is that the island is covered in great singletrack and even has its own bike park.
It's only a quick 30 minute trip by plane from Barcelona and has many direct connections from all over Europe. The environment on Mallorca is incredible, with beautiful contrasts between the land and the super clear blue water. With many little beaches, and great rocky trails winding among lovely trees, it's a stunning mountain destination. I discovered terrific trails to ride, most of them ending on beautiful beaches for post-ride swimming!
Mallorca's bike park, on the south end of the island near the village of Paguera, has several trails for all levels, and it was very close to the family-owned hotel where I stayed.
The park has a variety of different lines, but I will say the atmosphere is similar to an enduro-style bike park, as there is no way to shuttle by car all the way to the top. The trails range from beginner-friendly to technical. Some of the lines are very mellow and appropriate for all types of riders, others with jumps and berms that flow all the way to the bottom.
The climb is about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how hard you want to push yourself on the way up! There's plenty of scenic places to take a break during the climb. I personally found a ton of fun on the runs with big rocks and technical features. That's one of my favourite riding styles, and here, particularly the clear views of the sea make great pictures.
The trails on Mallorca are quite different from the terrain I am accustomed to on the Canary Islands. To explore the endless trail options, I took my Pivot Trail 429. This 120 mm travel bike turned out to be the perfect machine for riding on this island. The short travel made it easy to power up the climbs, and the trails were smooth enough to keep control on the descents.
On the other side of the island, we discovered much more rocky terrain and some trails with big exposure. For those riders confident in their balance and technical skill, they'll find reward in these trails running along massive cliffs. I found a hiking trail heading down from the top of the cliff that looked like it would be an amazing descent. Only on the map, it was not possible to see if the trail continued or if I would be forced to hike back up. I decided to take the risk and just go for it.
The ride down was amazing, big rocks, drops and great views over the mediterranean sea. After 3 minutes of arm pump descending, our fear became a reality. The trail ended, and we were forced to hike back up. No regrets, though, as it was an amazing trail, and we got some great pictures too.
The island is quite rocky, so I took the new enduro tires from Schwalbe just to be on the safe side. Especially on the northern part of the island, the rocks will try to dent your rims and slash your tires! Another thing to watch out for are the Balearic Astragalus. A local bush that grows on mountain ledges and has mean thorns that pierce your tires and skin!
At the local tourist offices, you can find special maps for hikers and bikers to discover the island. This area is also some great gastronomy to be discovered in the local villages along the way. People here take their lunch very seriously, and there are many delicious Mallorcan dishes to choose from. Most famous is the ensaimada, a tasty spiral-shaped pastry. If you're a fan of doughnuts, give the bunyols ago. Of course, there are always good tapas bars to be found for after ride snacks and beers.
After the more extreme riding, we searched for some more mellow trails on the last day. If you follow the trails along the coastline, you will find many rooty singletracks hidden in between the trees. Sheltered from the ocean winds, this is a great area to discover new lines and a great little skills practice. Of course, we ended right at the beach, with an epic sunset in the background.
I am certain that Mallorca will be one of my regular riding destinations, and I can't wait to be back on the island to discover new trails and locations! In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the images from my explorations on Mallorca.
By Jordi Bago