Sobremunt, the hardest climb in Mallorca

A new video with more action from my GoPro Session, and music from David Guerra. It’s 18 minutes, but I hope you can spare the time to take a look!

A newly created iMovie version of my Sobremunt GoPro and iPhone material

A day out achieving a recent ambition, to climb Sobremunt, Es Verger, generally accepted as the hardest climb in Mallorca, particularly from the south side. On the descent, I took in lunch at Esporles, and then climbed Es Grau and Galilea (with the usual coke, coffee and Magnum stop at Café Sa Plaça!) and completed the loop down to Es Capdella back to Costa de la Calma. A lovely ride with terrific views as you will see from the video collage.

At the top of the Strava segment of Sobremunt
Tom Last and the boys at GCN went up there too!
I really did go up to the same place as Tom Last of GCN!

The Climb, Tak Ma Doon Road Oct 2016

Climbing Tak Ma Doon Road from Kilsyth with Glasgow Green Cycle Club. The Tak is one of the hardest climbs in the area, especially from the Kilsyth (south) side. The descent on the other side crosses a ford, which needs some care. The climb turned into a little competition with Paul and Colin, who thoughtfully paused at the ford on the way down to make sure everyone was OK.

Climbing Tak Ma Doon Road with GGCC

Ride the 6Points Mallorca in May 2020!

May 15/16/17th 2020 is only 6 months away!

What a way to celebrate the onset of summer and enjoy 3 days of fantastic riding in the sun and see whole perimeter of the beautiful island of Mallorca.

We will go to some great restaurants and hotels and you will also enjoy the signature camaraderie of all 6Points events.

Get your Registration in now at

Weʼre raising funds to help children’s charities on Mallorca. 6Points Cycling Challenges has raised over £66,000 in 3 years, and our work continues. Please support us at

You can enjoy this taster weekend on Mallorca on 15/16/17th May 2020 as part of a whole week of cycling (as I am again!) doing some of the other climbs mentioned and shown in my blog such as Sobremunt (the hardest climb in Mallorca), Port Valdemossa, Port Canonge, Col de Soller, Orient, Cold de sa Bataia and/or many others.

You can fly out to Mallorca on Tuesday 12th May, and return on Tuesday evening 19th May by EasyJet, having ridden the Big Daddy Ma10 across northern Mallorca (100+ miles) on Friday 15th, 115kms on Saturday 16th May from Port Pollensa (via Cap Formentor) to Cala Millor, and from there back to Santa Ponsa (100 miles again) on Sunday 17th, with two wonderful hotel nights and dinners.

Anyone who wants to take my approach of going for the week, Tuesday to Tuesday to Mallorca is welcome to let me know, and keep me company, either side of the 440kms weekend (with the odd 7500m of climbing).

You can’t have missed that I did the Mallorca 6Points in May this year and it was a brilliantly organised event; more riders (up from 50 to around 75) will be coming next time, and there might even be a partners’ programme to allow families to enjoy the sights.

My rider view of the 6Points Mallorca in May 2019

This event in May 2020 offers a perfect taster for the year: wonderful spring cycling weather in the Balearics; very easy travel to and from this popular cycling destination; and very cycling friendly roads, cafés and people.

Cycling in Mallorca

Advice and suggestions re Mallorca cycling for friends

Many others have been there, but I tend to keep useful links available, so here is a slightly incoherent (nothing new there, I hear the wags at the back say, not entirely unjustifiably!) collection of links and information I have collected or found useful or which others might like to look at. It suggests looking at some of my many weeks in Mallorca on Strava for ride and route suggestions, but of course there are many others!

Mallorca sportives and events

6Points Challenges

I totally recommend the Mallorca 6Points weekend (a charity event benefitting the Asdica charity in Mallorca), having done it in May 2019. The Challenge this year was 425kms around Mallorca, visiting lighthouses at the North (Cap Formentor), West (Sant Elm), South (Cap de Salines), and East (Cala Ratjada) compass points, and the highest point (Puig Major) and the lowest point (any sandy beach, Caló d’en Pellicer at Santa Ponsa in our case, where we start and finish!) We met some of the Asdica Charity beneficiaries at the finish at the Caló d’en Pellicer beach in Santa Ponsa. 

Enjoying morning coffee at Tolo’s

For more on 6Points Challenges, and booking opportunities, see

which describes both the upcoming October 2019 Ibiza event and the May 2020 Mallorca event.

Should you wish to support me and the other riders on the Ibiza ride next weekend, please see:

Weʼre raising £1,500 to help children’s charities on Mallorca. 6Points Cycling Challenges has raised over £61,000 in 3 years. Our work continues. Please support us.

The Mallorca 312

The 312 is ever present annually; see Leslie and me there in 2018

We are about to go towards Banyalbufar after the first 4 hours

The 312 used to be a closed road event right round the perimeter of Mallorca, but the southern part (near Palma) has now been removed (being too difficult to achieve closed roads in that busy part of Mallorca), and now the route, having started in Alcudia and followed the Ma10 over to Andratx, returns through central Mallorca to Sa Pobla, and then takes a loop down to Artá before returning back to Alcudia; it’s still 312 kms distance over closed roads. See more about the Mallorca 312 at

for the 2020 event in late April. I have done the 225kms version (in my view the more interesting, hilly part!) and there is also a 1/2 version, the 167kms.

Bike rental and services

Mallorca Cycle Shuttle  do airport transfers, bike transfers (eg coach out , bike back, Port Pollensa – Andratx or San Telm), bike breakdown insurance and photography, all on their website. Gary Abel is the main person there; he has developed a great set of services.

As you will see, Mallorca Cycle Shuttle also run Mallorca Photos, and importantly, Mallorca Bike Rescue which is a get-you-home service should bike or body fail you. I ALWAYS register with it.

Bike rental

Pro Cycle Hire is probably the gold standard in bike hire, and they not only rent bikes, but are also a bike café, and lead social rides three mornings a week plus a schedule of longer rides, including “The Lap”, a round Mallorca tour like the 312 used to be but without closed roads. There are some great historic bikes on display there too, plus a good café. Owner is Bruce Griffiths. For all about Pro Cycle Hire rides see

Pro Cycle Hire rent Colnagos as well as other brands, but if you want a Pinarello (e.g. a Dogma), try the Pinarello Store tps:// in Port Pollensa. The Pinarello store has a a nearby clothing outlet, usually with a sale, so there are good deals on jerseys, bibs etc.

See the link for Ottilie Quince’s service shop next to the Pinarello Store, which is worth a visit; Ottilie does massage (you might well need it!) as well as bikes and advice. She is, by the way, an 11 times world cycling champion.

Around the corner, on the sea front, is Tolo’s restaurant, complete with Wiggins bike, another must visit. A restaurant I also happen to like that does wonderful pizzas is Casa Vila in the central square in Port Pollensa,

Loop rides from Port Pollensa, and in the west

The obvious first ride is up to Cap Formentor and the lighthouse. It’s a double climb ride with a handy cafe at the top of the first part, Mirador de la Creueta (Viewpoint).

From that intermediate café, there is a little climb up to a “pepper pot” structure (a bit like a Martello tower) called the Telaia Albercutx, It’s quite a gravelly road up there so take care, but very much worth the views. No café for once, but it’s only 3kms or so!

Then you can take on the descent on the other side, towards Formentor beach and then the second part of the climb to the lighthouse (where there is also a large cafe and great views). It’s one of the climbs where Mallorca Photos have photographers until early afternoon (best to ride early up there to avoid traffic). They have them on Sa Calobra too, and the same applies there – go early, or go in traffic. See Fränk Schleck on Sa Calobra here.

Sa Ruta Verda

You MUST visit Sa Ruta Verda Bike Café in Caimari and say hello to owner Lennart for me. You can make a good round trip – quite hilly – via Campanet/Selva/Caimari/Sa Bataia/Lluc/Sa Calobra/col de Femenia and back to Port Pollensa. Places not to miss on that loop are Col de Sa Bataia (the Repsol service station at the top which is a bike cafe too, and does great ensaïmadas), and the Sa Ruta Verda café of course in the north end of Caimari which definitely DID open for the autumn again this weekend (wear your GGCC top if you have one, which Lennart recognises!). The three Monasteries further to the south are good little climbs, and again you can make a day tour of them (see for all the main climbs) of which Santuari de Cura in Randa and San Salvador near Felanitx are the better ones, the other being Petra which is nearer to Pollensa.

Western Mallorca

I’d also thoroughly recommend climbs at “my” end of the island (we have an apartment in Costa de la Calma) nearer to Andratx – eg the Es Capdella – Galilea – Es Grau loop. A fuller loop description might be Andratx/San Telm/Estellencs/Banyalbufar/Esporles/Es Grau/PuigPonent/Galilea/Es Capdella/Calvia/Santa Ponsa/Peguera/Camp de Mar/Andratx, or Andratx/San Telm/Estellencs/Banyalbufar/Esporles/Es Grau/PuigPonent/Galilea/Es Capdella/Coll de n’Esteve/Andratx, either of which take you over the main climbs in the west of the island that are on the Mallorca 312 route, and provide much of he climbing on that sportive (apart from Puig Major, mentioned below).

The Orient Valley

From Port Pollensa, Col de Soller, Bunyola, Col d’Honor and Orient itself in the Orient valley make a great (long and hilly) ride – Port Pollensa/Col de Feminia/Col de sa Bataia/Puig Major/Soller/Col de Soller/Col d’Honor/Coll d’Orient/Alaro/Lloseta/Selva/Campanet/Alcudia/Port Pollensa or some variation of that.

The Orient valley, between the south end of the Col de Soller climb/descent and Selva, is a very pretty ride, with a great ice cream and crêpe shop at Alaro called La Isla del Gelato (in Google maps) If you happen to ride via Campanet either way to or from Caimari and Selva, take care, one or two of the only potholes in Mallorca are there although they are resurfacing this year, and I believe they might all be cleared up now. 

In Selva (only 2kms from Caimari) there is a bike shop called the Bike Station that also rents bikes in the main cathedral square (also with cafés) that sells the jersey with many of the main Mallorca climbs on it! 

The Ma10 across the Tramuntana – Big Daddy

As well as the recently added airport transfers, Mallorca Cycle Shuttle runs their great bike transport service, so that you can take their coach out from Port Pollensa, right across the island to the west (or to the south, or just to Sa Calobra) and ride back on the Ma10 “Big Daddy” route.

The Shuttle does have a hot summer fallow period in August but it has now opened again for the Autumn. They take you, for example, from a number of hotels the Port Pollensa area to Andratx, and also San Telm if you want to ride back coast to coast. It’s a “must do” ride, with options to descend and ascend at Port Canonge, Port Valdemossa and Sa Calobra, which makes it a very long ride, so don’t book dinner in Pollensa too early!

Be sure to book the Shuttle for the day you want, it does get full nearer the time. They have some other destination drop-offs now, at least on on the south of the island (see Monasteries below). 

Along that route are Estellencs, Banyalbufar, Valdemossa, Deia and Soller and Port de Soller, on the coast. It also includes the highest climb on Mallorca, Puig Major, 13kms at an average 6%, with a (dark) tunnel at the top. That is the main climb on the Mallorca 312 which ISN’T in the west of the island.

Check out my Strava rides

I wouldn’t recommend rides I haven’t done(!) so amongst the following weeks of Strava rides you will see all the ones I have mentioned and many more! See my Strava rides for 8-13th May 2016 and 16th-21st April 2017 for lots of good routes in the east, or 15-24th July 2016, 15th-23rd August and 9-12th October 2015 for the western end of the island.

Also my weeks 25th April – 1st May 2018 for the Mallorca 312 (one end of the island, Alcudia to to the other, Andratx via the Ma10, and back through the central part) and other rides during 8-16th October 2018 for general western Mallorca riding, and 14th-21st May 2019 for the 6Points right around Mallorca, visiting the 4 compass points lighthouses, the highest (Puig Major) and the lowest (any beach, Santa Ponsa in our case). See and for more about that 440kms ride with 7000m climbing, or the Ibiza version below.

I’ll be riding on 1st-8th October 2019 in Mallorca and in particular 5/6th October in Ibiza/ Formentera Here’s the official taster video from the May 2019 edition of the 6Points Mallorca:

The official movie of the May 2019 6Points Mallorca

More useful bike ride links

Here’s a video taster of many of the climbs (& descents) in Mallorca. It’s about 30 minutes, and includes several I have mentioned. here they are with the timings in the video:

Sa Calobra descent 00:50 Sa Calobra ascent 02:58 Coll de sa Batalla descent 05:07 Coll de sa Batalla ascent 07:09 Road to Cap de Formentor 09:21 Puig Major ascent 14:20 Coll de Femenia ascent 17:54 Coll de Femenia descent 18:56 Coll de Soller south ascent 20:03 Coll de Soller south descent 21:00 Coll de Soller north descent 22:55 Coll de Soller north ascent 25:11 Coll d’Honor ascent 26:39 Puig de Santa Magdalena ascent 29:51 Puig de Santa Magdalena descent 30:45

Plus the toughest of them all, Sobremunt, Es Verger I hope to be trying in October 2019


Plus the toughest of them all, Sobremunt (Es Verger), I hope to be trying in October 2019

Ride the 6Points in Ibiza and Formentera!

October 5/6th is only 6 weeks away!

What a way to celebrate the onset of autumn and enjoy 2 days of fantastic riding in the sun and see the two beautiful islands of Ibiza and Formentera.

We will go to some great restaurants and you will also enjoy the signature camaraderie of all 6Points events.

Get your Registration in now at

Weʼre raising £1,500 to help children’s charities on Mallorca. 6Points Cycling Challenges has raised over £61,000 in 3 years. Our work continues. Please support us at

You can enjoy this taster weekend on Ibiza on 5/6th October (as I am) prior to the Mallorca event on 15/16/17th May 2020!

For the most focused long weekend way of doing it, you can fly out to Ibiza on Friday 4th October, and return on Sunday evening or Monday morning, having ridden on Formentera (65kms) on Saturday 5th and Ibiza (135kms) on Sunday 6th, with hotel nights at Ibiza Playa Hotel.

Anyone who wants to take my approach of going via Mallorca and ferry to/from Ibiza is welcome to let me know and keep me company Tuesday 1st -Tuesday 8th October, either side of the weekend in Ibiza.

You can’t have missed that I did the Mallorca 6Points in May this year and it was a brilliantly organised event, which I will be doing again in May 2020.

This shorter Ibiza event in October offers a perfect taster with wonderful autumn cycling weather in the Balearics, with the possibility of either direct travel to Ibiza, or spending a week travelling and cycling via Mallorca.

Recovering partial Garmin recordings

Just a little more after I lost the last part of a ride yesterday on my Garmin 520, which seems to be misbehaving lately. For the second time, most of my ride was recorded, but possibly as the battery life began to drop, or through some other cause, the last section of my ride after the last rest point wasn’t recorded.

Now that Strava has a new facility called “add someone who didn’t record”, if you WERE riding with someone else, they can send you their ride fit file through Strava, and you can upload that instead.

Strava "add friend" option

Strava “add friend” option

The issue with that (although it does give a good fall-back option) is that aspects of the ride personal to the other rider, such as heart rate will be missing, so you get no “suffer score” and power data.

If only part of the ride is missing, there’s another approach.

Ask a friend you were riding with to download their own ride file from their Garmin Connect as a .tcx file (it contains ALL the ride  data). Their original Garmin file in their device will probably be a .fit file (for modern Garmins), not easily editable, but downloaded  .tcx and .gpx ride files are alphanumeric tagged XML files, and they can be edited with a text editor. I use the free TextWrangler editor (there’s a more advanced chargeable version called BBEdit, but that isn’t necessary). I posted about TexWrangler at

Once you have your own incomplete .tcx file, and also your co-rider’s complete .tcx file, just look at the last timestamp tag in your own file between the <Trackpoint> and </Trackpoint> tags, in my case;


and then find the next recorded trackpoint in your friend’s file;


and copy that and all the subsequent trackpoints, and included tagged variables, from their file, and paste into a new file.

Then copy their preamble (everything before their first trackpoint);

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
xmlns:xsi=”” xmlns:ns4=”″>
<Activity Sport=”Biking”>
<Lap StartTime=”2018-04-08T07:55:25.000Z”>

and postamble (everything ATER their last trackpoint);

<Creator xsi:type=”Device_t”>
<Name>Edge 820</Name>
<Author xsi:type=”Application_t”>
<Name>Garmin Connect API</Name>

which contain generic and summary information about the xml version and other data, and add those into the front and back respectively of the partial trackpoint file for you friend’s ride you just created and saved from.

Now you have two ride files available, with complete preambles and postambles – your own original one finishing (say) with the last trackpoint at:


and your friend’s data, from the part of the ride after that, starting with the trackpoint, say:


You will see that the Lat/Long match pretty well at the changeover point, as does the altitude, allowing for slight differences as they were recorded on different devices.

Adding the preamble and postamble data to your friend’s latter part of the ride makes it a properly constituted XML file.

Save, in your text editor, the newly created file with a .tcx extension (instead of the default .xml, to make it a recognisable ride file for Garmin and Strava.

Now go to (as I have posted about before at and upload, and combine your own ride file, and the partial one created from your friend’s file, using the very simple dialog on that site. Just to be safe, accept the option to randomise the file ID (as if you already uploaded your original incomplete file, Strava will probably refuse another file with the same start time and owner.

That site can automatically upload the file to Strava, and this is what I used yesterday to post my Callander Sportive ride. I had already (quickly!!) made the incomplete one private, so as not to gather “kudos” onto the wrong ride posting. I have also now deleted it so as not to gather double distance on my own Strava activity reporting.

True, the last part has my friend’s heart rate etc, but we rode together, and all the location and speed data is correct; and since my own Garmin recorded everything about my ride up to 105kms or so, out of a total of 140kms, most of the data in the ride is good for me.

Finally – all ride pictures found their way into the right places on the new Strava posting. Unfortunately, Relive’s record of the ride was based on the incomplete 1o5kms ride – but hey….first world problems!





Riding for Marie Curie at Prudential RideLondon on July 29th

As friends will know, our family spent the greater part of 2017 in London last year caring for my mother-in-law, Laura, in her final illness. Marie Curie provided much respite caring help on several night a week, and I’ll be trying to show gratitude by riding for them in the Prudential RideLondon this year, and fundraising on their behalf.

I have a fundraising page at JustGiving - Sponsor me now! on behalf of Marie Curie, in memory of Laura. Please visit and donate what you can.

If you have a UK mobile number, you can also just text OUEM50 and the amount to 70070. For example, if you wanted to donate £10 to Marie Curie via my JustGiving code OUEM50, you’d text:

‘OUEM50 £10’ and send to the number 70070

An “in-real-life” sunny day in London with potential Zwift scenery!

50 years since I graduated with my first degree from King’s College gave me the opportunity to join the Alumni weekend in London, and the sunny weather made it a real treat as I walked about early in the day in peace and quiet – much needed after recent events in London. Here are some of the pictures from the day…

Click here to see and hear the bells of St Clement Danes on my Facebook page, as presented in the nursery rhyme “Oranges and Lemons”. See for more