I’m teetotal, ride 15+ hrs a week, and have the body clock of a milkman; luckily I’m not in the modern dating pool... that would make a terrible Tinder bio.
To fit my cycling addiction, career, personal and all other aspects of life into the day I need to start early: 4:20 am, get up, coffee, ride, breakfast, work - this routine means I never miss the sunrise, it’s my favourite time of day, each sunrise is totally unique and fills my day with optimism; what opportunities will the day bring? How can I be the best version of myself? Ideas start to flood my mind while turning the pedals, unless I’m in training mode, then I’m just in the moment, focussing on the effort, managing the hurt.
The moon is so big that it illuminates the road, my little clip-on lights seem pointless, I arrive at Sa Calobra (Col del Reis) for the sunrise over the misty mountains, its beauty puts everything into perspective, my mind is clear, I’m in the moment and nothing else matters.
Sa Calobra is my favourite climb in Mallorca, arriving at 6:15 the roads are completely empty (other than a few goats and pigs), free of other cyclists and traffic you can descend with confidence, take the racing line and climb back up without interruption. "Your best time?" every data-obsessed cyclist asks (and quite rightly)... 30:48 measured by my Alludens Patron watch #NoGarminNoRules.
My second favourite spot is the Cap de Formentor Lighthouse, it overlooks an endless horizon out to sea, at sunrise the rocky mountains and shores are illuminated with an orange glow. The road from Pollença to the Cap is pornographic, slow and winding with views out to sea.
The best thing about Mallorca (and my annoying body clock) is that I can get out and ride for 4hours, arrive back at the villa for breakfast, then spend the day exploring the town, at Formentor beach, eating (too much) amazing food, relaxing and reconnecting with my girlfriend, it is the perfect combination of cycling and holidaying.
Winter by name, winter by nature.
Getting up before the sun means I can climb in the shadows of the mountains "How do people ride in the midday sun? The Vuelta must be torture." My body is acclimatised to the Flemish school of cycling, even riding at 9-10am in Mallorca feels like an oven.
The competitive world of cycling apparel has lead to a real acceleration of innovation, all the big brands are constantly trying to outdo each other, for us consumers (mortals), this is great... we get to ride the same kit as the elite, with an endless choice of colours, cuts, fabrics and designs.
I have tested the Castelli Climbers 2.0 race jersey (post here), its a great product for hot days, the performance is exceptional, the fabric keeps you cool, and it's close-fitting, I love training in it, but the aesthetic doesn’t really fit my ‘modern classic’ archetype.
For style AND function, CHPT3 and Castelli have created the Forbici jersey, engineered with the same fabric as the original Castelli climber's jersey, but slightly heavier, creating a jersey that is lightweight, breathable, and durable. The stitching of the Forbici is stronger so you can sling it on without fear of tearing the seams, some lightweight jerseys on the market feel like you need to layer yourself in talcum powder before you attempt to ‘edge it on’. Forbici is an investment piece, designed to hang in your wardrobe for several seasons, not worn out, donated or thrown away within a summer of use.
Forbici is designed for the cyclist (not the elite stage-racer with vehicle support), the zip pocket on the rear for valuables (this would never make it on a ‘race jersey’ as it would be deemed a luxury and too ‘heavy’ 😉) is perfect for hiding coffee tokens, keys, Tamagotchis, love letters, pocket combs, etc. The full-length zipper has a leather pull, a nice touch and seal of quality (it also silences annoying zip-ticking). If the heat becomes too much, you can just eject the parachute and fully unzip 🤐 (maybe shave the chest first, if you don't have a base layer).
The jersey is subtly tailored, the sleeve-head is cornered like a tailored jacket, creating a sharper, squarer, more elegant shape on the shoulder. Forbici translates to ‘scissors’ in Italian, hence the red scissor motif sliding into the rear pocket ✂️.
The CHPT3 Forbici is a clever solution to a problem faced by previous generations - jerseys used to have half-zips and came in one weight of fabric, so riders had to cut the sleeves off to keep cool… ah, now the scissors make sense.
Sir Bradley Wiggins has been rocking retro sleeveless jerseys recently (perhaps because his newly acquired guns don't fit inside Italian sized sleeves), in my book, sleeveless on a road bike is a faux pas, but Sir Brad can do whatever the fuck he wants, he doesn’t need to answer to anyone with his palmarès, image and personality, I celebrate individuality within conformity, so crack on with the no sleeves and socks, Sir.
CHPT3 design everything with a purpose, with history, creativity and a lifetime of race experience and insight from David Millar, everything has a story behind it, that's what life (cycling) is about, sharing stories and experiences from-the-road, on-the-road.
I can’t seem to post a picture without someone commenting on my haircut or calling me Jacques Anquetil, for me, the scissors take another meaning ✂️💈.
My Pollença recommendations:
Restaurante Cantonet - Prawn Linguine, Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli, and Grilled Seabass.
La Trencadora - Bufalina Pizza, Homemade Ravioli.
La Fonda - Amazing Paella, especially the Cod and vegetable.
La Mar Dolça - Best Coffee in Pollenca, great pastries and avocado on toast.