Right now it probably takes twice as long to get out of the house because you can’t decide how many layers to wear, which ones to take with you, and which ones to discard on your bedroom floor. Yes, unfortunately that time of year has come once again, where frozen extremities are part of the routine. Sound familiar? But it isn’t all doom, as there’s always the option of searching for sunnier climes. Here are some of cycling’s most failsafe options as well as a couple of more off-piste suggestions for a sunny pedal.
Mallorca, Balearic Islands
If you’re looking for quiet roads, mountain passes and a predictable winter climate, then Mallorca is a choice destination. You won’t be alone; many of Europe’s two-wheeled travellers venture to the island to enjoy its silk-like tarmac. As the island is buoyed by tourism, its residents know that during the winter months cyclists are their bread and butter so will happily leave plenty of room when overtaking, and will even give a friendly toot of the horn to let you know they are there. This consideration makes a refreshing change to other countries.
Its relatively predictable climate, varied terrain and the ease of getting around the island also attract the pros, who like to take in the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range that’s home to 10 km sweeping climbs. Cap de Formentor is another great ride with sheer drops down to aquamarine coves.
If switchbacks are your hit, head over to Sa Calobra – but to enjoy them to their fullest, you need to arrive by 9:30am before the tourist coaches head down. You wouldn’t want to waste this incredible descent because of a cumbersome bus.
After climbing those mountains you might be in need of a rest day, so ride out and explore the farm flatlands towards the centre of the island. For welcome relief and tiny villages, pick out the particularly pretty villages of Llubi and Petra on the map.