Jens Lapidus’s best Mountain Biking Tips in Mallorca
Author Jens Lapidus discovered mountain biking in Mallorca. Here are his best tips.
“We’ve always wanted to live abroad and broaden the children’s horizons. We were thinking about Los Angeles, but realized it was a bit too far away to keep us closely in touch with Sweden. So we settled on Mallorca. Because it’s a Mediterranean island you get nature, beaches and the ocean – and a great vibe. Life here is simple, more relaxed and more hospitable. There’s also a big Scandinavian community and several good international schools.”
Why you should go to Mallorca in the spring and autumn
“Talk about Mallorca and you tend to think about beaches, but there are also mountains. There’s a range called the Sierra de Tramontana running across the edge of the island, and it’s incredibly popular with road cyclists. Sometimes you can’t even drive along the small roads because of all the cyclists, but a lot of people don’t realize that there are also great mountain biking opportunities there. Most people travel to Mallorca in the summer, which means they miss the mountains as it’s too hot. The mountains are my favorite place in the spring and autumn.”
“It’s worth a try – despite the climbs.”
Mountain biking in Mallorca – if you’re looking for a challenge
“Compared to Swedish terrain, Mallorca is a lot more hilly. You often have to climb for quite a while, in pretty high mountains, so you need to be in decent shape. But it’s obviously not a race. If you think the climb’s too long, get off and walk your bike up instead. But once you do get up that hill, you’re often rewarded with an amazing view of the ocean and mountains. It’s worth a try – despite the climbs.”
The best rides according to Jens Lapidus
“Close to Palma, I’d recommend Military Hill, a military zone behind Genova where you climb the mountain next to a military base. It’s active but there’s nothing to worry about, it’s not blocked off and you’re allowed to cycle on the roads around it. Once at the top there are some lovely paths running along the mountain range to the east and west, and you can cycle either way. Go west and you’ll probably end up somewhere near Costa d’en Blanes, and east you’ll come down somewhere near north Palma. It’s usually a good half-day ride starting from Palma.”
“Further away there are nice rides at Banyalbufar, Sóller and Fornalutx. Mountain biking in Mallorca isn’t always easily accessible as you have to find trails and paths in the mountain trails, and they’re not always marked. Me and my friends tend to explore the areas ourselves. There are apps like Strava and Trailforks to help you, but mainly it’s about getting out there and finding your own way. When you’re done, I’d recommend finding the nearest village for a nice lunch and a cup of coffee.”
How Jens got started mountain biking
“I was in a skiing accident in the Alps and fractured my knee. Before that I was mainly a long-distance runner. After the accident I cut back on running a lot to protect my knee. When I was running, I used to measure my running time in various ways. Mountain biking is harder to measure as you’re constantly riding new trails, new paths and hills that you can’t compare, so there’s no real point to measuring the time. Instead you do it simply because it’s great fun. It’s a joyful form of exercise that lets you enjoy the cycling and the exercise for what it is. It also calms and relaxes me. As a person with a lot of energy, it’s nice to have my body and mind in the same place. It demands a lot of focus – otherwise you’ll hurt yourself. You have to be present in the moment, so for me it’s a great experience.”
Jens Lapidus’s tips
Mountain biking is about the equipment. Hire a bike and take it for a test ride before you buy an expensive one.
In rough terrain it’s good to have full suspension, i.e. suspension on the rear wheel as well.
In Mallorca there’s a lot of downhill cycling as well. Because there’s so much rock and gravel, it’s worth wearing leg and arm pads to be on the safe side.
Take plenty of water and energy bars to keep yourself going.
Text by Erica Lindberg