After the epic climb up Velefique on Friday and cycling the stunning coastal Cabo de Gato route on Saturday, we were so lucky to make the final ride on Sunday as Spain had gone into full lock down. The guys had flights to go back to the UK on Monday so we took the chance. We were stopped about 30km from home by the Police. To be fair he was ok with us, "next time we will fine you 600 euros each" he said, then told us to get back to Mojacar sharpish. It was the last time I rode outside!
As the Covid-19 deaths and new cases slow, we thank the Spanish front line staff and dream of open roads again.
Enjoy Henry's full review below. Stay safe! Stu.
In search of new roads
Just wanted to put a few words down on a recent trip to Mojacar in southern Spain I took in early March.
After a moderate winter in the UK and too many KMs spent on the indoor trainer I was eager to feel some sun and get back into shorts for rides with some good friends.
Having ridden the roads of Mallorca, France and Ibiza with my good friends at veloclubibiza.com I was keen to ride with Simon and his good friend Stu on the roads of Mojacar in the province of Almeria.
Once the bikes were put together I was keen to get out on silky tarmac and quiet roads. Why is it Spanish drivers are far more considerate than the English when it comes to bikes, anyway you just feel safe riding on these roads.
We had three great days of riding:
Day 1 - The Road to Velefique
Stu and the broom wagon, picked us up from our Hotel and drove about 30 mins out to the edge of the national park of Yesos, we then started our ride along some of the longest straightest roads I’ve ever ridden on, hitting nearly 70KPH at some points chasing the road. Stu had reccied the route and talked us through it in great detail and reassured us that the climb although monstrous was also achievable and worth the effort. The ride to the foothills of Velefique were full of banter taking in the beautiful surroundings and our impending climb of Velefique.
Well it didn’t disappoint. 1500m+ climbing and an hour later I reached the top of the Vuelta routed climb, seeing the names of Contador, Indurain and Valverde on the road just gave me goose-bumps all the way up.
The site of the broom wagon at the top of the climb with warm weather gear and food and drink just made for an epic day, without the support vehicle it would have been a very different day. Slightly over cast weather made for cool climbing, I imagine doing this in the heat of the Sumer would make this a very different climb again.
Day 2 - The coastal route
Riding out from the Hotel, we were immediately greeted by the local bike shop owner who beckoned us to come with him, looking like he’d ridden his whole life and at about 65 years old, he still looked like he could ride us into the ground. We headed out and followed the coastal roads for a magical three hours with over 1000m of climbing and some of the best views I have ever seen. With something for everyone, we climbed and descended on deserted roads like we owned them. Stu and his local knowledge making us aware of the corners and where we could go full gas or pull back to stay safe.
Going out and back on this route couldn’t have been more different, the views one way giving you a completely different view on the way back. An amazing route with something for everyone.
Day 3 - Out and Back
If we turned left out of the Hotel the day before we turned right today !, looking for an easier recovery ride with some great scenes this route took us out to deserted tarmac and through small sleepy towns pre the summer season, fresh tarmac awaited us, which allowed some lovely cruising speeds down on the drops. With everyone enjoying the weather and the ability to float up and down the group we acted like a Team Time Trial each taking our turns on the front. With the breeze coming in from the sea and some amazing villas and countryside to see, it’s no wonder Stu has chosen to decamp from Ibiza and take residence in this area.
In summary 3 great days riding with good friends and amazing support from Stu and Velo Velefique, the climb is a must and the support and banter made the weekend trip. If you want to discover new roads, slightly less travelled than those of the usual cycling destinations then hook up with Stu and VV for an amazing opportunity to do just that. I will be back.
5 Stars - Trip Advisor Rating from me!