Updated: Dec 19, 2020
Mallorca has an infamous climb that we all know and revere.
Sa Calobra, - 'The Serpent“- is not for the novice cyclist. 9.5km long and featuring 26 hairpin bends, it climbs an impressive 682 metres, with an average grade of 7%. A 270° spiral bridge called the Tie Knot completes the winding climb, officially named
Coll del Reis although everybody calls it Sa Calobra. That is also the name of the picturesque little port village into which it descends
Here's my rough guide preparing you to ride Sa Calobra.
Breaking larger objectives into smaller objectives is as useful in Cycle training as it is in real life.
Performing multiple repeats on smaller hills at an increased but steady pace with adequate recovery between repeats is how climbing speed is efficiently built.
For a beginner rider this means developing speed on 150m climbs, and for an intermediate rider we are talking 300m.
Real world application:
First, find a suitable hill where you can train once or twice a week.
Use the ride from your house to the bottom of the hill to warm up gently - arriving with fresh legs is key.
Know exactly where your 150m/300m etc. point is on the climb, riding at an increased but steady/sustainable pace. It may take time to establish this, so it’s best to think less is more.
If you are lucky enough to have a power meter and/or heart rate monitor, they will help you establish steady state riding.
As you improve over time, increase the size of each repeat by 50m/100m increments, ideally this should be all the way up to 682m and beyond for bigger climbs.
Remember your aim is to establish climbing speed first and then to build endurance at that speed as you go - patience is key.
For individual training plans and/or guide for your Sa Calobra attempt contact me here -- Geoff Harper British Cycling Coach and Guide