Postcards

Postcard from…Susi Wunsch

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
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Susi Wunsch cycles through Spain

Susi Wunsch publishes the New York City cycling website Velojoy.com She rides one of her three bicycle every daywhich one depends on where she’s riding and what she’s wearing. Susi is also acontributor to Momentum Magazine and serves on the board of directors of Transportation Alternatives.

Shape up 

Cycling is my sport, and for the first time last spring I signed up for a week-long training camp in Majorca, Spain. This magnificent, 1400 square mile island off the coast of Spain, with its mild climate, mountainous terrain and immaculate roads, attracts an estimated 250,000 cyclists each spring. The pros arrive in January and February; amateur teams, triathletes and “enthusiasts” like me follow in March and April.

 

Keeping up with the pack

Paul Levine, owner of Signature Cycles in Manhattan, organizes a yearly excursion in partnership with London’s GPM10 Training. While the trip typically attracts a few women, I was the only one who signed on for the 2012 outing. Certainly the irony of training along the Palisades in January and February to prepare for training camp in spring wasn’t lost on me, but nobody wants to be the girl hanging off the back of an all-male pace line.

 

The daily trek

From our base at a resort in Puerto Pollensa—which we called the “Olympic Village” for its on-premise bike shop, bike wash, drying racks festooned with bright cycling apparel, and dining hall stocked with every conceivable carb—we set off each morning for six to eight hours in the saddle, covering 40 to 100 miles. After the ride, we
converse over a tapas and wine dinner in a charming town square, fall into a bottomless slumber and repeat. How better than on two wheels to appreciate Majorca’s breathtaking vistas of mountains and the sparkling Mediterranean, fragrant orchards of lemon and olive trees and peaks topped like sundaes with ancient monasteries?

If you love road cycling, there’s nothing like testing yourself on the Dei and Valldemossa mountain and coastal climb, with its long descent and countless hairpin turns , off the Coll de Puig Major into Soller, or the famous 5-mile descent into Sa Colobra on a tangled spaghetti of perfect tarmac seemingly designed for thrills. Before the trip was through, we would log 420 miles and more than 25,000 feet of vertical gain. William Blake said, “Great things happen when men and mountains meet.” Make that women too.
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