Lockdown was difficult for the majority of people living here in Mallorca. Whether you live in Palma or the countryside, in an apartment or a house; whether you are single or have a partner & a family; whether you were a business owner or employee – life was really challenging and still is. It was particularly challenging for those of us who love to get out and about on our bikes. Going from 300km a week to zero was not easy. I contacted some of my cycling friends and asked them to share some of their experiences…. These were their words….
Andy Mitter – Owner of Tramuntana Tours
Lockdown: while you could see it was coming, the speed with which it happened, caught us all by surprise. We had 50 bikes rented out on the 15th March.
The first week of lockdown was spent doing the paperwork for our 12 staff members to go on the furlough scheme, securing a bank loan, dealing with cancellations and trying to get hold of some batteries for the CrossFit machine that had been lying idle in the garage for the last 5 years.
The next two weeks were the hardest for me personally. The cold reality… there is no quick fix for Covid-19 and I hate exercising on the spot. Dog walking was the next best thing.
Coming out of lockdown, I was elated that after 7 weeks we were finally allowed outside again to exercise and in Bunyola there were no time limits. I rode my mountain bike to Sa Comuna and some of the best trails on the island. I decided to take a route I had never done before and soon regretted it, as it was completely un-rideable. The next 90 minutes was spent pushing the bike up a rocky walking path and calling the wife to tell her I would be home late.
Since then I have stuck to road cycling and last week completed a ride I have wanted to do for a long time. The Tramuntana Traverse from the tip of Cap Formentor to Sant Elm, 145 kilometres, 3000 altitude metres and 7 hours along the stunning MA-10 coastal road. Normally at this time of the year the road would be busy with tourist traffic. The fact it was so quiet was bittersweet.
The future: we reopen 3 of our 4 shops on the 1st July – www.tramuntanatours.com. The cycling cafe we were planning to open this spring in Port Soller has been put on hold for now. Bookings for rental bikes, our hiking, cycling and coasteering excursions are starting to happen again, albeit slowly. It is going to take some time before international travel recovers. When it does, we will be ready to start all over again.
On the 5th February, I posted a picture of a bicycle leaning against an almond tree in full bloom with the message “Almond trees in bloom, cycling season starting soon”
Paul Skevington – Owner of Parietti
After 16 months of research, designing, developing and testing, myself, a sportswear designer and my business partner Tom, were gearing up to launch Parietti, a new premium and planet-friendly cycling apparel company based in Mallorca
Given Mallorca’s recent status as the mecca of European cycling, we had set out to create a brand celebrating everything that was special about the best island in the world. Named after Antonio Parietti, the visionary Mallorcan road engineer who designed and built iconic routes such as Sa Calobra, we reinvented traditional Mallorcan Ikat as our signature design and set out to promote and lead on sustainable production practises to help protect where we ride. We kept our production local to the Mediterranean, used family run factories in Italy specialising in high end cycling garments, used only fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles without compromise on comfort and performance, and made sure all our packaging was certified biodegradable. www.parietti.cc
Then COVID-19 arrived. The world imploded, one country at a time shutting down like dominos, in response to this devastating pandemic.
Our plans for promoting ourselves at the annual 312 Milestone Series and attracting the influx of cycle tourists that come every year were shelved. Our garments were stuck in Italy. There was no end date in sight to plan against. We had to press pause and cross our fingers.
For us cycling is about freedom, camaraderie and fun. There´s nothing better for the soul, than riding to the top of a local Col with your mates, flying down the other side and ending with cheeky beer afterwards. Suddenly all that was gone as well. I would look out my window in Santa Maria as Spring bloomed, like it was a prison sentence. I never bothered with a Zwift or a Peloton as my backyard had been a Unesco World Heritage site with around 300 days of sunshine a year. Exercise is always good for the mind, but somehow press ups and squats on the terrace wasn’t quite the same.
My “almond tree” post seemed like a different age. Everything we had taken for granted was no longer available. But as the weeks wore on, a new determination grew. We would never take the outside for granted again. We could see nature creeping back, pollution levels dropping, the seas becoming cleaner. We would make Parietti work, and hopefully impress the need for a more sustainable and mindful approach to consumerism.
Looking back now, I’m not sure how on a personal level, my family and I managed all the events, drinks, birthday parties, after school clubs, work, flying, visitors and exploring that we did every single week before lock down.
I’m looking forward to embracing a slower pace of life and appreciating being outside as much as possible. Parietti has not had the start we planned for. Nor the full range we thought we would have. That is life. But I am positive we will get the opportunity to put an entirely new kind of cycling apparel company on the map. One that celebrates high quality, meaningful and responsible garments as an alternative. And that can in time, help protect and preserve this very, very special island called Mallorca.
Jeff Harter – Private Chef
My name is Jeff Harter and I am a corona virus survivor. I am a private chef and have lived in mallorca for the past 13 years with my wife, 4 dogs, 3 cats and 2 goats. I am originally from Boulder (Colorado) where I first began to ski and cycle through the rocky mountains. Later I moved to San Diego (California), I became a chef and took up surfing & skateboarding.
On 20th March, I started to show signs of Covid 19. On 25th March I developed a bad cough and headache. On 27th March the fever & dizziness set in. Three days later I had very high fever and waking up soaking in bed from sweat. I finally went to Son Espases where they took my blood and gave me a chest x-ray. BAAMM! Liquid in my lungs and time to check in! Then they gave me the covid 19 test and again BAAMM! positive. I spent the next 7 days in the hospital, before returning home to isolate for 14 days.
Post isolation, I started to take the dogs for short walks on the trails around Esporles. Each week, I was able to go a bit further and eventually I jumped on my mountain bike and started riding around Esporles and Banyalbufar. After another week or so the road bike came out and started to do some of the classic rides in mallorca such as Cap Formentor and Sa Calobra.
Now I am looking forward to my cooking season getting started and my private cheffing to kick in. The first 2 weeks of July, I head up to Denmark to go cook.
and then busy here in mallorca for the rest of July and August.
This fall I am focusing on my new idea of bringing over enthusiastic cyclists from the states and blending my passions of cycling & gastronomy here in Mallorca www.mallorcablend.com
Over the past few months of confinement, I have also had the time to start my own cooking channel on youtube. You can find me on youtube by typing in An American chef in Mallorca.
Today I feel great and 99% back to normal (though some would say I have never been that normal)…… Going surfing tomorrow morning and a bike ride in the afternoon. gotta love mallorca.
Ronny Portulidis – Owner of Duke Restaurant & Catering
Me being a Professional Chef for well over 20 years has turned me into a pretty resilient person. Stress and Shocks have become second nature to me (for good and bad). But this one… ?
My first reaction was to figure out what the hell this all means for my Restaurant in Santa Catalina and my 12 Staff. We have been well established since 2009 with our Restaurant Duke, in the heart of Santa Catalina, but we were not prepared for such a thing. The bad news escalated every day and in mid March we received a memo that we have to close the Duke Restaurant until further notice – No more Restaurant visits were allowed in Spain. It was not clear how the regulations would work at that time, so I felt very vulnerable since I had no control over this situation.
After conversations with officials and my management, it was clear that we are looking at a perfect Storm. A total collapse of all human social interactions. As a small business owner who lives from connecting people, this was bad news. Either way, I also made a decision quickly to separate what I can control and what I can not. And exclusively work on the things that are under my control.
Staying prepared and fit for example was in my control, how many people get contaminated with Covid-19 every day was not in my control.
As a passionate Cyclist and Grappler, I had plenty of motivation to stay fit for the time after the lock down. Solo training sessions and drills were part of my daily protocol. I am lucky to have a house with plenty of space to move around and a wonderful dog I was able to walk multiple times a day. From jump ropes over rubber band exercises to kettlebell swings, I did everything in my reach to stay prepared. Now that the lock down is over, my efforts are paying off.
I am back on the bike as strong as ever, no fatigue, no tiredness, just my butt was hurting after 2 months of not sitting on the saddle. Ahh, and I lost 5kg… not a minor detail when you are in your
The lock down also brought me closer to my family, it allowed me to spend long and stress free time with my wife and daughters. Something I normally struggle to do as a Chef. So all in all it played out pretty well for me. I do not want to glorify this situation by no means. Many lost lives, even someone I am close to died from this horrible virus and my businesses and employees are suffering immense losses, to this day.
The worst is over however, many lessons have been learned and I hope that our wonderful island will soon return to become Europe’s darling.
Much love from the kitchen of Santa Catalina – http://www.dukepalma.com
Nerea Alonso – Owner of Let’s Fisio
The beginning of ‘lockdown’ was incredibly frustrating and stressful as a business owner but especially as a physiotherapist. With guidance from our College I made the difficult decision to close completely until there was more knowledge on how to operate with appropriate safety measures.
To combat the stresses of the business whilst confined at home I definitely turned to training to give more structure to my day. Before Covid I was training for a sportive in the Basque Country. I had not ever contemplated using Zwift, but it became a great tool to keep active and even race during the lockdown!! Thankfully some home gym equipment meant I had some other options for training too.
Time away from the day to day of the practice also gave me time to further my professional knowledge. I completed a course focusing on Motor Control.
Of course I took some time to relax from my usually busy life at the Son Moix centre. I enjoyed catching up on books and movies I hadn’t had the time for before.
I reopened the doors to Let Fisio in May. We have had to make some changes to how we operate; masks, cleaning etc. but for the most part our physio treatments are running as normal and we are super happy to be welcoming old and new clients through our doors once again at Let’s Fisio – please connect with me via Facebook.
Janis Arsts – Personal Trainer
First days of lockdown felt little bit with of the taste of fear of the unknown – no one knew the direction of the “virus” nor directions of Government decisions (what we as citizens can do or what’s safe to do). With so much of disinformation from different directions it was hard to stay positive & motivated in any area of life.
I live in small 30m2 studio, I am person who is never home, because I have urge always to be outside in nature to do what I love – cycling, hiking, exploring island and it’s beauty. I am Professional Youth Coach and Strength & Conditioning Coach, each day I run sessions for adults, kids, families and companies. For the first 2 weeks of the lockdown, I felt stuck in my little apartment, not motivated to do much, was training only when I felt. I didn’t put too much pressure on myself, as it was already too stressful, not being able give service to my clients and not being able to be outside. Not knowing anything about future.
Then one day I saw a motivational video about a person who said : “What would you do if this would last for many months or years? How would you react to this? Would you just wait and sit? Or would you try figure out how to offer your services to your clients during these times?…..or even better to be lockdown secure in case there another Lockdown in the future.”
Those few sentences made me wake up and the next day I started to offer Online Classes for kids and their families.
I am supposed to be the example… the one who trains everyday and motivates my clients during lockdown. Yet I barely trained myself, I wasn’t feeling great, so my priority was my clients, to keep them in better place then myself. I don’t mean the physical state, I am speaking about psychological state – because we know exercise makes us fit, but most importantly it makes us feel much better. I knew that if I am going through this, then probably most of people are feeling the same – closed in their homes and kids not being able to see their friends or being able to play .
The smiles and energy of the kids and funny conversations with my adult clients made me get trough lockdown. As with most people, during lockdown, there were good days and bad days. The online classes really made me feel grateful and happy to be able connect with people during these hard times, unknowingly we exchanged with this positive energy and day by day we got through.
Now I am cycling almost every day!!!! and enjoying this little paradise in Mediterranean more than ever. The roads are quite and so are the trails – it’s great being out and about and teaching people face to face again at www.thefitfamilytree.com