Cyclotourism in Mallorca. | EL ECONOMICO


Over the years Mallorca has become an absolute Mecca for cyclotourism, with the island government investing a small fortune improving roads, installing cycle lanes etc. acknowledging that the revenue from cyclists impacts greatly on Mallorca’s off-season tourism figures. Cycle friendly hotels have invested heavily in their properties, ensuring their accommodation caters for cyclist’s ‘specialised’ needs. It’s a multi-million euro business which will undoubtedly continue to grow as Mallorca establishes itself as the Biker’s Balearic Dream!

Sadly, there will always be those who seem to have it in for visiting cyclists! On the other hand, there are also cyclists who seem to have it in for local motorists. Bad attitudes, disrespect and lack of consideration spoil things, not only for cyclists, but for other tourists, motorists, and residents of Mallorca alike. On the driver’s perspective, crawling behind a road hogging cycling convoy, which refuses to move over, can sometimes make other road users take risks, particularly when your presence is being totally ignored! From the cyclist’s viewpoint, motorists don’t give way to their unwavering ‘pack’ focus, and sometimes drive dangerously close, overtaking when it’s not considered safe!

Cyclists are allowed to ride 2 abreast, keeping as far to the right as possible, but must ride single file in areas where visibility is poor or when they are holding up traffic! Is it that difficult for cyclists to ride single file occasionally? Is it that stressful for drivers to be patient and refrain from overtaking until it’s totally safe to do so? I have witnessed vehicles overtaking cyclists in reckless fashion. I have also encountered hostile and aggressive behaviour from cyclists, including hammering on car roofs with fists, and verbal abuse! Whether from the majority or a minority on either side, this behaviour is totally NOT acceptable.

Quite recently, a pack of loud British cyclists turned up in my local village while I was enjoying a coffee and stashed their bikes right up against my table. When I asked politely if they would mind moving them to the cycle racks provided, the reply was, “Wot’s your problem, mate? Chill out, we’re on holiday!” I don’t think the response was anything to do with cycling protocol, it was simply a question of bad manners, ignorance and completely ‘the wrong attitude’. Locals and residents welcome all tourists to the island, yet cyclists should realise that people DO actually live here, and not treat Mallorca like one big cycle park where anything goes. A little respect goes a long way!