Cyclists in Coll de sa Batalla. | Lola Olmo


When thousands of cyclists head into the Tramuntana Mountains for the Mallorca 312 event on Saturday, they will not be affecting other traffic as the roads will be closed for a time.

In advance of 312, however, there is what has now become a familiar issue on the roads - the 'saturation' of cyclists combined with all the vehicles: hire cars, excursions coaches, public transport buses and so on.

For much of the spring this is the situation, but it becomes more pronounced during April. While cycling tourism isn't of course confined to the mountains, it is the mountains where there can be the greatest problems because of the nature of the roads. Overtaking can be downright dangerous.

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The Inca to Lluc and Pollensa to Lluc roads are the most crowded. But as was highlighted in a recent video, the Formentor road to and from the lighthouse is another one with high numbers of cyclists and resultant frustration for drivers. This has prompted a further call for Formentor traffic restrictions to start earlier than June the first.

The success of 312 and an ever-increasing number of cycling tourists merely serve to draw attention to issues that have existed for years. It was 2014 when the mayor of Escorca, Toni Solivellas, warned that it was necessary to improve infrastructure due to the high number of cyclists. "Every spring we have serious problems." The Sa Calobra road was one in particular that concerned the mayor.

The mayor was aware that cyclists were an important source of income for local businesses. The owner of the restaurant at Coll de sa Batalla, said: "It is true that many road users complain about the overcrowding and the delays caused by cyclists, but it is no less true that they are a very important source of income."

And they continue to be, but that was ten years ago, since when the saturation and the risks have increased.