the dan milner photography blog: tales of an adventuring photo chimp

May 14, 2009

Adventure biking close to home: Mallorca May ’09

Filed under: bike — danmilner @ 9:12 am

I just got back from a 5-day trip mountain biking the GR221 long distance trail on the ever-so sunny island of Mallorca, a veritable gem of a rock in the Mediterranean Sea that is strewn with hiking and biking trails. The adventure feature is commissioned by What Mountain Bike magazine to run in the autumn this year. Aided by knowledge from Andy at Tramuntana Tours ( and accompanied by regulars Mike Foster, Jez Wilson and new-comer to the mountain bike shooting hall of fame Seb Liljeberg we rode a 4-day stint across the North West of the island roughly following the waymarked GR221 trail and staying in refuges along the way. No vehicle back-up, just 4 mountainbikers and whatever they can fit in small backpacks (including the more-than-packable Leica M8 and four lenses) means laughing in the sweaty face of  physical challenge and taking whatever the trail throws at you in your stride. And throw at us it did. To finish each day, and access the downhill rewards of the GR221, meant carrying the bikes regularly over unrideable sections of trail, sometimes for up to an hour at a time, while keeping an eye out for outstanding locations to grab shots for the feature. It’s a balance that’s sometimes hard to maintain: making decisions to stop and shoot that interrupt the ride (not knowing what other locations lie ahead) while ensuring enough flow to the riding to keep everyone happy and enjoying the buzz.

For me this was a re-visit to Mallorca, having shot my first mountain bike feature there back in 1993 (it ran in MBUK), but since that inaugural trip I’d not returned with a bike in tow, mainly due to the frustration of the island having no decent trail network or infrastructure to plunder by bike. A lot has changed since, and the now the island has a number of demanding, technical singletracks to tackle by bike. Just be prepared to hike-a-bike for your rewards.


Mike Foster spirals down the slabby GR221

Mike Foster spirals down the slabby GR221


1 Comment »

  1. Just seen the photo of Jez in this months WMB riding GR221 in Mallorca. I’m off there at the end of August for a week with the family. We’re staying near Pollenca and I’m contemlplating taking my Heckler. Are there any maps /guides that you can recommend to point me in the right direction for a few day rides. I will be riding solo. Great pic. Regards, Geraint.

    Comment by Geraint Davies — July 23, 2009 @ 9:11 pm

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