Spain has long been a favourite destination for British cyclists searching for quiet roads, warm winter temperatures and a great cycling culture. So, when we began to plan our Spring/Summer photoshoot for 2017, we knew precisely where we wanted to go. Situated on the Mediterranean coast, boasting around 300 days of sun every year, and with easy access to the magnificent Sierra Nevada mountains, Malaga is a cycling paradise.
For our riders this was the first time they had seen any of the kit, and for us it was the first time we’d seen the reactions of riders outside of the Kalf bubble. As the clothes were unpacked on our first evening, it was great to see their sense of excitement as outfits came together ready for each day of riding.
A steady 45km with just over 1000m of climbing was ideal to get some photos, feedback on the kit, and to clear the legs after the previous day’s travelling. As the road meandered out of town it was very much an eyes everywhere ride, local drivers proving a little temperamental even if they did know where they were going. As we escaped the suburban sprawl around the coast, the road opened up and the cars disappeared and we were treated to the long but steady climb up to El Lince. The climb could be seen as a tough start to a ride, but the with smooth road surface, the sun on our backs and the breathtaking views back across the Mediterranean, it was anything but hard work.
Having gained all the day’s elevation, we were rewarded with the thrill of the descent back down into the city. Dropping 1000m in 15km gave us the opportunity to find our flow through the endless hairpin bends and enjoy the fast road surface. We finished the ride rolling along the seafront, swapping stories from the descent before finding a bar for a well-earned cerveza. Salud!
You can see our route and ride it yourself by downloading it here:
What was that we said about 300 days of sun? Day two certainly threw a spanner in our spokes as a weather front came in from the sea and decided to hang around all day. There was nothing for it: we were forced to batten down the hatches and spend the day in a café watching the world go by while practising our Spanish: “Café con leche por favor!”
After an evening spent checking every possible weather app and praying for sun, Day three dawned bright and sunny. Success! This was meant to be an easy morning before flying home but with the sun shining, there was no time to waste, so we hit the road. We started the morning with the Transition Jersey, which is perfect for days that start crisp but can quickly become very warm. After a couple of hours of photos in the early morning light and crisp mountain air, riding the same corner “one more time”, we had to head back to pack. Sadly our time in Malaga had come to an end and despite some changeable weather – forgivable in mid-winter, even in Spain – we can’t wait to head back again to further explore the area’s amazing roads and climbs.