Ride the island with the Velo Club Ibiza
Velo Club Ibiza – Ride the island
»You can see the best of the island in a few days riding and feel like you know it and are connected.«
What were you doing in your life before you decided to open the Giri and how did you meet your partner Lars?
I’d always ridden a bike but unfortunately not professionally. Music was and is a big passion of mine so after university I joined up with a producer friend and we ran an Indy record label in London.
Then I moved on to a subsidiary of a major label working and then moved across into the advertising industry working with music and brands way before that was a common thing. We had a small agency specialising in music and helped bigger agencies do credible stuff.
It was a struggle back then, but I was able to approach sports and more specifically the new wave of cycling brands that were being born and eventually ended up as a freelance marketing consultant working with a few great cycling clients.
How did the decision come about to move away from the UK and found the Club? And why Ibiza?
My wife introduced me to Ibiza nearly 25 years ago. We were young and I was not into the music as I was more a hip hop head, however after one visit I was hooked. We came back regularly and met some people who lived and worked here. I guess that planted the seed that such a life was possible. We went back to London and continued our life and careers. But maybe with a nagging thought about a better life or different life here. We had our daughter and my wife spent six months here with her mum and the baby I would visit and ride a bike.
Most of the local riders rode XC MTB but I found the road riding really amazing and felt it was kind of a hidden secret and maybe it still is. It was pretty tough to get a nice hire bike back then and the service wasn’t great… so another seed was planted. When our son was on his way we decided to move to Ibiza for a year. Thinking back now I have no idea how we had the energy, but we did it … and we are still here (smiles).
What is your philosophy? Can I contact you even if I am not cycling regularly at home?
People who ride bikes at any level are normally good people and we want to help all riders of any level, we want to give people the best cycling experience they can have when they are here, so we tailor everything to what the client wants to do. It sounds cliched but that’s what we do its very personal and people seem to like it!
Which brands do you provide for your customers?
We work with the Italian brand Basso and the Spanish brands Merida and Berria.
What is your favourite ride with a road bike on the island?
I think Benimussa and Santa Agnes are fantastic for road riding. On the other hand, there is no region on the island that I would not recommend. It’s really difficult to decide and, to be honest, my favourites change from time to time.
Very many people ride on Mallorca, why should they give Ibiza a chance?
Mallorca is very well known for cycling and it’s a large part of their economy however it’s very performance driven and big. Ibiza offers a more chilled, compact but still very challenging terrain, it’s by no means flat but the bigger hills are conquerable even for a beginner and there are enough climbs and super steep coastal ramps to challenge the most performance driven rider.
You can see the best of the island in a few days riding and feel like you know it and are connected. Then after you’ve finished your great riding and have chilled and recovered then it’s time to get ready for the evening .. and well you’re in Ibiza and not Mallorca (smiles).
You offer guided tours with mountain bikes and e-mountain bikes as well. Which region on the island is the most challenging one?
You know it’s all pretty challenging. The area around San Josep and Benimussa is very bumpy for MTB riding. On the road, in my opinion I’d say it’s the west coast with its numerous steep coastal climbs out of Cala Tarida, Cala Vedella and Cala d’Hort.
You also provide accommodations – how did it come about?
We don’t actually provide them because we leave that to the pros. We just work with some trusted partners who can provide villas and apartments. From a cycling perspective I can recommend areas to stay for ease of access to best routes depending on what you want to do cycling wise.
What is your favourite off-the-beaten-track-spot on the island?
There are too many to mention but in my opinion the most impressive and surprising for its scale is the Morna Valley camino coming down from San Joan towards Santa Eularia. Your ride down through stunning views into the lush countryside … that’s the real Ibiza right there.