Get away from it all, without breaking any lockdown rules!

Our Chief Operating Officer, John Oxley, recounts his escape from reality with RGTCycling's virtual rides.

"Thanks to those great people at RGTCycling and our cycling ambassador, double Olympic medallist, Bryan Steel, I took to the indoor bike... and rode to Cap Formentor in Mallorca.

RGT (Real Grand Tours) is a relatively new online cycling platform, but I predict will be a real hit. You can choose to ride alone and do your own or a pre-set programme, but that frankly is not how the app comes alive. Select Real Road, join a Social Ride, or sign up to Race and you’ll get slick graphics and a bit of online company.

I fancied the smooth roads of Mallorca today instead of the grippy lanes of Worcestershire on a windy and cold March Saturday whilst we’re locked-down in the Covid-19 ‘stay at home or else’ situation!

You need two devices: download the RGT cycling App to your phone and the RGT screen app to your tablet and you’re away. They connected easily to my Wattbike Atom and Myzone Heart Rate belt and very quickly I was whisked away from my chilly and dusty garage to the sun-drenched hills of Mallorca.

I clipped in, turned the pedals and joined a multitude of others doing the same thing from, presumably, their own dusty homesteads in France, Italy, the States, Brazil and many more. The screen displays the road ahead and the scenery. Your data is displayed and the smart trainer increases the resistance as the ascent to the Cap begins. You can see your fellow riders in front and a neat little graphic indicates in metres how far ahead some are and how far behind you others may be. That adds, albeit in a social ride, a little bit of competition - Italy’s Marco G was left chewing my dust while Phil W from the US passed me on the descent but I took him again as the road turned upwards.

The Cap is a 22Km ride and I worked hard for just less than an hour - in truth you can work as hard as you like but the route mimics exactly the iconic climb of Mallorca, so take in the scenery too!

I loved it and I reckon those boys at RGT are in to a winner. There’s a Covid-19 offer bringing it free to Places Leisure members - check out the RGT website for more information. I’d recommend it - just planning my next excursion!"