Day 176 – From Erzurum to Tercan

Today’s distance: 113.03km
Average speed:
Time pedalling:
6h 47m
Distance to Date:
1922.0km (plus 4200km on old speedo)

I only took one photo today.

BTC Pipeline near Tercan, eastern Turkey

And that’s it. I think I may be getting some hints. I have crossed this pipeline so many times in the last two months, and saw the beginning of it in Baku, Azerbaijan, that maybe I should make the detour to Ceyhan to see the end of it…might be a chunky 500km or more detour though…

The day began with a 5km dead end mistake that saw me ride to the entrance of the Erzurum air force base. I thought I was going towards Ashker.

“The road to Ahsker is back that way!” the helpful soldier said in good English.

Man I hate it when that happens.

Once on the correct road – a four lane highway with light traffic with the sweetest verge I have ever ridden on – it was a beautiful mostly slight downhill ride to Ashker. The road was smooth and snow-free, and my knee only uttered a few grunts in the morning while it warmed up.

From Ashker after lunch it was a long 300m uphill that was gradual enough to mean that it took about an hour to climb. The resulting downhill however was awesome. Half an hour of downhill wonder on the same smooth four lane highway with little traffic. I love it when that happens.

So, the knee is feeling strong, and it was a good long day of cycling. Hit an angry dog on the snout too.

OK, just now in the internet cafe I took a couple of candid pics. They are of the kid next to me playing a role play game involving lots of shooting people with automatic weapons. He is hardly big enough to reach the keyboard and mouse, but knows all the cheat keys, and is totally absorbed in the game. I could have stuck the camera up his nose and he wouldn’t have noticed.

Kid in Turkish internet cafe absorbed in computer game (Tercan, Turkey)   Kid in Turkish internet cafe absorbed in computer game (Tercan, Turkey)

And speaking of kids, you need to check out this article and blog. Gareth is a 5 year old who has cerebral palsy, and has just got a new bike. It’s a semi-recumbent tandem. Gareth’s blog reports that he and his father went for their first ride on the 14th of January. Great stuff.