14degrees off the beaten track
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January 4th, 2007 | categorizilation: all categories,Turkey

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A day spent lazing in the internet cafe here in Posof. Great folks here at the internet cafe only charged me half price. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – ah the joy of cycling in off beat places.

So tomorrow it is off towards Ardahan. From there towards Ezurum via Gori. Should take about a week or so. Icy roads and more crazy steep Turkish roads are on the menu. The weather forecast by the way was for -22 overnight for Ezurum. It gonna be chilly, matey.

This is also goodbye to Seljuk, owner of Vatan Restaurant here in Posof. Great guy. Make sure you stop by if you’re in the area.

Thank you Seljuk Demirci, owner of Vatan Restaurant in Posof, eastern Turkey

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    Permanent Link     Comments (11)

Comment by Richard Ehrlich — January 5, 2007 @ 4:36 pm | post a comment

Hey Rob, saw your shout on Bentrider.

You know, we've had no winter so far in Canada, so I'm still riding instead of skiing, and thinking of you freezing your butt off.

Cheers, and happy New Year!

Comment by achim — January 5, 2007 @ 5:06 pm | post a comment

Hey Mustafa Rob, Happy New Year. I read -22 degrees and you are still cycling?! A CRAZY NUT YOU ARE, MATE! I request a "while-driving-in-the-cold-self-shot-picture" you know one of the pics with the camera at arms lenght; frozen beard, noze and icy eyebrows and I will laugh my ass off. Here in Germany is one of the mildest winters for years, no snow just rain, nothing to talk about, messy wet&cold days. Did you fix your tent? What about turkish food, I only know the dish called DÖNER (meat in a bread bag?!?) I heard that the ladies of east of Turkey are kind of square (height equals width), but when you come to Istanbul, you'll find the hottest joseisamatachis of that hemisphere. Take a bout, have fun and stay dry&warm. Akimoto

Comment by Shirley Smith — January 5, 2007 @ 6:25 pm | post a comment

Hi Rob,

We are still following your journey, it has been an excellent geography lesson for us, like a book that has come to life. We look forward to your post every week, as it seems that is when they all come in at once. I see Shoko and Tetsuya often and we chat about your progress, how fun for us to have met you and to live vicariously through your journeys. You are working so hard out in the elements for us to enjoy such a trip in the comfort of our home. For some reason, I think you probably prefer it that way!

Thanks again for such wonderful pics and updates, we really do appreciate it.

Shirley for the Smith Family in Okinawa

Comment by Andrew — January 6, 2007 @ 3:39 am | post a comment

Does Turkish Delight taste better in Turkey? It does look a little like narnia with all the snow. I just got back from a swim at the beach!

Comment by carl w. — January 6, 2007 @ 2:21 pm | post a comment

I was just thinking have you looked at your toes recently? If it's gonna be -22 you might want to have a look cos when it comes to taking them off you might be leaving the toes in the boots otherwise.

all the best from darkest surrey weather here cold, damp and dark

Comment by Lee — January 6, 2007 @ 6:16 pm | post a comment

Hey Rob,

More excellent photography as usual – especially loved the ones in Ude. Very classy.

Hmmm, I'm guessing Turkish delight *would* taste better in Turkey. Words also taste better (or vowels more specifically). If you like matching flavours, that is. Turkish has a thing called 'vowel harmony,' where the vowels in a word match. Kind of. Google would be your source of further explanation for anyone who's interested.

Comment by Aunty Jenny — January 7, 2007 @ 7:50 pm | post a comment

Some of the architecture you are seeing lately is pretty amazing. Still very stark scenery though. What made you decide to cycle in the winter months instead of summer?

Comment by Shirly Bond — January 8, 2007 @ 1:18 am | post a comment

Good to catch up again. I was without a computer for a week as it was in at Computer Future being checked out as it wasn't working properly. The problem was the keyboard, so I've got a new one.

The Orthodox service would have been interesting. I dare say it would hyav been similar tp an 'orthodox' Roman Catholic service.

Interesting architecture in both Georgia and Turkey.

You look pretty cold in some of your photos, but as it's the middle of winter over that way, I guess it's to be expected! It's supposed to be the middle of summer here but it's more like autumn, with very cold nights.

Nana & I stayed at Church Bay over New Year and had a nice peaceful time. It wasn't exactly hot but we had a good view over harbour without going outside.

Comment by Chris J — January 8, 2007 @ 7:52 am | post a comment

Hi Rob,

I will add my voice to the chorus and wish you a Happy New Year! I also hope that you continue to enjoy a safe and healthy trip in 2007. Your stories and photos have gone a long way to restoring my belief that there are still some good, kind people in the world, despite what everything else seems to be telling us…

Comment by Satoshi — January 8, 2007 @ 8:24 am | post a comment

Hi Rob

Ok I have contacted a Dutch recumbent firm M5 Ligfietsen as they do sell frame-only without standard components and wheels which means I can import only the main piece and source the remaining bits and pieces locally or on e-bay. I chose their oversteering design as I am not that tall and touching the ground with my food with the understeerer design like yours is tricky and HP design has the handle bar over the main tube not underneath!! I started gathering loose parts to form a mixed 9sp gruppo (mostly 105 but also Tiagra and MTB where smoothness and weight are not critical). Any advise on gear ratio?

Ooohh you are in the country of belly dancers! Don't forget to go see one!! Satoshi

Comment by Rob Thomson — January 8, 2007 @ 10:13 am | post a comment


Richard, thanks for the encouragement. Let me know when you've developed a snow recumbent (tracks for the back, ski for the front?).

Achim, expect great things on the frozen beard front to come…

Shirley, great to hear from you. Ah to be back in Okinawa! I must get there for some cycling some day. It is definitely on my list.

Andrew, haven't tried the Turkish Delight here yet. Haven't seen any for that matter. I had thought it grew on trees here. Perhaps too cold at the moment for it to grow.

Lee, I guess that goes for Azerbaijan also, considering they speak the same language? Or is it slightly different? Do grace us with your great linguistic wisdom.

Aunty Jenny, winter had to come at some stage. If you recall, I have cycled in summer. That was Korea, China, and the first half of central Asia. But as with all things, all good (warm) things must come to an end, and I am now into the character building stuff.

Chris J, the media is bad. It tells us a half truth that is only representative of a miniscule part of the entire population of the whole world. 99.9% of the people I have met have been just very nice. The other 0.1% were two drunk Kyrgyz chumps who I felt like punching when they tried to ride my bike and crashed it without me knowing. But there you go. I did it myself – talked more about two chumps than the hundreds of other fantastic people I have met…

Satoshi, sweet to hear that the bike is under way. Did you know that an Australian couple rode from Istanbul to Hong Kong on M5 recumbents? / http://www.centralasiabikeride.com / As for gearing ratios, I am not up with the exact mathematics of it all, but if you're planning on doing any extensive touring, definitely get a mountain crank for the front with as small as small ring as possible. I have a road crank (Shimano 105 crank with 52, 44, 26 rings). I changed the smallest ring from 32 to 26, but still that's not low enough for some of the really steep hills. I've only once had to get off and push, but that would have been the case with a 22 tooth small ring on a mountain crank anyway. However a smaller small ring would definitely make hills a more pleasant experience. Plus, I have only used the big monster 52 tooth big ring about five times in the whole trip. Great for unloaded riding, but for loaded touring, too big.

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