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February 1st, 2007 | categorizilation: all categories,Turkey

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Ascent: +1270m
Descent: -1270m
The weather forecast for today promised a one day break in the tough weather that has been lashing the middle section of the Black Sea coast of Turkey for the last few days. The forecast made good on its promises, and I managed to cycle about 75kms along the coast’s inhumane inclines before settling down in one of the many deserted campspots.

Only a few kms from Inebolu however, I had my first hold up for the day. The storm yesterday had caused a section of road to collapse, requiring some emergency maintenance work.

Effects of a strong storm on the Black Sea coast near Inebolu, Turkey

Cars were lined up on both sides of the slump in the road, but I was waves through after a few moments wait. I cycled gingerly over the slumped road, making sure to dodge the wide cracks in the road.

From here to Doganyurt, the road climbed up, high enough for the snow to remain half unmelted. It was tough going, and I took a few falls. Some a little closer to the edge of the road than I would have liked…

I slipped (near Inebolu on the Black Sea coast of Turkey)

The hardest thing about today’s snow was that in places it had been compacted by cars, which left an uneven slippery surface. In some places the snow had turned to slush, in others it was still hard. Potholed ice, I call it.

The inclines were steep. In places I had to push the bike uphill. I was beginning to wish I had some spiked tyres as Satoshi, a regular visitor to my site, suggested.

Black Sea coast of Turkey

The snow only lasted until Doganyurt however, and from there I was able to savour the inhumanely steep Turkish Black Sea coast hills in all their glory.

The views in places were stunning.

Black Sea coast of Turkey

It wasn’t until it was growing dark that I spied a potential spot to sleep. I was up at the top of a point, and down below was a beach in a small cove. There were a few buildings in the cove, well away from the small town further up the valley. I bombed down the road to the cove. There were some people in one of the small houses – a family from Istanbul, on holiday. I asked where I could pitch my tent, and they suggested I sleep in the porch of one of the buildings nearby.

Dry and relatively warm, I had just finished cooking up some soup and pasta when the father of the family from Istanbul appeared with a massive plate of fried fish and another massive plate of salad. I ate my fill that night.

Semi-dry sleeping spot on Black Sea coast of Turkey

(The next day)

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    Permanent Link     Comments (7)

Comment by Satoshi — February 4, 2007 @ 12:27 pm | post a comment


I am very much impressed by the Turkish hospitality you have been receiving. From the sound of it, apart from the weather, it's the best part of your trip, right? I think the Western Europeans should travel to non-touristy part of Turkey and experience how warm and friendly the Turks are.

The Turks are treated the same way in Western Europe as they treat the Kurds. Many are hard working people but the small minority who live on a dole or involved in criminal activities or politically far left making them all look bad. There are even the third generation Turks born in Europe still excluded from the mainstream Western Society mostly the Muslim Turks find it harder to integrate and don't dress as contemporarily as the counterparts in Turkey suffering from some degree of identity crisis.

Turkey has not yet made it to EU member and I don't think it will be allowed in for a long time even though it may be hard to find a person in the West who has not eaten a kebab.

Comment by Satoshi — February 4, 2007 @ 12:30 pm | post a comment

About the studded tyres – you need one for the rear alone, the front one is not needed, right? skidding is due to the rear tyre not gripping hard enough. Of course recumbent bikes have a different weight distribution so I am not yet an expert in this field. I think you will need this tyre in Europe for the next few months as you also travel to very high altitude e.g. trans Alps – Gotthard and also such tyre can be useful when trying to stop on wet cobble paving (you will be riding on a lot of them, believe me). I have seen a few people failing to stop, fall down and sliding under a (luckliy) parked car… If you don't want the additional weight you can give away one of your 26in tyres, the worn one.

Comment by Rob Thomson — February 4, 2007 @ 12:46 pm | post a comment

Satoshi, I'll see how I go in Greece and Macedonia, and if things are looking dicey, I'll look into the spiked tyres. The problem is that they have such terrible rolling resistance and weight. Pushing my bike for a couple of kms is much more preferable to cycling with slow tyres for 1,000kms.

Comment by Daniel — February 4, 2007 @ 2:12 pm | post a comment

Hey Rob,

we've had the first snow last week and so I've made the same experience as you – 've fallen off my bike (but only once) on a absolutely iced way – I was driving with about 20km/h and didn't even try to break.

I know a really good site on the topic: http://www.icebike.org/ – warmly recommended are is the "Riding Techniques" section (http://www.icebike.org/Articles/techniques.htm).

Greetings and enjoy Turkey!b

Comment by Mum — February 5, 2007 @ 12:26 am | post a comment

Can't imagine it would be much fun in a small holiday cabin in the middle of winter but at least it gave you a sheltered place to rest overnight. It looks very close to the sea – or is that just the angle of the camera?

Comment by Aunty Jenny — February 5, 2007 @ 1:17 am | post a comment

I agree Rob, you are seeing some fantastic scenery around the Black Sea coast. That was very kind of those people to give you food. How are you managing the language battier, or do most people you meet up with speak some English?

Comment by Lesley Bond — February 8, 2007 @ 4:43 pm | post a comment

Back to the pasta, huh? Must have been great to have it supplemented by the salad and fish!

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