Alex’s parents tell the tale: cycling Cappadocia
Well… Tradition would have it that bike travellers joigning Alex and Sego for a bit are to write an article… Only one fear though: will the words match the magic experienced on this shared path ?
Denis : « If someone had told me that I would ride 500km with more than 4000m of level difference, under the August heat on the Anatolian plateau, I’d have laughed…”
Marie : “If someone had told me that rough camping in Turkey would be so simple and eerie, I would have slept better before the trip…”
However… from the city of Konya to Cappadocia, thanks to a wonderful and skillfull team (guide, coach, interpreters, chefs, bike mechanics…), our pleasure increased everyday, while riding through varied and agreeable steps.
Here is a display of the challenges we had to get validated as soon as we got together:
1st challenge : adapt to riding in a busy city (Konya), with unknown and heavy-loaded bikes. Careful not to lose the leader (jump the stop lights if needed…)
2nd challenge : Get used to getting honked, in a nicely and friendly manner, though a tiny bit annoying, from car and truck drivers
Keep a bit of oxygen in your lungs to answer to the happy “merhaba” from the locals, even when going uphill !
3rd challenge : For Marie, not hitting the brakes desperately when going downhill… For Denis, keep pedalling steadily when going uphill, without relying too much on doping products… Although, our “professionals” appeared like aliens from time to time !
– Ségo pedalling steadily in an incredible ascent (more like a wall really), in which even the almighty Alex had to push his bike !
– Alex pushing us with his muscled right arm in the last meters of a knackering ascent !! (He could have taken a photo simultaneously with his left hand…)
4th challenge : know when your bike brakes are wronly set, as though to distinguish flat uphills and flat downhills…
5th challenge: involving DOGS…
– Learn to whisper to the Kangal’s ear (not too close though) : Sego’s method
– Shout like a bear : Alex’s method
I was more like having a nervous breakdown, personnaly…
Last possible option: the escape, knowing that THEBEAST cn reach 40km/h, according to Alex’s meter counter
Fortunately, some animals are friendlier than the dreaded kangals…
6th challenge: Find the BLUE shop forending the day right, with a DESERVED BEER !
7th challenge: Find a good bivvy spot : field, vineyard, shelters…always under skies full of stars!
8th challenge: Daily life of showering with bottles, eating a frugal “peanut-only” dinner, applying Sego’s methods for going to the toilets (the further you walk, the less visible you are!)
9th challenge: Enjoy the food (this is the easiest one…)
– Breakfast of champions: bread with honey and tahin, yogourt and muesli
– Traditional salad fo, between 1pm and 4pm (tomatoes, cucumbers, local cheese and lemon juice)
– the exceptional Dahl for dinner (red lentils with chorizo and onion), or, when less inspired, the odd glued rice…!
– pmore typical : gözleme , iskender, doner, pide, ayran…
10th challenge: (Even easier) Enjoy the great moments allowed by:
– Turkish hopitality : smiling, waving, merhaba-shouting Turkish, invitations, discussions, gifts… Incredible Turkey !
– Awe-inspiring scenery :
– Sharing these moments with our fantastic team (THANKS!!)
Risks to be taken into account :
Get addicted to soda drinks, to halva, to lukewarm water (low risk), to the kangals (risk null), to showering with bottles, to Turkey, to Turks and… to our champions
PS: We officially graduated from “Cycling tourism 101” 😀