Log Fire?? Rain?? This is Cyprus right?? Yep it certainly is, which is why its still possible to ride these amazing rides in Mid November in Summer Cycle kit! Back in the UK all my mates are complaining about the foul weather, and have taken to challenging me on their Bkool turbo trainers, a sure sign they are unable to ride outside!
I really love this ride. It has become my local 'loop' and every time I ride it it gets better, more beautiful and more fun! I feel so lucky to be able to do this ride regularly.
The online weather God told me winter would arrive here today. I took a look out across the plain to the mountian from my terrace and decided winter wouldn't arrive until this afternoon. So I kitted up and rode off before breakfast.
Riding past the olive groves near Turnalar the three little puppies I have been allowing to drink from my water bottles since september, who live under a tree there , seemed to have grown up. They had learned to be scared and cautious around humans. I couldnt help but wonder what they had experienced to make them so cautious when all summer they had been so trusting of me.
I was a little sad in a way because, they had become almost friends, however, in another way I felt better because I knew they were more likely to survive now.
Looking ahead to the horizon I saw the rare sight of two touring cyclists, loaded with panniers. Catching up I noticed their panniers had a German slogan on them and as such launched into my 'vast fliesent' Deutch!
This couple were touring the Island and this was their second day in Northern Cyprus. Heading up to the tip of the Karpaz hugging the bottom of the Mountian range. We chatted for about ten minutes as we rode together, it's great to see Northern Cyprus starting to attract more cyclists from abroad.
My plan had been to ride up over the Mountain to Kaplica, but I was ready to change that plan if it started raining mid ride. Climbing in the rain is fine, but descending on some of these sharp gradiants would likely be slippy in the rain and I was on slick tyres, and would rather be safe than sorry out there.
The climb up was on a very familier old switchback road, turning right at the top I continued along to the Castle and back along to the cafe in the little square. Here the heavens opened as the thunder storm I had been trying to out run finally caught me up.
I made a B line directly for the open log fire that had just been started, no doubt especially for cold roadies to steam in front of ha ha ! Ordering a hot coffee here was a new experience. Usually I am gasping for a litre of ice cold water and a coke when I arrive here! I like this little cafe, it is cosey and friendly and I always feel welcome.
I am not one for Strava stats usually, mostly because I am often last having spent 'too much time' enjoying the views and exploring. However, today I managed to come in second on this Climb, which made me feel like some of my hard work was finally starting to pay off a little.
I mustn't boast however as both riders directly ahead and behind me are far better climbers than I am! I just had a huge thunderstorm up my backside for added motivation ha ha!
The rain was easing a little and although it was probably safe enough to ride down the 'snake' to Kaplica, I took the decision to descend to Iskele rather than risk another cold down pour halfway down. The switch backs on the 'Kaplica snake' are sharp and a single slip could be very dangerous. Better safe than sorry I thought. There will always be another day that way.
I set off along the top and down to Iskele. I let the video roll on the descent and took it easy. Hitting wet goat shit on a bend at nearly 40mph isn't funny!
View from my handlebar Hedcamz camera of the ride down the Mountain today. Let it run through and it will take you down the entire descent as if you were on the bike!
So I ate Turkish Yoghurt with Kantara Honey, and planned another ride!
The next day was a day off the bike here so what is a cyclist to do on such occassions?....yep thats right, make some new friends by jamming at the pool bar!