Today’s ride had some interesting phases, at the start the heat scorched us as we cycled through sunflower fields. But it didn’t matter because we were enjoying the slower country pace.
At the 44km mark it was lunch time and we were feeling quite content that we were almost half way there and doing relatively well compared to our first ride from Istanbul.
As you can see from the elevation map, after lunch the ride becomes significantly more difficult.
Near the 50km mark it started raining and my front brakes failed. Leo is great at investigating this sort of stuff and found that the brake cable was so old and worn out, that when I released the brake lever, the cable would get stuck. He had a spare cable and explained every step, in case I have the same problem later.
We carried on and heard thunder in the distance, just hoping we would make it to our accommodation soon. I didn’t have my usual basket load of cycle touring treats and I was getting angry at this stupid incline. Normally I would just shout or swear, then move on, but I didn’t want to lose my cool in front of Leo. So I bottled it up and ended up exploding just before the last super steep hill. By now there was rain, thunder and lightning and it seemed like the weather was as moody as I felt.
Shortly after the hill was over and there was nowhere to go but down. The view actually was quite nice, we saw little villages dotted below us as we carefully made our way down the slippery roads. It was ridiculously windy as we descended and my raincoat acted as a giant sail each time I caught even the slightest tailwind.
Arriving in town was great, except I didn’t mark the address for our accommodation on my map. A border patrol cop showed us the way and even dropped us off to dinner at a lovely restaurant nearby. It was a relief to fill up on some delicious food (plus double dessert for me) and wash up after a difficult day. My earlier touring in the flatter parts of Europe had clearly spoilt me, but I was grateful that this ride made me stronger as a cyclist and tourer.