We started the day at the bottom of what we knew to be a very big hill, with an average 7% gradient up around 1000m elevation. We hit the road at 6 am to avoid the heat and started climbing each at our own speed before finding 200m from the top that a new tunnel had been built cutting out the steepest climb at the end. 2km later and we were out the other side where I started cleaning my bike before hitting our biggest descent yet.
Though we can’t go as fast as racing bikes by some stretch, along steep downhills we were quick enough to catch and overtake lorries, enabling us to stick behind them and draft along flatter bits of road. As well as awesome fun, this gives you a huge boost in speed for no effort – the ideal way to cycle!
We turned Eastwards once we hit the coast again for the first time since Ereğli and after a little climbing stopped in Gerze for lunch. Still down with some form of illness, Alex was not keen to go on straightaway which meant we hung around long enough outside a small shop that the owners brought out a large plate of melon and watermelon to feed us!
We had expected a very tough afternoon to hit us in the heat of the day but were greeted with a brand new highway along the coast which had just finished being laid. Lazy may not be the right word, but when we are cycling over 100 kms in a day with a 35-40 kg bike, a wide, flat, smooth and empty road is close to heavenly. Add in the fact that it ran along the coast and we were loving it, going about 40 km further than we had expected.
We landed in Bafra for the night, washed in a mosque and cooked mantı before tenting up in the next door park, only to be disturbed once by local children kicking our tent!