After some pretty awesome adventures in Istanbul, we finally got back on our bikes today. Admittedly, it took us quite a while, as we nursed our hangovers and waved goodbye to friends. The first ferry from Istanbul to Mudanya left at 1230, and I found this out at 1225. Clearly, we weren’t going to be catching that one so, aiming for the 1530, we pottered around and cleaned out our apartments for a couple of hours before jumping on the bikes and cycled the short distance from our place in Beyoglu to Kabatas. As soon as I got on the bike it felt very strange, and I was decidedly uncomfortable as I ran alongside the main road. Every shake and move of the handlebars made me anxious and I was very happy to get to the ferry terminal. I’m not sure if it was just not being used to the weight, or cycling itself, but it was very odd how much it made me nervous. The gears felt odd, the bike too responsive and I felt like I was cycling through treacle. Not enjoyable at all.
The ferry that took us from Istanbul to Mudanya was fast, and crossed the Sea of Marmara in two hours. Mudanya turned out to be a sleepy little town, but with very cheap kebabs, so we wolfed down one each and got on the road to Bursa. Almost immediately, the signs for incline turned up – 7% – and we got down to climbing and climbing. It was slow going, but not uncomfortable, and I began to get my cycling legs back. Since it was 1730 when we got off the boat, we didn’t have a lot of daylight to get much distance done, so after an hour we found a place in an orchard just beside the road. Cars are pretty loud but I’m sure sleep won’t be a problem, and for the first time in a month there won’t be an adhan at 5am to lure me from sleep. I hope.