Tuesday June 24, 2014, 61 miles (98 km) – Total so far: 3,463 miles (5,573 km)
June 23, 2014 17 miles After working on new saddle adjustments and the handlebar angle we finally got on the road. It was soon very hot as we continued climbing. After a few hours we noticed that our speed was down from our usual and this was because the tires were sinking into the melting asphalt! The air temperature was only 85 F but the road was steaming. We were soon trying to overcome the smelly oozy mess that was sticking onto our tires. And of course whenever we put our feet down our shoe and sandal soles became covered. We tried weaving on several areas of the road but our tires became even more covered with loose gravel. In the early afternoon we arrived at the village of Goynuk after only 17 miles. We decided that that was enough for the day and will get a much earlier start tomorrow by 6 am. It was market day so we explored this cool little village eating fresh corn on the cob and fruit from several vendors. The day turned out fun after our “stinking mess” of a ride.
June 24, 2014 44 miles We were on the road by 6 am for a cooler start and immediately started climbing to our first mountain peak on the way to Ankara. It was a lot easier than yesterday due to the 45 F temperature. We summitted the first mountain then dropped a few thousand feet and climbed towards another peak. By the time we reached the second summit the temp was up to 90 F. After leveling off at 2500 feet the road was mostly flat to the town of Nallihan. Today was one of our favorite rides as the mountains are beautiful and climbing fun. As we cycled into Nallihan many people looked at us and yelled “welcome”. We were directed to an inexpensive room for the night and it was very apparent that we were celebrities. As I was talking to the manager Jocelyn was invited into a “boys club” (as I call them). In Turkey there are several establishments that only serve men. She was served tea and even sat in a chair! She was so excited to be included with them. As we unpacked our bikes several people came out to “see the Americans”. There is a lake about 10 miles further that we considered camping on but this is way more fun meeting the very friendly local people.