Finally both bicycle wheels are repaired, respectively replaced. Off course the big one was the wheel for the Trek. That is after all my favourite bike to discover the mountains. When it is not possible to ride, I notice how quickly I miss riding the bike. There is something liberating about riding the bicycle and pedalling away to glory. If I wanted, I could travel the world by bicycle (Marcia; Yeah… mmm well I predict a lonely journey…) The sense of freedom that it gives is priceless. Riding the bike can be meditative from time to time. It is a form freedom that I find difficult to compare to other ways of moving around.
So, time for a “test drive”. Not too exciting because the wheel is actually the same as the ruined one: the rim, the straight pulled spokes, hell, even the hub is from the same manufacturer. only the disc brake is mounted differently, being a splined interface instead of the 6-bolt iso. But I did not even need to re-align the calliper.
the starting point this time was just below the foot of the dam of the Oymapinar reservoir. We arrived a day before on this camp spot to wait out the stormy day with wind gusts of up to 8 Beaufort. The place was suitable for us: flat semi-open terrain, some trees around but not too close to fall on the van while their presence helped to break the wind a bit. Also there was 4G coverage, so we could do some work. The next day the forecast was more promising: wind force of 2-3Bft, and clear skies with a temperature of 6-12°C. During the stormy day I created a route to have some idea of the distance and the terrain to be covered.
First, I had to go to the village of Oymapinar to find some bread and drop it at the van. That done, the route started with a climb, along the service road up to the dam. There’s a small tunnel to get to the Reservoir side, and from there the road continued to climb, until the asphalt surface was gone. From then on the gravel track sort of stayed on altitude, until I reached a fork junction. Here I had to decide to go counter- or clockwise. based upon my observation I choose counter-clockwise, because I wanted to reach the highest elevation as soon as possible. That worked out fine, but after the climb to the highest point, the road descended much more than I anticipated.
I knew there would be a second climb to get back on the right side of the slope -that is downhill back to base camp- but in these cases there’s always this little voice in my head wondering if I can make it back as planned without exhausting myself. Well, it worked out fine. the way back was along a very beautiful creek. Being on the north side of the slope, it meant riding in the shade a lot, which made it a bit cold. But this cold also produced some nice semi-frozen waterfalls.
So, finally back on two wheels to enjoy the freedom. Thanks Ed! Should someone be close to this area: it is a very nice track to ride and technically not too difficult.