Günes’s long distance bike tour

Hello Sufi Trail lovers,

My name is Günes and I’m the editor of the Turkish edition of Sufi Trail guide book. Between 8-15 June of 2019, we had a lovely Sufi Bike Tour from Yalova to Bilecik.  

This was my first long distance bike tour and now looking back I realize there wouldn’t be a better start. Except from Yalova to Kurtköy (it was our first day and a bit challenging for me! ☺) the route is convenient for most bikers. It was a very interesting feeling to bike along the ways that I passed sentence by sentence when we prepared the book.

Imagine waking up early in the morning, hitting the road with morning breeze after having a nice breakfast and then having a break at noon under a giant sycamore tree in a cute little village square to have Turkish coffee. The landscape is peaceful with birds singing cheerfully among trees, sometimes you have a squirrel companion running hastily beside you! 

Have you ever seen miniature city paintings of Matrakci Nasuh (1480-1564)? Below is a painting of Galata Tower (in Istanbul) and its vicinity:

During our journey from Orhangazi to İznik, the scenery reminded me of Matrakci’s miniatures such as this one, a hilly scrubland, home to poplar and fruit trees here and there. So serene but wild at the same time. 

Along the route, you come across many fruits: cherries, plums, loquats, mulberries…  You see women workers in green bean fields waving at you once they see you coming ahead. Giant wild artichoke flowers, full in bloom, almost neon purple, rest on your way like signs of nature that lead you to wilderness paradise. 

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And, in this picture you see us eating plums. What you don’t see is that I was already stung by a wasp on the leg a second ago, wet by an abrupt rainfall and tired of cleaning the mud stuck in my bike’s fenders.

If you let your inner sluggish sedentary feelings get hold of you, you could have thought you were not up to bike touring at that point. But with one bite of a sweet wild plum and a good laugh you share with your companies, like Popeye after a can of spinach, you’re good to go for another day of adventure. 

Let Sufi Trail Bike Route be on your travel list for this year. It awaits adventurers like you.

Love,

Günes