Sufi on Bike
Cycling in Turkey on the Sufi Trail
The Sufi Trail is suitable for touring cyclists, long-distance cyclists and world travellers. Bikepackers can cycle with mountain bikes on the hiking Trail or with trekking and city bikes on the asphalt roads. We have put a lot of effort into creating a low traffic route with historical sites and natural scenery.
The Sufi bike Trail divers in some sections from the Sufi Hiking Trail.
The distance is approximately 800 km and for an average cyclist, it will take two weeks to complete the Sufi Bike Trail from Istanbul to Konya. In most city’s there are bike repair shops a list will be available soon. Bikepackers with their tent can always ask the Muhtar (village head) for permission to place their tent in little villages. The cities in Turkey aren’t particularly orientated on camping sites.
For accommodation, we have a complete list ready for members. You can join the Sufi Trail with the Sufi Trail starters pack in our webshop. Sufi Trail members are eligible for individual WhatsApp support.
Experiences on the Sufi Bike Trail
Already one group of Slovenian bikers cycled from Konya towards Istanbul. They used the services of Cem Balsun Founder of Istanbul on bike and Tour Guide who speaks: English, Italian and Spanish. We are in the early days of planning our first Istanbul Konya and Konya back to Istanbul tour on bike.
A bikepacking story of Matjaz Dolenc the first cycling group on the Sufi Trail
With great pleasure, we share the cycling report of Matjaz Dolenc the first cycling group on the Sufi Trail Cycling the Sufi Trail – a short report Since the day when Sedat contacted me and told me about the Sufi Trail (I rather say Sufi Yolu) the idea about cycling, it started to grow in my mind. Why cycling? Our group have several experiences in hiking the Turkish trails. We have been twice to Lycian way, passed the St. Paul’s Trail, the southern part of Frigian Way and hiked nice trekking in Kackar. We have also great experiences in cycling travelling in Europe, Central Asia and Vietnam. Since we were youngsters we always wanted to do something adventurous and new. Preparation of the tour First – there is a lack of good Turkish maps. After several consultations with Sedat and given orientation help from Iris we started our investigation, comparing different online maps and planning alternatives by »Ride with GPS« tool. This turned out to be the crucial thing – to be prepared for turnovers and sideways when things become difficult or unreasonable. The organization right equipment is to be chosen – according to the type of cycling that you plan. We did a long distance trip without any accompanying vehicle – so we had to carry all our gear with us: tents, sleeping and cooking material, some food and water, clothing, spare and repair material.Second – cycling is different than hiking. For cycling, you need some kind of a road. It can be narrow or wide, asphalt or white road, crowded or lonely. Mountain path is good only if you ride a bicycle without three or five bags. It is good if somebody is accompanying you by the vehicle and carry your luggage, or if you are doing day trips with the mountain bike. These are all the variants which can be organized, but our variant was different – we were heavily loaded.Third – the weather is quite an influential part of the cycling. We are used to cycling in bad weather, but is something different to cycle e.g. in rainy Scotland, then in rainy Turkey. In Scotland they have a net of asphalt cycling roads, in Turkey, there are no cycling roads and all the white roads become muddy roads in half an hour of rain. Cycling muddy road is practically impossible – so you are forced to find an asphalt alternative.It is not the problem of Turkey, that it does not have cycle roads (if you do not have cyclists, you do not need them), the problem is that on Turkish high ways there is no limitation. On a high way, you can go by horse, bicycle or scooter or even hitchhike there. The consequence is that when they are constructing high ways (as I see), they simply use the old tracks. In this way, the old roads are ruined and on long distances, there are no parallel local roads.Direction The direction of the route depends on its nature. If you go part by part, then choosing or direction and part depends personally. If you go the whole Sufi Trail, it depends on the point where you want to end the tour. For us, it was more suitable to go reverse direction – as our return flight was planned from Istanbul. Tour report our tour started with vehicle transfer from Istanbul to Konya, organized by ISTANBUL ON BIKE in a very satisfactory way. Konya itself is really worth staying one day – to rest a bit after a long journey from Slovenia and to see the town.Cycling itself was really enjoyable. Each day we have (approximately) passed 40 – 80 km and 400 – 1000 meters of high. But the numbers are not important, important is what we have seen and feel. This turned out to be the beauty of the Turkish countryside and the overall friendliness of the village and small town people. Even if we were totally different from the surroundings, we have been accepted by very friendly people. They have invited us to tea and try to communicate with us, also this is hardly possible as nobody speaks a foreign language.Maybe the most interesting meeting was the one with a deaf-mute man. One of my friends “speaks” the deaf-mute gesture language and it was simply amazing seeing them talking the same language. Incredible! We can ask ourselves if people with disabilities can communicate and understand themselves all over the world, how and why we, “normal” people, can not.Our Sufi Trail accomplishing has not been a complete hiking Sufi Trail. We did it in our way, somewhere because of the mountain paths which were unpassable for our heavy loaded bicycles, somewhere because of the weather, which turned to be rainy the second week of our journey and turned the ways to mud. Two days (in Eskisehir and Bilecik) we have been resting because of bad weather. In Eskisehir, after looking at falling hail, we have seen the TV news about terrible floods in Ankara that day.We have left home in two parts – four of us have stayed in Turkey 3 days longer than others. So we have cycled together to Yalova and separated there. Four have left for Istanbul, others have continued by the beautiful coast road towards Mudanya and from there (by bus) to Bursa. Dedications decision of going and carrying of the tour has of course been our idea, but overall Turkey we have felt the interest and support of Turkish people. An example – when we have told somebody that we are going from Konya to Istanbul by bike, he stopped, gave us all the sesame rings that he has been carrying and went away, dazing his head.In this place, I would like to especially thank Sedat and Iris from Sufi Trail and Cem from ISTANBUL ON BIKE. I wish you many luck, many visitors of your trails and users of your services.
The future of the Sufi Bike Trail
Since 2019 we welcome people who like to cycle with us with their own bikes or if needed we can provide information on good cycling tracks away from the busy roads.
The hiking Trail is always close to the cycling route, and we will develop the trail as such that sand and dirt roads will be good enough for trekking bikes.
We hope to meet you on our next adventure on a bike!
Whatsapp & mobile:
Iris Bezuijen: +31 6 440 447 90
Davide Travelli had cycled the world and made a 5-star production of the Sufi Trail hiking and biking route. The dirt roads are perfectly captured by Davide in 5 parts you can view them on YouTube and get ready to GO!
SUFI TRAIL BIKE PACKAGE & ISTANBUL ON BIKE
Bike travel story from Istanbul to Bilecik