15th Gökova Bicycle Tour (GBT)

This was a fun five-day organized bicycle tour. The most similar tours I’ve done (in terms of organization) would have to be Ride the Rockies and Bicycle Tour of Colorado. A truck carried our gear each day (the white one here),

IMG_20211027_174150 by bryandkeith on flickr

we knew where we’d be camping each night,

IMG_20211029_082401 by bryandkeith on flickr

and all meals were provided.

IMG_20211027_131644 by bryandkeith on flickr

All we had to do was pedal.

IMG_20211027_140052 by bryandkeith on flickr

I wouldn’t want all my bicycle tours to be like this, but it’s super fun every once in a while.

This year’s route was clockwise around the Gulf of Gökova, starting and ending in Bodrum. We used the ferry on the afternoon of the last day of the tour to get from the Datça Peninsula back to Bodrum.

Ferda and I first heard about the GBT from Emek while we pedaled together this summer in Artvin. Emek spoke very highly of the tour. So we went from long, steep climbs in the mountains in the far NE of Turkey to wonderful, fairly easy riding with great coastal views in the far SW of Turkey.

IMG_20211028_105156 by bryandkeith on flickr

I had ridden the Bodrum-Akyaka section nine years ago with Kurt. For cyclists that’s one of the best coastal roads in Turkey and one of the best coastal roads I’ve ridden anywhere (above photo).

I rode the Akyaka-Datça section three years ago, and though I wouldn’t use the same superlatives (there is more traffic and fewer views), it certainly has its moments:

This beach used to be private (when I was here three years earlier); now it belongs to the state, and public access is allowed. by bryandkeith on flickr

Ferda and I met up with Ebru and Mehmet in Bodrum before the tour and spent a couple days exploring by bicycle. Here’s the Myndos Gate:

Myndos Gate by bryandkeith on flickr

More interesting was the ruined Roman city of Pedasa a few kms above Bodrum.

IMG_20211024_134627 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20211024_141527 by bryandkeith on flickr
Megaron by bryandkeith on flickr

Leading us from Pedasa to the Zeki Müren Museum Ebru found a fun neighborhood of narrow streets near the waterfront.

IMG_20211024_153603 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20211024_152822 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20211024_162920 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20211024_153505 by bryandkeith on flickr

The next day we cut our exploring short as we failed to find any pleasant roads for cycling on the peninsula to the west of Bodrum. The narrow, busy roads reminded me of Rhodes.

The GBT official kickoff was at Bodrum’s (Halicarnassus) Roman theater:

IMG_20211026_093220_2 by bryandkeith on flickr

Just like last time I pedaled away from Bodrum, I took lots of photos of Ottoman cisterns.

IMG_20211026_105415 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20211026_100417 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20211026_110647 by bryandkeith on flickr

Bodrum was one of the areas affected by the extensive fires near Turkey’s Mediterranean earlier this year. We rode through some burned areas.

IMG_20211026_152121 by bryandkeith on flickr

I wonder if olive trees like this have a chance to recover:

IMG_20211026_153151 by bryandkeith on flickr

It was reassuring to already see some new green in places.

IMG_20211026_135836 by bryandkeith on flickr

Kurt and I stopped for lunch at Çökertme many years ago. Here we are at breakfast this year:

IMG_20211027_082452 by bryandkeith on flickr

In Ören I couldn’t find much of the ancient city of Keramos. Perhaps a church here?

IMG_20211027_102712 by bryandkeith on flickr

and the remains of the aqueduct:

IMG_20211027_114308 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20211027_115531 by bryandkeith on flickr

One of our camps was at Akbük:

IMG_20211028_075231 by bryandkeith on flickr

another at Çubucak:

IMG_20211028_175727 by bryandkeith on flickr

and Datça:

IMG_20211029_161033 by bryandkeith on flickr

We swam every day.

Datça’s not so exciting, but it’s worth wandering around Eski Datça:

IMG_20211030_104450 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20211030_105041 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20211030_105417 by bryandkeith on flickr

It was an enjoyable week with perfect weather, a bit of bicycling and meeting new friends.

IMG_20211026_151818 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20211028_100846 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20211028_100950 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20211028_111212 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20211028_100859 by bryandkeith on flickr

The red is this tour. The blue is previous tours.

Red is the 15th GBT (Oct 2021).  Blue are previous tours I've done (in Feb 2012 and Dec 2018). by bryandkeith on flickr
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2 Responses to 15th Gökova Bicycle Tour (GBT)

  1. Mike Painter says:

    Something different with a group. Looks like fun!

  2. Mustafa Karanfil says:

    Yes 🙂 All we had to do was pedal with beautiful scenery

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