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Going Rideabout
By Kent Wenger - (contact)

Istanbul to Ormanli, Turkey: Istanbul route info

Saturday June 30, 2012, 106 km (66 miles) - Total so far: 1,073 km (667 miles)

I got myself out of Istanbul pretty successfully -- see the first few images for detailed route information. I was really happy with this route up until the point where D020 went from four-lane to two-lane -- I don't know if there's a way to bypass that part. (By the way, I left the Sisli area of Istanbul at 7:45am on a Saturday -- I'm sure the traffic in Istanbul itself would have been really bad on a weekday; I don't know what things would have been like once I got out of the city. At any rate, your experience may be pretty different if you are riding at a different time/day of the week.)

Interestingly, I saw several groups of cyclists on the four-lane part of D020. I guess that's where you ride if you want to ride in a group... (The four-lane part had really wide shoulders, so you didn't have to ride in the car lanes at all. Therefore, that part of the road was pretty safe.) There were also some places where the old two-lane D020 still existed, and that made great riding because there was hardly any traffic. Eventually, though, I got to a point where the four-lane road hadn't been built yet, so the road became a two-lane road with no shoulder, and a four-lane road's worth of traffic. That part was not much fun...

Because of the traffic on the two-lane part of D020, I decided to get off of that road, and I ended up going to Ormanli, near the Black Sea. It ended up being a long day -- I think 80 km would have been about right, but there wasn't a good stopping place at that point.

I ended up doing a lot of hunting around for a place to stay. There were a bunch of little towns that ended up not having hotels. In one town, someone told me that there was a hotel in Ormanli, so I went there. It turned out that there wasn't a hotel there, but someone told me I could camp out in kind of a half-used building. That actually worked pretty well -- there was a somewhat functional bathroom, and for the price (0) I can't complain.

After I got a bit settled in, I hunted around for a place I could get a WiFi signal. I ended up in this tea shop where there were a bunch of guys who were going to play a soccer (football for the non-Americans out there) game the next day. One guy spoke pretty good English, so I could communicate okay. At one point, they decided that I needed to see the Black Sea, so we piled into a car and drove about 5 km to the beach. Then, on the way back to town, they stopped at a place where some guy they knew lived -- they wanted me to meet this guy because he had gone to college in the US. I talked with that guy a little, and then we headed back to Ormanli. I ended up going to bed pretty early, because it had been a hard day.

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I stayed in the Sisli part of Istanbul. Here's the first part of my route. The red is how I planned to go; the blue is roughly how I ended up actually going.

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Here's the second part -- I pretty much went according to plan here. Once you're across the big highway you're basically out of Istanbul.

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Okay, here's a smaller-scale view of the route once you actually get out of Istanbul. I think the crucial thing is to go from Istanbul to Gokturk on the small road, rather than getting onto D020 right away. (This image is from Google Maps. For some reason the big road is marked as D010 here, even though it's really D020 -- that was a little confusing.) Also, I went straight on the road through Gokturk, rather than getting onto D020 as soon as possible. That is the way to go for sure -- the small road has almost no traffic, and also less climbing than D020, I think.

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Again, planned route marked in red, actual in blue. I think it might be possible to go all the way from Gokturk to somewhere past Ihsahiye on the old road. If so, that would probably be really nice riding. The parts of the old road I was on had good pavement but essentially no traffic.

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The first part of D020 (still marked as D010 on the Google Map images) that I rode on was really good -- four-lane divided highway, with a big (about 3 meter) paved shoulder. It wasn't real scenic, but easy and low-stress. Somewhere around Yassioren it turned into a two-lane road without much of a shoulder -- that was a lot more stressful to ride on. I'm not sure if there's a good way to avoid that section. They were working on constructing more four-lane highway, so maybe things will be improved soon.

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An aqueduct on the way out of Istanbul.

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A closeup of the aqueduct.

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Another view...

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A second aqueduct.

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First view of the Black Sea.

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I guess this is some little inlet from the Black Sea.

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An alternate form of traffic.

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Indoor camping.

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Some of the soccer players.

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Soccer players at the Black Sea.

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Me at the Black Sea.


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"Going Rideabout" Copyright © 2012-2014 By Kent Wenger - (contact). All rights reserved.
Page was created on July 2, 2012 00:16 PDT, last updated on March 9, 2013 07:41 PDT
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