Difficult Bike Touring
Arriving in Tbilisi, where my adventure pauses for winter, the only emotion I felt was relief. Relief simply that I had survived the past two weeks. The past two weeks were by far the toughest of the trip, challenging my resilience and mental strength from the moment I woke up until I grinded out the last pedal stroke of the day.
My photos and words could never accurately demonstrate the challenges and difficulties I went through, and will have an entirely different meaning for me, but I hope, to some extent, this post shows some of the difficulties lying beneath the facade of remote and beautiful landscapes.
After hardly any punctures the entire trip, they became a daily frustration. The roads were covered in metal debris from blown-out lorry tires. I nearly ran out of repair patches!
Waking up to discover a puncture. The cold made the rubber stiff and very difficult to fix.
In the south of Turkey, I had repeatedly been warned it was going to get cold up north. ‘Good’, I’d nonchalantly replied each time as the 35°C heat continued to sap my energy.
I had under-estimated just how cold...
Waking up one morning to a thick frost. I even had to wait for my zip to thaw out before I could open it.
The cold weather came at the same time as some big mountains! I had many horrific steep climbs to tackle...
... that just went on...
Where was this man going?
Feeling victorious tackling some steep mountain roads!
Yet another painfully steep road!
I rose to some high mountain passes covered in snow.
I was super remote, really in a different world.
Reaching the top of mountain passes brought a huge sense of relief...
The roads were often woefully atrocious.
But the sense of achievement,
and the warmth of people like this farmer,
Or this family, are what kept me going through the hard work.
Then I got to Georgia, and the language barrier became a challenge! This is the McDonald's menu!
If you managed to read it this far, here is a video for you to enjoy of a traffic jam in Georgia. It's rather unlike what I was used to.