The middle finger – Khalkidhiki, Greece

 

In Sweden we always went skiing during Easter. Now we are going for the beach… and biking. We got the car filled up with bikes and stuff and left Bucharest for Greece, Khalkidhiki and the middle “finger”!

With low expectations on the place and the weather we arrived to the apartment in Neos Marmaras – lucky us, they had air-conditioned TV

Easter… in so many places lambs were being grilled

The first ride

Overcast but with lots of sun later on, it turned out. We set off for the beach. Our youngest turned 3 only 3 months ago but is handling the 12-inch-wheel-bike very well.

I did some home work back in Bucharest and had some GPX-files from friends. Seemed to be mostly dirt roads but for sure worth exploring. I leave the family on the beach and play safe. An asphalt road is taking me up the mountain some 350 meters of elevation

It’s getting warmer fast and the sweat starts poring doing the uphill

So Greek…

Finally the right surface

I work my way up towards a peak at 800 meters and the views are great. Even to the other side of the peninsula

At the peak Itamos. View facing North.

To the East the Athos mountain, famous for the monasteries

You really get the feeling of the geography looking South, having the Eastern “finger” to the left and the Western “finger” to the right

I’m leaving the top

Eager to explore I kind of lost the route I intended to follow and suddenly found myself in a maze of valleys and ridges but hardly any signs of civilization. I had a good sense of where I was but no road was leading the direction I needed to go. Finally I found my way out of the maze and passed some vineyards.

Back to the beach enjoying the Greece that you get outside high season:

Ride data: 45km, 3h45min and 1300m climb.

The second ride

Time for the nine year old to do something else than snorkeling. He has grown so fast lately; but will have to live with the 24-inch wheel bike the rest of the season. We used the same uphill as I did. Some drops of rain

At a certain point it got a bit too steep and we pushed it

A lot of honey is being produced

Smooth dirt roads going downhill

Ride data: 17km, 2 hours and 500m climb.

The third ride

We left by car to the village of Vourvourou on the other side of the peninsula. Traditional beach life with swimming, sand castles and lunch with sand all over… Then I got changed and went by bike home to the other side

I knew it would be a steep uphill so I just kept moving in the heat. At this fork the choice was easy: up!

Wow, these cones are huge!

People get energized in different ways. Personally I’m more into the fast acting kind

It gets incredible steep – looking back:

Back to the same peak as before and then some new dirt roads going down – full speed 🙂

At one point it looked like a trail on the map so I turned off onto it and yes!

Ride data: 30km, 3 hours and 1200m climb

The fourth ride

This one was a shorter one – we were looking for trails and found some sections in the olive groves

And then asphalt going home

Ride data: 17km, 1h40min and 400m climb

The fifth ride

Started off in this lush valley

And then up through these olive groves filled with poppies this time of the year

I tried hard to find more trails beyond all the dirt roads. And I found more, but poorly maintained

wow, it was tight between the rocks and suddenly I slammed into one of them with the disc. I had to do a combat fix to be able to move further

 

…cause the trails continued and then you have to go on – lots of fun

Once home I realized that the chain stay got quite a hit as well. But the gear is just a tool. Not jewelry. And besides, it’s not exactly the first set of dents and scratches to this beaten bike…

Ride data: 18km, 2 hours and 600m climb

Summing up

This is what all the rides look like on the map

Anyway, five days of biking in a row… Definitely not what I normally look for in terms of trails but anyway fun and to sum it up:

The middle finger… Thumbs up!

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