Saturday, 17 January 2015

Ihtiman, Bulgaria

Early in the week, having taken out the back brake pads in anticipation of taking delivery of 4 new sets, the bike sat idle. Under the circumstances this made no difference to my training schedule. I have moved to doing permanent nights in an attempt to free up one day at the weekend for a long ride and one with the family. (I've learnt something from last year!)

By Wednesday I was getting itchy feet and replaced the old pads, figuring that I could manage without brilliant rear brakes in Norfolk, but was still not able to get out. Instead last night, I turned my attention to my route through Bulgaria.

Since route 8 from Sofia to the Turkish border is one of the few routes about which we have been strongly warned off, finding a way through to Istanbul without doing the Albania, Greece option proves tricky.

Perseverance has a habit of paying off, however and last night I mapped a sneaky wee detour from the village/town of Ihtiman in Bulgaria to a place where you can cross route 8 and the main highway A1 and then proceed SE on the backroads toward the finish.

The track is not available on my Open street map, on which I plot all my ride, but it can be seen on google earth and has amazingly been driven by the streetview van, despite the fact that it is a single track and half covered in snow at the time it was filmed. I must go there to see this!

I've tried to download the route, but feel free to ask via twitter @johnnymbakewell if you're interested.

This evening I rode in subzero temperatures to Thetford and back. A genuinely cool 50.

Total 275. Nowhere near enough, but plenty of time.

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