What Happened at Salcano Cappadocia Bike Festival?
3rd Cappadocia Bike Festival sponsored by Argeus Tourism & Travel and Salcano that was held between June 27th – July 1st 2012 ended yesterday. As a part of the 5-day festival, the participants pedaled around Sarıhıdır (51km – 929m ascent) on the first day, Özkonak (63km – 1083m ascent) on the second day, Kaymaklı (61km – 1016m ascent) on the 3rd day and Yeşilöz (59km – 1159m ascent) on the 4th day. The ones up for some walking in the nature participated to the trekking on the last day. All’s fine until now, well then how was the replies of the 2012 Salcano Cappadocia Bike Festival to the questions like “what happened during this festival, how was it, was it an event that I’d like to participate”?
During the festival; After the breakfast at the restaurant near the camping area at 08:00, the days started with the take-off at 09:00 – which as a crowded and joyful group of 280 who doesn’t have any rush and where there’s no competition or assertions is considered, that 09:00am can possibly turn out to be 09:30 – and then before the lunch around 12:00-13:00, another small break was waiting for them to rest their legs. Of course we’re not taking into account that small breaks like stopping to take a picture as they wander around Cappadocia’s incredible – indeed it is – nature, gatherings around a fountain near the road, breaks for maintaining their flat tires or reinstalling their chains on their own, clustering around a fruit tree they noticed near the road.
Among all other beauties of the festival, it was like a bonus to be able to have a closer look to the natural beauties of Cappadocia or to have a tour in their historical museums according to where the lunch break was given.
We weren’t there on the first day but probably there were ones that exceeded the limit and had difficulties getting on their saddles.
Afterwards cyclists arrived to the camping area again after small breaks, showered at the facility just near the camping area washing the day off and getting relaxed, then at around 08:00pm – in this situation the bunch was generally able to move faster with their empty stomachs – they ate dinner at the restaurant near the camping area. After the dinner, they had pleasant conversations, danced and spent quality time with their old and new friends with the accompany of live music or slide shows and as it got late, they headed to their tents one by one. – At this point it must be mentioned that even if we’re in the middle of summer, Cappadocia’s nights can get quite cold and if you go there without taking precautions, this joyous festival may turn out to be a nightmare with handkerchiefs and coughs for you.
As the general scene was like that, it was possible to encounter interesting incidents time to time. I guess among the participants of this festival no one will forget the white dog that joined the bunch near the beginning of the 2nd day and followed them until the last steep descent of the day. The white dog which you can see in video shoots or pictures incredibly followed the group for kilometers without barking or attacking anyone, that only ran parallel to them, waited with them at the break points, that drank water with them, rested with them during whole lunch and continued going with them. – Meanwhile, it had such a character that it may have put on a cool attitude as you try to caress or feed it – This white dog which amazed us all and put sincere smiles upon our faces couldn’t keep up with the bunch as they speeded up at the last descent and fell behind leaving I guess each of us an unforgettable memory.
Another of the nice scenes of the festival was the little cyclists. It was quite a beautiful scene for cycling to see little bikers who had come with their parents climbing tough ascents and riding for long distances where even a grown up could be challenged, without being allured by the vans coming from behind to carry cyclists, getting support from their elders as they needed some help time to time, participating to an organisation like this and experience it beginning from such young ages.
As the days went by pleasantly like this in general terms, the organisation team was on duty to pull their weight who had taken responsibility of a crowded group of 280 people. With the gendarme vehicles’ escort on the front and the back, the blocking of the roads for safety, an ambulance for medical attention in case of a crash, pointers to avoid possible wrong turns at the instersections, broom wagon for the bikes of participants who got tired and want to rest a little and 2 seperate vans for themselves, the car and the motorcycles of the organisation team, evertyhing was taken into account for the joyful cyclists’ safety and comfort.
Details that points like selection of the routes, features of the stopovers, position of the camping zone included proved that this tour had some really hard work behind the scenes. Cyclists could meet new friends and have pleasant time getting away from their stressful lives on one hand and had a chance to get to know Cappadocia with its natural wonder fairy chimneys, gorgeous sunsets, must-see nature and admiring historical beauties. It was another nice side of the festival that some of the cyclists got the chance to have a ride with the air balloons and see Cappadocia from above – it’s normally around €150 – which’s fortunates were determined with sweepstakes before a notary public – it seems that in order to be a notary you have to be under the age of 10 – at dinner. Of course as we consider that the organisation team manager is someone that organises an event like Tour of Turkey, it wouldn’t be appropriate to expect less from him. Aydın Ayhan Güney who knows about cyclists, what they’d want, what they’d need and accordingly don’t miss out the details and his team showed great success carrying out this festival. By all means little problems, complaints and discontents were experienced but to make a general comment, this qualified event is an opportunity not to be missed for cyclists that want to meet new friends, see new places, have a break from their lives and want to spend some time for themselves. In addition, it’s an advantage that such a professional event which provides camping area, breakfast-lunch-dinner and all other opportunities for 5 days only for 150TL. This 150TL also included the special Cappadocia Bike Festival jerseys as previous years for all participants.
Instead of last year’s comparatively pale colors, this year’s jersey had been designed with live tones of orange, yellow and navy which suited more to the joyful cyclists. This provided some nice livened up scenes for the cameras as the colorful participants decorated their jerseys more with their own designs. 2012 jersey with sunset on the right shoulder and sunrise on the left, the symbol of Cappadocia, fairy chimney, air balloon, horse and grape images on its back also provided a handy feature for the cyclists with its detail of course distance, ascent and profile information of 4 days.
By the way we should also mention the ones that supported this organisation and maybe provided the fee to go down to a very reasonable price like 30TL. As it’s quite hard to find support to events related to cycling in Turkey, we thank to these companies that gave support to such a professional, successful and versatile organisation in Turkey, no matter what reasons they had in the name of Cyclingtr.
To make an assessment in general, we may say that Salcano Cappadocia Bike Festival is the most professional and most successful event in its field in Turkey. I guess we wouldn’t be exaggerating as we consider the details they had taken into account, the complete security precautions, the opportunities offered to the cyclists and nice surprises. We need such organisations for cycling to develop, become widespread, its maintainibility and to increase the gatherings of cyclists in Turkey. I think Salcano Cappadocia Festival is a level up for the cyclists in this sense. Salcano Cappadocia Bike Festival which aims to increase the number of participants and provide these opportunities to more cyclists seems like it’ll draw more attention of foreign cyclists. We thank all that contributed to this festival and all sponsors for such a beautiful event. Even if we were also on duty there, this festival has been very pleasant for us, too. Thanks Salcano Cappadocia Bike Festival.
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