Hopa to Hope Bike4Kids: Samsun-Bafra-Yakakent

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Blog Post: Samsun-Bafra-Yakakent 

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Thursday morning (10 Temmuz) two of our riders (Cemal and Bulent) enjoyed an early morning swim at the beach.  After breakfast we departed our hotel in Unye for our 90 km ride to Samsun.  The pace was relatively fast and we were able to Arrive in Samsun by 1.00 pm.  We were thankful for the short duration of our trip since several of our riders have been having saddle discomfort due to prolonged sitting on the bike.   We were greeted in the outskirt of Samsun by a local cyclist leader, Tarik who accompanied us  to our motel at the Devlet Su Isleri Misafirhanesi.  We had a chance to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant that specialized in durum.  While Nihat spent time with his relatives in the city, a group of us enjoyed strolling the shopping district of downtown Samsun.  After some effort we were able to find a local laundramat that was able to handle our laundry.  The evening dinner was hosted at the Samsun yacht club by the local Rotary Club.  We also had a chance to meet several female local cyclists that joined us for tea.  They included Aysel  and Sehan, both teachers.  We were later joined by a previous rotary governer of the area Kemalletin bey.   He is a retired entrepeuner that now lives in nearby Incekum.  Our evening was capped by a gathering at a tea garden at the city park in front of our motel.  We were joined by a radio jounalist (Banu) who flew in from Istanbul to join us for the next two days of our bike ride.  Banu is a cycling enthesuist who has a monthly radio broadcast in Turkey.   That we evening we were also joined by Aytac from Giresun, who took a bus into Samsun to join us for the duration of our trip to Istanbul.  Aytac is a very pleasant and successful man in his late 30’s who wears a permanat leg brace due to complicated motor vehicle accident ten years ago.
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Friday morning we had breakfast at a local ‘pastane’.  We departed Samsun with a motorcycle police escort about 10 am (much later than we prefer). Our group was joined in route by cyclists Aysel and Sehan in the outskirts of the city.  We cycled along the promenade of Atakum with upscale apartments and finely manucured gardens and fine beaches.  Our first rest stop was the home of Rotary member in Kemallettin bey in Incekum.  We enjoyed a wide selection of frreh fruits and garden vegitables, along with the customary tea and hazelnuts.   The long break and the slower pace of our ride took a tole on us as we pushed our way toward Bafra under the intense sun.    A few of the riders needed short breaks in the van.  We were greeted in Bafra by a small number of locals which belonged to the Bafra Cycling club. After a short press conferance we were treated to fine lunch consisting of pide and cold drinks.   Finally in late afternoon we departed for our final destination in Yakakent, a small coastal twon about 80 km east of Sinop.   Once we got our reservations sorted out we unloaded at a local pension (pansiyon) at the outskirts of the city.   Most of the riders decided to cool down and immediately took a dive into the Black Sea with their riding shorts.  The water temperature was pleasant and provided an opportunity for a short swim.  The evening dinner was at a local fish restaurant.  At the end of the day, most of the riders were exhausted (and sore) and decided rest in the hotel.
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