Day 197 – From Amasra to Karaman


Today’s distance / 今日の走行距離: 92.82km
Average speed / 平均速度: 12.8km/h
Time on bike / 走行時間: 7h 13m
Total distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 3119.0km (plus 4200km)
Ascent / 上り: +780m
Descent / 下り: -670m

A generally overall blase day, really. Some cool ancient Roman rock carvings in the side of a cliff were fairly jolly awesome though.

Bird's Rock Roman Road Monument near Amasra, Turkey

BIRD ROCK ROAD MONUMENT – The Bird Rock Road Monument was created between 41-54 AD by order of Gaius Julius Aguilla. At the time when Tiberius Germanicus Claudius was Rome’s Emperor, Aguilla was the commander of the building army in the east provinces. After his commandership, he was appointed as governor of Bithnyia – Pontius for the rest of his life. The Bird’s Rock is a resting place and a road monument. It was created in arched niche by using the carving method. The monument shows a human form wearing a toga and on the pillar to the right of the niche, there is a motif of an eagle. The eagle represents the boundless power of the legionnaires. The Road Monument which has two inscriptions is the only one created in Antolia.
– from the info sign

The most exciting things happened towards the end of the day.

I was minding my own business, pedaling along, when a white station wagon came screaming to a halt in front of me. Three guys jump out wielding cameras.

Reporters getting a scoop near Zonguldak, Black Sea caost of Turkey

I gather that they are from a press agency in Zonguldak, and somehow they found out about me cycling through the area. I give them the usual low down on what I am doing, they get some footage and photos, and I am on my way again. No doubt I will be getting some more tooting than usual in the days to come…

I ended the day by pitching my tent in a closed council picnic area. The gate said ‘Warning, Guard Dog’. I don’t think so. The nice old pooch would rather lick you to death than bite. Great dog.

'Vicious' guard dog at Council picnic spot (Karaman Town Picnic area, Turkey)

Some local kids head the racket of the dog whining at me to come and play, so the kids came over to investigate. After it was ascertained that I was a foreigner on a bicycle, they rushed off and came back with soup and bread for me. Cheers guys!


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6 thoughts on “Day 197 – From Amasra to Karaman

  • Jim Lay

    Rob:

    Awesome ride! Your description of the Roman carving is extremely evocative – so much history, so many different civilizations have come and gone in the years since that monument was carved! That sort of stuff could be mind-warping…

    Has your choice of USS worked out as expected? The "cage" formed by my Volae's OSS "superman bars" provided useful protection in a crash – do you feel exposed with USS??

    Jim

  • Rob Thomson Post author

    Jim, I looked at that carving in the cliff for about 20 minutes, trying to wrap my head around it all. So old. I thought to myself, what will our generation have to show generations 2000 years from now. I looked around at the litter and PET bottles, and realised that the people of 4007 will be shaking their heads, thinking 'what were those idiots thinking?!'. The Romans left us with beauty. We are leaving a legacy of trash and damage to this earth.

    On a lighter note, Under Seat Steering (USS) has been great for me. I certainly enjoy the open cockpit feeling. Great for touring. I've never felt too exposed. I think for long distance touring, USS is the way to go. For faster rides, OSS would be better, considering the aerodynamic advantage.

    • Alexander

      If it makes you feel any better, the romans left us plenty of trash too! Monte Testaccio, in Italy, is an ancient landfill made mostly of broken pottery. To the romans, a clay pot was as a plastic bottle is to us. The gutters of ancient alleys in Rome were just as full of trash as cities now- and we are grateful, because a plastic bottle will tell more about how we lived to people 2000 years from now than Mt. Rushmore.

      Millennia or no, people are people.