The B500 a bikers road if there was one, it runs straight through the ‘Black Forest’, wow! Anyone who has ridden this road will understand why having only ridden it a couple of years ago I had to pass through on my way south.
The Dalmatian Coast is on the Eastern side of The Adriatic where there are over 1000 Islands just off the mainland, so as I rode south I had the amazing blue sea on my right and the mountains on my left which was perfect.
Having ridden so many twisty roads means I’ve found out that my bike has a back brake, I’m not sure I needed to use it back in Essex! Everyone at home talks about ‘squaring off tyres’, I’ve been riding bends for so long mine are getting ‘too rounded’, and as for the ‘pot holes’ which there are many and on occasions deep, in dry conditions they are relatively easy to avoid but when it’s raining it’s another story…
If you’re ever in SW Turkey ride the D695 Manavgat to Sedyisehir, the road quickly climbed and soon I was at 1000 meters the ridding was magnificent with long sweeping bends as the road went up, down and through valleys, for the next 100 km I had some of the best riding ever. The road crosses the Taurus Mountains which peak at 3750 meters which is nearly 3 times higher than Ben Nevis.
I recommend riding the 15km to Rawandiz via Soran on the lower road it takes you through an amazing gorge, on the way back take the mountain road SW of Soran back to the main road, you are high up and the winding road down twist and turns, it’s as good as any mountain ride I’ve ever done and the road is good. It’s on occasions like this I have to restrain myself and remember I’m on a ‘dual purpose bike’ not the ‘Fireblade’ I once had!
If you want to venture to Kurdistan you will love the people, the culture and ridding in the mountains but the roads are really bad most of the time (there is a massive motorway building programme which is currently far from complete) and the car drivers are reckless. There are no big bikes here only a few 125′s which are about $800 new, made in Iran. So it’s you, cars and lorries and they drive straight at you at times, they have no lane discipline at all. The roads are full of pot holes some big enough to play ’5 aside football’ in! There are ‘sleeping policemen’ in the cities and main roads which are sometimes signed and often not, they are at least twice as high as the ones in Europe and everyone has to slow down to nearly the point of stopping to cross them, add to this the police and military road blocks and ridding in Iraq is a challenge. Having said all of that I loved my time there and wouldn’t hesitate to return. Last thing, fill up before you leave Kurdistan as the petrol is a fraction of the price of Turkey.