Mochos Classic23 June 2016
Katharo10 July 2016
A barrier that mountain bikers will face up in Crete is a fence-door. The farmers built fences to protect their olives, gardens or vineyards from sheep and goats that eat everything. The shepherds built them to demarcate their pastures, limit their cattle in their own pasture and prevent animal stealing. You will see fences not only on small hills and fields but even on very steep cliffs and canyons.
If you ride your bike on a dirt road and there is a fence - door it does not mean that you enter into a private area. The fence is built there to obstruct sheep entrance in the villages, vineyards, olive groves or pastures that belongs to another shepherd. In these cases, open the door and after you pass close it again.
Most times a fence-door from one side is permanently tied with wires. At the other side there is a wire or a string. Untie the knot open the door and close it the same way.
Attention: in most cases on these fences there is no sign, and they are not visible from a distance more than 30 meters especially after dusk or in fog. Some shepherds put on the fence a nylon bag or a very small sign but even so they are not visible when we ride a fast downhill with low visibility.
In several cases, the door-fence on the road near the villages, has been replaced by one or two dogs in order to scare the sheep so that they will not enter in the villages or go outside the pasture. The dogs even those who bark are not dangerous and almost never attack. Their chain although is long, does not reach the other side of the fence, so there is room to pass the door.
Most of these dogs are neglected and abandoned under the sun or in the cold. If in summer you find a dog and has no water poor some of your water bottle in its plate to save it.
Never destroy or damage a fence-door. Always close the door that you open. If a door is permanently closed with wires or locked it means that the area is private. Never cut the wires, chains or locks with pliers.