White Crete25 December 2016
Green Crete20 January 2017
9 things nobody will tell you before starting mountain biking
You will push
Mountain biking means dirt roads, bad roads, trails, steep slopes and pushing. No matter how strong you are, there are many uphills that are so steep that is impossible to climb or you do not have the strength to do it. The solution is simple jump off the bike and push.
You will carry
On the map or on google earth everything looks easy. A short section of 500 meter between two roads is actually much more difficult than you think, especially on Crete. Roads have been destroyed or filled with thorny plants, there is a deep canyon in the middle or a big fence and ther is no path. To pass this short section you may need more than 1 hour, carrying the bike and climbing on rocks and when you manage to pass it your feet will be full of scratches.
You will return home by foot
During a bike tour you always carry the basics, a multitool, a pump and few parts. Some damages are imposible to be repaired on the mountain, either because you do not have the tools and the spare parts or you do not have the knowledge (eg damaged tire, broken wheel or crankset etc.) If you are lucky and you see a pasing car, do hitchhiking, if the road is passable and you have a mobile, call someone to pick you up. If nothing of these happens, then walk.
You will get soaked
The fact that you do an outdoor activity means that you have to consider the weather conditions and because you will be far away from home and car, you have to be prepared for everything. The weather is always out of our control, you start from home with sunshine and you finish soaked, cold or burnt by the sun.
You will get lost
You have the best gps you studied the route on the map and google earth, but you get lost the first 5 km of the tour. Get lost does not mean that you will never go back home. It is a scenario that will happen again and again. Sometimes you will go up-down, left-right but you will find the way, some other times will do a completely different route than you planned.
You will be dirty
Mountain biking is not the cleanest sport. In the summer you will be dusty and in the winter muddy. If you have a backyard or a garage to clean the bike then you are lucky. If you park the bike in the living room then you must think it again especially if you have roommates.
You will be in the wild
The same is with animals. Doing sports in nature means that you are exposed to wild animals such as bees, ants, grasshoppers, crickets, lizards, snakes, badger etc. If you live in Crete then you are lucky, there are no dangerous animals. If you live in countries where there are venomous or dangerous animals, be carefull.
You will have accidents
Nobody can say that good cyclist never falls. Everybody falls even the best. Actually experienced cyclists have more accidents because they risk more. It is possible to have an accident. We hope to be only scratches and abrasions and no broken bones.
New expenses new equipment
The first stage of cycling is when we go cycling with everything that we have in our closet )woolen gloves, the water bottle and the bag we had in high school, track suits and running shoes or even blue jeans and casual walking shoes).
The second stage is when we start to spend money for specific clothes and new gadgets and we constantly upgrade our bike.
All the above must not scare you, they are not reasons not to start cycling. All these make cycling an exciting and unique sport full of adrenaline and excitement.
Experience the adventure, get in touch with nature, feel alive.
The bike tours that you will never forget are those that unexpected things happened.
As my friend Kostas says
What will we say to our children tomorrow?