Bikepacking Through Cyprus. Part 1.

47km from Larnaca to Lefkara with a mountain bike and a laptop.

Patrick Heneise
Jul 7, 2018 · 4 min read

This morning at 5:00 we left our apartment in Oroklini to head towards the mountains. The motivation is simple: it’s too hot near the coast. Temperatures are 37ºC or more at 9:00 in the morning, it’s impossible to go outside. And we like outside.

We left at 5:00 in order to get a few hours on the tyres before the sun rises and looking back now I wish we would have left at 3:00 (as we initially planned and set an alarm for, but who gets up at 2:45??!).

Planning a work & travel trip on a mountain bike brings some entirely new challenges. We are used to our 7kg carry-on backpacks for flights. Now every gram matters and we left most of our gear in the apartment. We got 2 ultralight 16L backpacks from Vaude. I wouldn’t recommend those as they’re just 2–3cm too small for our MacBooks, but we couldn’t return them, so we made it work. On the bike I installed one 20L seat pack and a large frame bag from Restrap. The other bike has a frame and top bag from the same brand. Here’s how that looks:

What we took: one single set of clothes to work / go out and that we can wash easily. MacBooks, iPhones, Anker USB-C hub, cables, various required bike tools/parts (spare tubes, tools to change the tubes and fix shit). In the hopes of getting some great action footage, I took my Mavic Air drone, but with a single battery, without the bag and any of the extras. I hope it doesn’t break.

The First Stage

Komoot tour:

This was probably the hardest part (can’t tell yet), to get up very early in the morning and actually do this. We snoozed from 3:00 to 4:45, but then we finally found the courage to pack our stuff an go. By 5:00 we were out of the door. The trip started easy mostly through flat terrain around Larnaca towards Ayia Anna. Initially we planned to split the trip in 2 parts: 2–3 hours in the morning, 2–3 hours in the evening. To avoid the sun. But since it was just 7:00 by the time we were in Ayia Anna (midway), we pushed on. By 11:00 we were in the full mid-day heat about 5km before Lefkara without water and completely exhausted. The last mile we gave up and stopped the next pickup truck to give us a lift. We couldn’t have done it otherwise.

Impressions from Lefkara, Cyprus

After a refreshing self-made Radler (apparently that’s called Shandy here) and a few supplements (magnesium and protein for the muscles) our brains started functioning again. We started walking around in the little town of Lefkara and after about 20 minutes found a place called Blue Arches Agrotourism apartments (60,-/night). A short negotiation later, and assuring the landlord we’d be out by 9:30, we had a place to stay for the night (they told us they’re hosting a wedding party and wouldn’t rent the rooms, but made an exception). While walking we also found an amazing little Café “Tasties” with great cakes, decent coffee and a nice atmosphere to sit and write. We discovered all of this while looking for another B&B, but somehow found some of the most amazing places here just by accident (it’s a little town, that helped too).

So, after Day One I can’t wait to get some sleep. My Watch tracked 41,90km (full track was 47,76km, I missed a few times to resume the workout on the Watch): 1.700 active calories, 2.223 total calories burned. That’s quite something. We’re off to bed earlier today to get a head start tomorrow morning and get another 30km closer to Troodos. Hopefully by Monday we’ll reach there and take a few days rest to recover and get some work done. In the mornings we’re planning to take some of the easy circuit trails on Mount Olympus.

Patrick Heneise

Written by

Software Engineer, minimalist and nomad.

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