Bikepacking Through Cyprus. Part 1.

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

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: https://www.komoot.com/tour/37760468

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.