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Cyprus by VStrom 650

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Rented a VStrom from a local company while on hols in Cyprus. The Troodos mountains has some of the best motorcycling roads (insert Clarkson-esque pause here...) in the world.


Going back tomorrow to do a bit of the Cedar Valley Road we missed.



Me and the Strom. (I'm on the right. 😉). Note to self, it might be 30 degrees in Paphos, but up here by the radar bases on Mount Olympos it's nearly 2000m and a mesh jacket might not quite cut it.



View from a monastery. (There are many).



Mrs. Fiddlesticks looking ever resplendent.






Don't look over the edge, unless you want the bike to go that way. There's a rock here that has a hole in it. Legend has it that a crazy woman jumped off the cliff trying to catch her spinning wheel that had slipped away. Bad idea.



Same bit, other way up.



Dedicated to a poor lad / local hero (as you prefer) who lost his life fighting in the Balkan Wars.



More twisties...



White church...



Route, recreated from memory. I think we did a few extra bits...



... More corners and bends in the last 4 hours than the previous two years. Probably.


We were really going to see our friends who live in the Troodos mountains. But what a great way to get there.


Roads. Excellent. Unbelievably fun. Hardly got out of second gear. But watch out for rockfalls and pinecones messing up your lines in places. The odd oncoming biker and bus cutting the corner. Not to much traffic though.

Should definitely have worn earplugs on the long motorway ride back.


Possibly more later; the bike has a light out so will have to try to get that sorted. My impression of the VStrom, coming from a Tiger Explorer 1200 - fun, comfortable, smooth, flickable, light. Somewhat down on power, but not that you need it on this sort of run.  


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Posted (edited)

Yesterday was a bit of a slow start. We went to get the light fixed first thing, which involved a steep descent to a basement workshop. No dramas. The garage had these balanced on the frame above the showroom. 








So instead of going back up the mountains we rode into the next town, where one of Cyprus' many feral cats decided to mark its territory on the sleeve of my jacket!  Back home via the shop for something to clean it with. Then to the pub. 


So our plans for Cedar Valley Road were pushed back until today. And they began with ice cream at this nice little spot. 



Aware that the road ahead would be pretty challenging, and kicking myself for not doing this before now, I checked the tyres. Front was a bit low. To the slight consternation of the customs man, I had packed a disc lock (complete with curly yellow wire), mini inflator and tyre pressure gauge. Added the much needed PSIs and five minutes later we were on our way. 



The tar snakes didn't last long, and gave way to mile after mile of twists and turns. I had confidence in the tyres, the bike, and the road surface. 











I began noticing things about my riding. Left turns were very controlled and tidy. Right turns were not as good. Turns are turns, are they not - what's the difference? Well, in my case about 4kph.


I started to tell myself. "Look through the bend, not down at your front wheel. Stop cutting the corner. Use the road. Get to the left hand edge on the way in. OK, maybe not that close, there are pine needles that look a bit slippy. Let your hips do some of the work, make the bike move beneath you. Lean it in a bit more..." 


Fluidity. That's the key. Concentrate on doing it well, speed will come later. 



Just out of view - a tight hairpin. If you look closely, you can see the road below snaking up the mountain.











Something about the GPS and sat nav in general here. There was the odd time that it had us in downtown Beirut, but more often the issue was that the map was not quite right, and the dot was a bit off the road. This is probably not the reason we ended up doing the Cedar Valley Road twice - but it's as good an excuse as any. I took the "30 mins slower" route, and somehow we ended up back there. There are worse loops to do twice, but this was already a long trip. 



Interesting tower atop a hill... 



In the heavens... 



The road surface was fine, but it started to look like a UK road that had just been resurfaced. It took a while to get used to the lighter colour. 




We were coming back down the other side of the mountains towards the north of Cyprus. 




It was still an hour to Latchi Harbour, where sustenance awaited. We dropped down past UN bases and security fencing separating Cyprus from the Turkish North. Past traditional villages with smoky lamb barbecues and black and white kerb stones like we were back in the Isle of Man. 






We made it to the harbour where Mrs. Fiddlesticks ordered the swordfish with an extra large Jack and Coke.


What a ride. It was incredible. Awesome. Knackering. Mentally and Physically. 




And still an hour home in the dark. After seeing about 5 cars all through the main part of the day, we were overtaken three times by boy racers on the twisting route home. 


Well, that's done. Six hours plus in the saddle. About a million and seven tight twisty bends. And back to the M56 next week.  What can you do?




Edited by Fiddlesticks
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2 minutes ago, Bender said:

Great read and pics, looks like your having a great time.

Cheers. Yes. Apart from the cat incident 😂


Forgot to say.. Three spots of rain on the terrace had the waiting staff diving for the cushions, reeling out the (impressive) awnings and apologising to everyone sitting outside for the downpour.


Sat watching in amusement, "I'm from the North of England... That's not rain."

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11 hours ago, Fiddlesticks said:

Cheers. Yes. Apart from the cat incident 😂


Forgot to say.. Three spots of rain on the terrace had the waiting staff diving for the cushions, reeling out the (impressive) awnings and apologising to everyone sitting outside for the downpour.


Sat watching in amusement, "I'm from the North of England... That's not rain."

Friend who used to go there loads to ride in the mountains met with a russian called Boris, Boris was on the wrong side of the road coming round a bend, bike and Dave didn't come off great, his partner was ok, Boris survived unscathed till Dave gathered himself 😂 

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