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Old 3 May 2013
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Turkey, Ankara
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Thumbs up From Istanbul to Ankara / The Long, Turquoise Route (9th-23rd May)

Most probably we’ll be heading out sometime within next week. Until then, I’ll be sharing my experiences from the time I decided to ride, to the time I set out for my first long ride. As short stories of course,..

1) First Step – The Decision
October 2011. It’s a Sunday. I’m in front of the TV, relaxing before a busy Monday. A documentary about two guys riding their motorcycles around the world comes up. They’re talking about the sense of freedom, about how this is the most personal way of travelling, about engine maintenance, about physical endurance and skills, about adrenalin. I ask myself; “Why am I still delaying?” Not being able to find a fulfilling answer, I start reading and researching the next day.
My first goal is set: {To complete my first “long” (longer than 1 week and 2500km) ride within 2 years.}

2- The Correct Gear

2nd decision: “Before my ass even touches the seat, my equipment shall be complete.”
It takes me almost no time to find myself next to my buddy Anil. At the time, he’s working at a local motorcycle accessories dealer in Istanbul. His eyes sparkle with joy as he introduces me to the gear, all the while telling me road stories from his prior trips. I can easily relate to his joy. I return back to Ankara with the delight of having taken my first discernible step towards my long goal. I still have a lot missing though; no license, no motorcycle yet. For the next 3 months I walk around my house with my new helmet on, itching for my first ride…

3- The First Ride

My so called ‘tutor’ is working as a pizza delivery guy at Domino’s. He’s trying his best to pass on his knowledge, but is not able to answer most of my questions. My Arai helmet is on my head. My riding pants, jacket, boots, back protector is all Dainese. I’m in a restaurant’s parking lot. I’m on a worn out YBR125 given from the training center and there’s a guy wearing a Domino’s uniform running next to me with one hand on my bike.
This wasn’t what I had imagined riding would be like but I stick with it until I get my license. As I slalom around the cones during my driving test, I win the attention of the uninterested officials by honking at them. License –check, next...

4- The First Motorcycle

I consult enthusiasts. I make the decision to buy the best looking smallest CC bike I can find.
Result: CBR125. With its weak structure, flimsy engine and paper-thin wheels it looks like a bicycle rather than a motorcycle. That said, I come close to a wipeout on it and thanks to its lightness I’m able to get myself out of trouble easily. I pat myself on the back for choosing a light bike as my first bike.
After a year I sell the bike to a 17 year old with one arm.., No really..

5- Whuuooomm Whuuoomm

I decide the racing position is not for me since I enjoy taking long trips. I start researching, again. I consult to enthusiasts, again. I want to feel the wind, I want it to really pull when I twist the throttle.
I come across this picture on the web. I feel week in the knees. I end up buying my Yamaha XJ6 which will accompany me throughout this trip.
I try to describe it to people who ask: “-Whuuoomm Whuuoomm”. Oh what joy.!

This brings me to now... We'll be heading out on 9th May 2013, Thursday. You can follow our trip from our blog by clicking here. I will prepare the final trip report with all the edited videos and such and add a thread to the trips section of the forum. Also, for anybody who are planning to ride through west Turkey give us a heads-up. We would be more than glad to meet up to share some drinks and stories.
Happy riding to all, and wish us luck!!! See you all in 2 weeks.

Last edited by SOD_xj6; 3 May 2013 at 20:12. Reason: forgetfulness..
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