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12 November 2013

Saturday Ride Report: Dervenohoria

Some decent climbing, not so decent climber
Map of our Dervenohoria ride

Last Saturday I was out riding with my friend George. We went to some mountains to the north-west of Athens. First we had to pass a lot of industrialized areas in direction to Elefsina, riding on the shoulder of big roads, not really my preferred thing. Then we passed through the plain near Aspropirgos. Here we had smaller roads and with much less traffic.

Then the climbing started: At first on a long, straight stretch that is still part of the plain, with a gradient of 1-2%. Then getting bit by bit steeper up, and finally arriving in the forested slopes of the mountains. After a bridge, the real climb starts: 8.3km with an average gradient of 5.7%. Less steep at first, more steep towards the end. Shortly before the top there is the first "peak" which marks the arrival at the pass height, the road going almost down a bit and then one last climb to the road's peak.

At first George and me had started the climb together, but after the first kilometers I lost him - his higher gearing definitely doesn't help there. So I soldiered on by myself. Lots of trucks passed, but in generally with enough space on the road to be ok. One of the truck pushed out a huge cloud of exhaust, both in passing me and continuing on uphill. The fume lingered on, which was very tough to ride on and one of the times where I wished for a bit more wind to get it away. By that time I was also already feeling exhausted, mustering my strength just to not stop till I reached the peak. When I got there, I waited for George and had some time to recover.

Down we went, onto a high plateau and a village where we filled up on water. We had the best of weather, sunny but still fresh. The plateau was very interesting. It looked to me like a forgotten place. Empty and forgotten so close to the big city. We continued through the plain to the exit on the south-east. First some more climbing to get over the "border" of the plateau, then a huge downhill ride. This part again was forested and looked empty and forgotten, except for one town with a collection of huge tavernas advertising lamb chops and stuff like that. We hadn't seen a sheep in all the ride, so I guess the taverna customers don't mind that their meat arrives on the same roads as they do.

We kept on our return, through ever slightly more crowded streets, through the industrial areas again. In the Athens neighborhoods we hit on Saturday shopping traffic, but after having lunch at George's place, everything was calm on the way back to my place. I felt tired and done, but had no sore legs. I just wanted to go out again as soon as possible and get this climb done properly.

Distance: 110km, 1470m elevation gain, 4:40 riding time, average speed riding (without the stops): 23.6km/h.

Posted by betabug at 12:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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