Monday, October 13, 2014

Tandem Riding: Doggie Style

During one of our stays in Akyaka, Turkey, we decided to rent bicycles and explore the beautiful seaside valley on two wheels. We chose a pleasant 30 km loop around the valley, and after some deliberation, we settled on renting a single bicycle for the both of us.

As Ferit and I were both tandem virgins, we weren't quite sure how tandem riding worked. But, with Ferit as the bicycle's fearless captain and with me as the ever-ready stoker, we were confident we could figure out how a couple goes about losing their tandem virginity.

Excited to start the ride.

It took a mile or so for us to figure out how to ride together. Once Ferit learned how to use the gears, and once I learned to begin pedaling only after Ferit's feet were firmly planted on the pedals, we were golden.

The route was beautiful. We particularly enjoyed riding past the fields containing perfectly shaped cones of drying sesame.

Fields of drying sesame.

In the few instances where the scenery was less than thrilling, I fixed my glance forward and slightly downward, admiring the cute toosh of my captain.

Now, loose dogs are a potential threat on any bike ride. But in a country where feral dogs are everywhere, the stakes are a wee bit different.

Fortunately, most dogs in Turkey are just too damn lazy to chase cyclists. But guard dogs, on the other hand, were bred to chase bicycles -- especially guard dogs who are endowed with the responsibility of protecting herds of goats.

The video below shows a snippet of me and Ferit on our tandem ride. If you pay close attention as we circle back towards the camera, you'll notice that we are riding the tandem in our "doggie style" position.


After the herd passed, we called out to the shepherd (or would you call him a "goatherd"?) asking whether the dog was guarding the goats. The shepherd responded (in Turkish, of course), "Indeed, the dog is guarding the goats. The dog doesn't chase unless you get in front of him."

Lesson learned: Don't get in front of a goat-guarding dog.

Near the end of the route, we stopped off at one of the small villages in the valley to enjoy a refreshing glass of fresh pomegranate juice. We raised our glasses to cheer our escape from the ferocious goat-herding dog and our success in changing a flat tire (yup, we were blessed with such an opportunity on our short ride),

Enjoying a glass of pomegranate juice.

We returned to our starting point and took one final spin around the block before calling it a day.

Taking one last spin on the tandem.

What a day it was riding our tandem, doggie style! As Mr. Whitman once wrote, "Oh captain! My captain! Our fearful trip is done."

10 comments:

  1. Love it... Let's do it again

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    1. Sounds like a plan, Anonymous Ferit Bey! :)

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  2. What a fun video!!! How did you capture that?! Your adventure looks incredible, Sarah.

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    1. Thanks for your note, Jill! :)

      We set up Ferit's camera on the side of the road, intending to capture some video footage of us riding the tandem. Much to our surprise, we were also able to capture our run-in with the guard dog and the herd of goats. What a different experience compared to biking in the US!

      Great to hear from you! I hope all is going well for you and Jeremy!

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    2. Love it when stuff like this happens, you could never have planned it. Some of the goats looked scary too!

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    3. The goats look frightened because some of them will soon be slaughtered. More on that in an upcoming post. Stay tuned...

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  3. How far did said dog chase you? I have added that rule to my list of Don'ts "Don't get in front of herd dog!" its right after "Don't drink a hot americano on a bumpy road" and right before "Dont assume an old guy witha beard is slower than you!"

    Great story on losing the virginity! Its on my list as well, I can completely see Michelle doing the airplane behind me!

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    1. It seemed as though the dog chased us for miles and miles, but it was probably more like a tenth of a mile, in reality.

      Ha, one of your rules looks quite familiar (the one about riders sporting white beards). :) You and Michelle must get yourself on a tandem ASAP!

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    2. I have found that video so entertaining, watched it a lot!!! Every blog post you write brings a smile or something to think about. Really enjoying following your adventures, Sarah and Ferit! Can't wait to see Alice take part in the fun! Love to all! xxx

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    3. Thanks, MaryJo. Ah, I guess you've heard that my mom will be joining us for a few weeks in Turkey. Looking forward to her visit! :)

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