I have been exploring the island these sunny, warm days. I have found a couple of small, very rocky and rough beaches on the north side of the bay, facing Syros, north along the coast from the cave of Archilochos. They are all but inaccessible unless one rides a bike, hikes or has 4-wheel drive. A few days ago I went back to one of them with the goal of not returning the way I arrived. From a decent height I could see smaller paths and a narrow road. I knew I couldn’t bike it, and that I would have to push/carry the bike a certain way uphill, over rocks and walls, before I reached the road. According to the map, the road wound about until it reached the Delion of Apollo, one of the higher points on the island and an ancient temple site.
So that’s what I did. I biked down to the beach area, went for a swim, then packed up my panniers (more about them) and pushed the bike up the hill. There was some real problem solving involving a small gorge, some backtracking, plenty of thorns (shades of Sikinos!) but I eventually made it to the road. It was a pretty easy ride to the Delion after that and then a downhill ride back to town. It was only about 8 km but with all the uphill struggle and 15 kilos of bike and gear, I’ll add another few km to that count. A nice day, and fun.
I bought panniers for the bike. Now I don’t have to wear a day-pack anymore. This was making me top-heavy. The center of gravity has been lowered and I am finding them convenient and efficient. Below are four incarnations of my current mode of transport. There is enough room for all kinds of gear.