Mediterranean Cycopaths

Left of the Middle

22 March 2007 

Our departure from Beirut, a day later than planned, saw us cycling on the Mediterranean Coast for the first time since Alexandria.  It was good to be back and the abysmal state of the roads failed to detract from the magnificent setting – snow capped mountains, to our right, plunging dramatically down to the sea where we had the the wind at our backs and the sun on our faces as we wound our way North.

The sights from our excursion to southern Beirut and Sidon the previous day contrasted starkly with the affluent seaside towns, such as Journieh Bay and the ancient Byblos, that we now found ourselves riding past – as pleasant a place to live as you would find anywhere on the coast if not for the minor political issues which plague the area.

Our smooth progress was a little bit too low profile for Sean, who decided to try a few tricks he’d been working on – the first involved planting his front wheel into a drain and performing a headstand for some locals in the streets of Byblos (one of whom then kindly straightened the back wheel for him) before he moved on to the bigger stage of Tripoli where, as he weaved in and out of the slow moving traffic, he ran into the (very recently opened) passenger door of a taxi, bending his gear shifter and brake in the process.  Eager to keep moving, I made him ride in front of me from then on so I could keep an eye on things.

We were out of tiny Lebanon that afternoon and back into Syria, where we paid a visit to the “World’s finest” crusader castle, Crac des Chevaliers, the next day (these are major attractions in Syria which has several of them, but one was more than enough for us).

A day and a half later and we were leaving the Middle East for the last time.  It is such an interesting place to travel – we have had amazing experiences and met many zany characters (who will potentially get a dedicated post of their own at some stage). 

So, another milestone in our trip (read ‘excuse for a beer’) and some relief for our Mum’s. First impressions of Turkey from a bicycle – people seem to obey the traffic signals.  Well the locals do at least – we’ve got into some bad habits over the last few months … 😉



March 26, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Congratulations to you both! Your blog has been really enjoyable to read so far. Well done and thanks for that fantastic adventure in the middle east countries that you did share with us;-) keep going on the mediterranean coast!

    Comment by Samia | March 29, 2007 | Reply

  2. Boys,

    The editor of ‘Gay Cyclist Weekly’ phoned last night. They want a photo of you fellas in your lyrca for their next issue’s cover.

    Comment by Kathleen Crenshaw | March 29, 2007 | Reply

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