I will never forget cycling into Istanbul.
With little experience in bike touring, we didn’t research the smaller roads well enough. Instead, we rode alongside heavy motorway traffic for several days on the D100 – the main highway from the Greek border to Turkey‘s biggest city.
We weren’t alone. Many cyclists take the D100. Do they use this dangerous road because it’s easy, at least in terms of navigation? It is one straight line into Istanbul. Or perhaps they take it because, coming from Europe, they haven’t yet bought a decent Turkish map and don’t know of any other roads.
In any case, There Is A Better Way!
The bulk of this route uses the D020, which sounds wonderful from their description:
“It’s a single lane coarse tarmac road through rural farm land. There is no hard shoulder but it’s not necessary as there is little traffic. The traffic that does pass, we found to be very courteous. According to a local, drivers are used to cyclists on this road.”
Even the very last stretch of their route, coming into Istanbul, was tranquil:
“Expecting a ferocious motorway it turned out to be a lovely single lane road weaving through small villages, suburbs and marinas. With the sun rising over Asia on the other side of the Bosporus, this was one of the most memorable and enjoyable rides we have ever done.”