Cycling on Kea

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Just to the Southeast of Kea is Kithnos, another island that is supposed to be pretty quiet, and has a very nice beach.   Getting to the island to have a quick look is the primary goal for the day!

Megan has an affinity for beaches, and so we will head to that area, and then find a public dock for a place to spend the night and Today the plan was to get to Kithnos so Megan could check out a beach and potentially go swimming.   My goal was to get out on the bike for a change and I found hills that highlighted my poor fitness.

I have already created a post about Kithnos (just pictures really), but the bike ride on Kea demands a bit of logging . . .

My ride was very short unfortunately.  Megan wanting to move on to a beach area, and the poor condition of my bike.   As mentioned, I would have left my bike at a bike shop in Athens for repairs if they responded to my emails or called me like they said they would. Alas, they did not and so I had the bike with me.  Great for a ride, but not so great when the key objective is to replace failing brakes and Kea is just one big hill.

In any case, I did ride 27km, climbed 765m and worried constantly that my brakes were going to fail on a descent.    I could tell that the ride was hard as my back started to tire around an hour into the ride (for those of you who don’t know my riding habits, I commonly ride for 4-6 hours, and 10-12 hour rides are not uncommon).  It wasn’t until I returned to the boat and looked at the profile of the ride I realized that the AVERAGE grade during the climb was about 7%, and some bits were much harder than that.   My gearing was not setup for grades over 10%, and I am sure some were in the 12-14% range.   I climbed about 700m in 10km and then the descent started!   Scary when you have almost no brake pads left.  By way of comparison, a 100km ride in Toronto would generally see 300-400m of climbing.

Another benefit here is that during the entire ride, I saw only four moving cars.   Fantastic, particularly on descents when a rider can take liberties on tight turns with some confidence that a car will not be coming around the next bend.

Riding these hills when the roads are dry, my brakes are in good shape and I have some familiarity will be fun and the rest of the island should be explored.


Nissos Kea - Northeast side
A Panoramic shot (done poorly) half way up the climb.
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Before the descent . . . Home Free is in the harbour on the centre right
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The only thing that Kea doesn’t appear to have is a flat road longer than 1km.

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