October has arrived and finally it was time to go mountain biking on Karpathos. Those who follow us on Instagram have seen that this was already planned before, but unfortunately it was cancelled twice. The first time because of the clouds and the other time because I was in bed with a migraine.
Unfortunately, but today was the day! With a lot of sense and a little bit of panic (mountainbiking on Karpathos is nothing compared to cycling in our flat Netherlands!) we went to Pigadia this morning. First we had breakfast at En Plo and then we went to ION.
Mountainbiken on Karpathos
When you go mountain biking on Karpathos you start the tour at the ION Club shop in Pigadia. We also start here where we meet Jirka and Nick. Jirka is our guide. He knows the most beautiful places of Karpathos and regularly explores the island by mountain bike. Nick is a photographer for ION and he is with us to take pictures. Perfect, because it saves me a lot of hassle and I can concentrate on the mountain biking.
After choosing the right mountain bike and helmet, it is time for a mountain biking lesson. How do the gears work and how do you cycle on such a thing! Fortunately, Jirka knows everything so we can set off safely.
There are several routes you can choose to drive. We did a bit of a mixture. We started with the Church route. It starts just outside the centre of Pigadia and then heads towards Amoopi and Menetes. As the route says, you make a beautiful route along about 12 churches on Karpathos. You will really pass the most beautiful viewpoints and see Karpathos in a whole different way. Just like walking on Karpathos, wonderful!
We don’t finish the Church route, because Jirka shows us something else towards the end. There are some mountain bike trails for the real pros. Heights, curves, wooden bridges, you name it! A part of it is already finished, but it still needs to be much bigger.
Some practical information
Vincent, in particular, was a big fan of mountain biking. His condition is also somewhat better than mine, haha! I thought the route was beautiful, but I also found the cycling quite scary. One part you ride on tarmac and another part you ride on unpaved roads. Especially going downhill scared me to death, because you are going super fast. And you have to be careful when braking, because of all the loose stones on the road. Ah fine, I followed quietly behind Vincent and Jirka who didn’t seem to have any problem with it.
It is important to keep in mind that mountain biking is very different from cycling in the Netherlands. I would therefore advise most people to go for the easiest route or possibly the Church route. This one has some tough uphill sections, but you will also have to descend heavily several times.
Good shoes and a comfortable outfit are a must. And don’t forget to bring water!
About ION Club on Karpathos
ION Club is a company that has established itself in several parts of the world. The company mainly offers wind- and kitesurfing activities, but since a few years they are also engaged in other activities. Looking for sporting activities on Karpathos? ION Club is the place to be!
They once started with windsurfing, but now ION Club on Karpathos is much more than that. They offer yoga classes, climbing and mountain biking. They also have weekly barbecue parties, where everyone is welcome.
Want to know more about ION Club? Check out their website here.