After 13 days of constant freezing and trembling this morning came like a spring in February. The sun was generously pouring warmth over the mountains of Crimea and soon the temperature raised above the zero point, lifting our spirits and thawing our hearts, so to speak. At 11 o’clock the four pedalers headed into the sunlit mountains in the direction of Feodosiya. Today it was all about going uphill and cruising downhill again, because the entire route twisted through a mountain chain. Despite the hilly passage and a bit of head-wind all of the pedalers were enjoying the ride under the bright eye of the winter sun. The road was clear, the average speed was good and the day was turning to be a real chill for a change. Talking with the words of Karlis P., “It’s a good workout in the mountains. The weather is just ideal and it’s quite hot.” The guys finally had caught the long deserved break and could relish the ride with no struggle. The day heated up to +2 degrees Celsius and the cyclists started to peel out of the outer layers of their clothes. Everybody likes mountains, but Karlis B. truly loves them - when Karlis was going down a slope with a scenic mountain landscape ahead his climber’s soul started to sing making him spread his arms and embrace the mighty gathers of our Earth. After 60 kilometers the spring recoiled giving way for the rightful ruler of this time of year. As we got further into the mountains in just a few kilometers we were back in the winter wonderland. The road and everything around it became snowy and the sun hid it’s face behind a swath of clouds causing the temperature to drop by at least 10 degrees. It’s a good thing, that we were lazy yesterday and didn’t take off the studded tires - they turned somewhat useful on the slippery mountain roads. Because of the short distance we skipped the long lunch again and filled our bellies with sandwiches and the usual combination of sprats and cookies. The highlight of today was our friendly encounter with local policemen, who instantly sized us up as a jolly gang demonstrating the astonishing observation skills of the Crimean police force. They told us that some time ago a cycling team form Slovakia had passed by on their way to Soči, assuring us that we are not the only crazies on the face of the Earth. After a short photo session with the friendly guys in uniforms and warm wishes of good luck our team pushed forward to Feodosiya. Today we failed to outrun the sunrise by less than 10 minutes which is about the same time we spent by the police station, but it was totally worth it, because the smiling policemen gave us an uplifting dose of positive energy.
-distance - 111km
-total time including pitstops - 6h 2min
-average speed - 22km/h
-max speed downhill - 46km/h
-total vertical ascent - 950m