This will be the fifth year that the organizers of Boostcamp, Turkey’s most prestigious cycling vacation, will be holding a series of bicycling "camps" that will take participants on a literal ride through Turkey. Don’t let the title "camp" be misconstrued as these cycling holidays are based from luxury hotels and take amateur cyclists on a whirlwind tour of Turkey. Furthermore, the team behind Boostcamp are some of Turkey’s most skilled and experienced cyclists. So, this is a unique opportunity to participate in enjoyable yet challenging rides for cyclists of any level who will also get the chance to learn more about the sport firsthand from some of Turkey’s pros.
The cycling vacations organized by Boostcamp are designed to provide exhilarating rides in spectacular settings throughout Turkey. Each year, they organize approximately three cycling retreats with daily designated routes through mesmerizing destinations in Turkey. Participants are able to test out different routes, are offered the option to select shorter or longer routes and can pedal according to their own capabilities. However, on each ride, cyclists will be accompanied by an expert trainer as well as a support vehicle to provide mechanical and emergency assistance if needed. While there is no need to be at a certain level as a cyclist to participate, it is required that cyclists have the capability to ride with an SPD pedal and have had the experience of cycling in groups.
This year’s Boostcamp series includes cycling vacations in Marmaris, Gelibolu (Gallipoli) and Cappadocia. Each program, which varies from four to five days in length, is based in a five-star hotel and includes daily recovery sessions, including yoga and mobility work, as well as workshops, seminars and evening dinners. This is an amazing opportunity to connect with cycling enthusiasts from all over the world, set in destinations that have a draw for anyone, including friends or spouses who may not necessarily want to put the pedal to the metal.
The first of this year’s Boostcamp series begins on March 23 and will be a five-day cycling extravaganza set along the southern coast of Marmaris. Entitled "Revenge of the Mountains," participants will traverse a combined 500 kilometers (310 miles) and "killer climbs" with elevation levels nearing 8,000 meters (26,246 feet). The courses vary between coastal roads to mountain climbs lined with the region’s distinct towering pine trees.
Each day, cyclists will ride approximately 60 to 100 kilometers to different destinations surrounding Marmaris. To provide an example of the schedule: The first day is a ride to Orhaniye, the second day offers two options between a long ride on Sakar Pass or from Marmaris to Gökova. Day Four is a ride from Marmaris to Datça and Day Five is a ride to Okluk. As mentioned, the full program also includes afternoon yoga and mobility sessions, workshops, nightly dinners and a party on Saturday evening as well as daily Boostcamp meetings to discuss the rides and really anything about cycling.
The "Revenge of the Mountains" program is supported by Turkey’s Tourist Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) and sponsored by Türk Telekom Prime. Participants will stay at the Grand Yazıcı Club Turban Hotel in Marmaris. So far 150 to 200 cyclists have signed up for the event, including a significant number of cyclists from abroad and expats that live in Turkey. The guests of this year’s Marmaris "camp" will also include retired Italian pro cycler Alberto Elli and recently retired German pro cyclist Christoph Pfingsten, both of whom have taken part in the Tour de France multiple times.
The second installation of Boostcamp is entitled "Fast Track" and will take place in Gelibolu from July 28 to July 31. The newest destination included in Boostcamp’s bicycling holidays involves four days of discovering this historically significant region of the Strait of Dardanelles and Gallipoli.
Coming up later in the year will be Boostcamp’s most popular program and destination entitled "Mystic Rise," which is a four-day cycling vacation set amongst the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. An event you will want to mark in your calendars, the "Mystic Rise" camp will take place between the dates of Oct. 6 to 9 and includes four days of rides set on routes in the spectacular Cappadocia region’s valleys. The total distance to be pedaled through the duration of the holiday is 315 kilometers and some rides will reach elevations of 5,430 meters, so it’s a slightly less challenging adventure than its Marmaris counterpart.
Daily rides include a 70-kilometer "Sunset Cappadocia Ride," a 115-kilometer jaunt to Avanos, a 116-kilometer climb of Mount Erciyes and a final-day fun-ride of 50 kilometers amongst the caves of Cappadocia. The accommodation for this "camp" will be at the five-star Doubletree by Hilton Avanos. And of course, on the sidelines, there will also be the opportunity to ride a hot-air balloon, go on a horseback ride or take any of a variety of tours of the Cappadocia region, making for the perfect opportunity for non-cyclists to while away the day.
Boostcamp’s bicycling vacations are especially geared for those cycling lovers that live in an urban setting and seek the thrill of challenging themselves and discovering new routes and regions. These trips offer the opportunity to discover Turkey while exercising, feasting on regional cuisine and staying in top-notch accommodation. In addition to cycling in groups during the day, each holiday incorporates daily recovery sessions, workshops and seminars by skilled cyclists and a dinner shared amongst participants each evening, all of which provide a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to form true bonds with like-minded individuals from all over the world.
Check out boostcamplive.com to learn more about their upcoming adventures. To see what the camp is like in motion, you can visit boostcamplive’s YouTube page.