D915, or the Road to Hell as it has been called by other adventure travelers has gained the surname of the Most Dangerous Road in the World.
Some roads delight your eyes, others fill your soul with joy. Some trails take you exactly where you want and others where you least expect. How can a road that looks as if it was sketched by a third-grade child give you so many mood changes in about 20 km? A narrow path leads you from ecstasy to agony, and you ascend abruptly to dizzying heights just to achieve a state of complete bliss. The pinnacle of happiness today has a name – Bayburt-Of Yolu.
When you are aware of what’s next, your soul is bursting with enthusiasm, but the heart becomes as small as a flea. A twisting road winds up the mountain, leaving behind the vastness of the Black Sea.
The road from Of, a coastal town to Bayburt up in the mountain is 106 km long, out of which 20 km are unpaved. The road ascends gently along tea plantations and charming landscapes. As you continue riding up, the road gets narrower and doesn’t leave room for 2 vehicles at the same time. The turns are tighter and tighter, the road sloping, the apex variable, and the landscapes more impressive. You must stop to take a picture.
The asphalt ends abruptly, leaving a narrow path to guide us. From time-to-time cold streams flow from the rocky wall of the mountain, flooding the stone road. A few sections of the road give your heart palpitations and the fact that there are no guardrails of any sort, squeezes a few drops of sweat to the most experienced riders. And when you think you’re clear and the road gets better, the toughest turns you’ve ever seen come in your way.
13 tight turns take you on a steep incline from 1712m to 2035m in altitude in only 5 km. The road is narrow, has a slope between 6 and 10% and no guardrails in sight. Some turns are so tight that they can’t be taken in one go unless you’re an expert. Others, have zero visibility and the thought that another vehicle could come from the other side reduces your momentum significantly.
Sometimes knowing what’s coming can be intimidating. Fear paralyzes you; your heart skips a beat, and you feel a chill running down your spine. You are riding the most dangerous road in the world. Adrenaline helps you move on. You continue riding and start thinking it’s not that bad after all. And so it was. You take on corner after corner, after corner and stop up in Demirkapi Pass to admire the view. Even the most dangerous road in the world can be ridden with responsibility.
D915 Bayburt-Of Yolu via Derebasi Virajlari has been voted as the MOST DANGEROUS ROAD in the world and we might add, the road with some of the most beautiful landscapes. That’s if you’re lucky enough to catch it in good weather. In severe weather conditions, it is not recommended to make this trip. Weather changes fast up on the mountain. Snow can be seen on top of the mountain even in September. Visibility can reduce significantly, a thick, white fog can cover the entire road section in a matter of minutes and falling rocks can ruin all your fun.
The D915 road was built by Russian soldiers during the 1916-1918 invasion.
The story tells that the road was built using only hand tools, without the help of any machines. With a history of over 100 years, the D915 was the main link between the Black Sea and the towns of Bayburt and Erzurum. The path connected for the first time the Black Sea, Eastern Anatolia and Iran and is the shortest way to reach the mountain area for the people of Caykara and Of. For a long time, there was no other alternative to connect these settlements. Today, however, there are 2 less dangerous off-road alternatives, as well as paved alternatives that ease travel between these areas.
Bayburt – Of Yolu can be included in a private Turkey Motorcycle Tour designed for motorcyclists with experience in off-road riding. For more details on Turkey Motorcycle Tour please click here.
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