Rather than staying up late and partying in Taksim, I celebrated New Year’s Eve by going on a bike ride with some friends from church. Other than the necessary evil of going down Barbaros (we met in Beşiktaş) it was my favorite ride I’ve ever done in Istanbul. The ascent up Bahçeköy Caddesi was my favorite part of the ride: challenging and gorgeous, such a great combination for cycling. It started raining on us at the end of the day, but riding under the Roman aquaduct gave the ride an epic feel and motivate me to push through the cold.
People interested in the specs can look at my map here.