Cycling in May - wrong time?

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Cycling in May - wrong time?

Post by RosaCyc »

my friend and I are planning to visit Kyrgystan this year. We have time between 1th May and 15th July 2023 and would like to travel by bicycle. We are aware that it is not the best time and that we should travel Kyrgystan a little bit later during the year but unfortunately this is not possible. It is kind of difficult to find information on cycling Kyrgystan in May. Has anyone any tips on which road to choose in that time of the year? We are afraid of snowy passes and closed roads and are a little bit lost in our planning.
I know that for some of you that sounds like a really stupid question but I would be really thankful for any advice.
All the best, Rosa
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Re: Cycling in May - wrong time?

Post by Alibobo »

Yes cycling Kgz in early May is wrong timing unless you are looking to test your surviving skills...

Here is a summary of my personnal experience cycling KGZ in May 2022.

that was my 3rd time cycling Kgz and the worst timing..first time was end july to mid september, second time july-august..both times amazing could pretty much go everywhere i wanted.(over 4000m a few times)

Now about last time. Started in Osh as i already knew that was the warmest area..
First ride was to tackle the SRMR first pass..was nice weather but too early..still had snow..backtracked after reaching 3400m (pass near 3900m)

Then tried a loop through Chatkal to Talas after going to Sary Chelek lake (nice) coming from Osh-Jalal abab

Oh before that i tried to reach Kazarman but road cars and too many people telling me road was closed..did not check but believed it was not open yet (early May 2022)

After reaching Chatkal..impossible to go through 2nd pass..had to backtrack main road Osh-Bishkek..which took few days

Took a betting with rain and thunderstorms..lost a lot of energy.

Then took a road i took already before wich goes to Chaek before Toktogul..nice track..only reaching snow at the time

Caught more rain near Song kul..stayed on the point for me to take another beating from the bad weather..reach Kochkor after few days been wet and miserable

Head for Issik kul as the weather was still rainy and could not go to Naryn or Tienshan range (tosor,gold mine,etc)

Issik kul is i think the place you want to ride when the weather is bad elsewhere..few hotsprings around (at least 4 to 5 different ones)

Has the water have Radon they won t let you soak in the hot pool a whole day but still great when it is rainy or cold outside
So around issik kul is rideable even if raining but that is pretty much it everywhere else you will be taking a beating from the elements if they are not favorable..even if you stay on the main roads.

At that time there might be no one in the mountains..i remember people starting to move yurts middle may,end may 2022..

That is pretty much a good sign..if no one goes up the mountains may be you should not be there too...

Pretty much for me that was a major mistake..wasted time and energy trying new routes but ended up backtracking most of the time..cycled main roads which is not great if you know what is available in the backcountry there.

So yes going in may is too early..i could not even just go to Sary tash from Osh..when i checked the weather forecast it was near 0C at 3000m..with rain..pretty much where you don t want to be with a bicycle

May be June will be more suitable but i think also too early for high is i think August-September.

Last thing the road from Bishkek to Osh sucks to ride on a take it because you don t have other choice and in May around issik kul and that road you will be very limited in terms of route, will have to ride somewhere and backtrack most of the time..that can still be some adventure..especially Chatkal that was really epic to reach there on a bicycle

Good luck
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