Cyclists: post your travel tips here!

Cycling the Silk Road
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steven
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Cyclists: post your travel tips here!

Postby steven » Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:34 am

I have been asked a few times to get some more info for cyclists on the site, but since I have never cycled the Silk Road myself, I don't have much to offer.

If you have some good tips relating to food, things to take or leave home, cyclist places & people, security, how to best cycle a particular desert/mountain,... please let us know. I will collect it into a handy page for future cycle tourists.

Thank you very much in advance!
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Joanna Kaszewiak
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Re: Cyclists: post your travel tips here!

Postby Joanna Kaszewiak » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:04 pm

Contrary to some information coming the country, THERE ARE NO OBSTACLES FOR WOMEN (TOURISTS) TO CYCLE IN IRAN, EVEN SOLO. I say tourists because I’ve never seen any Iranian woman on a bike and one told me her husband doesn’t let her cycle. It’s possible that different rules are applied in case of Iranian women, but I NEVER had any problems. Cycling Iran as a single girl was also always accepted by the police without a word of protest.
However, expect to meet the police often. Nothing to worry about though. It happened that I was stopped on the road by police patrols passing me by (they asked for my passport, wrote down my data, asked where from and where to I was cycling). It also happened that in small towns the locals, before leading me to a caravansarai, a guesthouse or a room for guests by the mosque, told me to register at the police station (which means copying the passport and telling where from and where to you’re going). Twice the police found a place for the night for me when there was no hotel. Once the police stopped me from staying with the locals for the night and I was ‘kindly forced’ to take a taxi to a nearby town with a hotel (30km) and sleep there (they made me stay there for free that night because I complained a lot but I had to pay for the taxi). Once they followed me for 50km with the car to make sure I would arrive to a city with a hotel (and actually they only left after making sure I was checked in). I was never stopped at police road checkpoints outside of towns. All the police officers here were kind and respectful.
Nobody paid any attention to my bicycle at the Turkish-Iranian border in Gurbulak-Bazargan.
I'm a Polish girl cycling solo and currently in Iran (since mid-January 2017).
Best wishes
Joanna Kaszewiak
http://www.onbyways.com
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olooov
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Re: Cyclists: post your travel tips here!

Postby olooov » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:06 pm

Which way are you going? Had a look at you blog, very interesting!, and couldn't find any info.
All the best!
Piotr
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stefanonoke
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Re: Cyclists: post your travel tips here!

Postby stefanonoke » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:25 am

I cycled the Pamirs about two months ago at the time of writing and while loads have been written extensively about cycling this path I thought I would add my own experiences. I took the route from Sary-Tash to Khorog.
I had to pay a "customs fee" of one USD equivalent in either Kyrgyz or Tajik currency to the border guard at the Tajik border. I assume this was not an actual fee, but considering how low it was, I paid to avoid any trouble and get hurried along.
If you're ill prepared to camp out in below freezing temperatures, there are enough home stays and homes with hospitable families along the way to make your way through the Pamirs into a lower elevation. I camped only in the Wakhan Valley because there wasn't a camping equipment store in Osh and I couldn't prepare myself adequately. You could actually make it through without any camping equipment, though I don't recommend doing so because you never know. The Wakhan Valley has a load of villages.
It rained a lot more than I anticipated up in the mountains. Be prepared. Especially coupled with the cold, it can get dangerous. I had the misfortune of having to cycle through five consecutive days of off and on rain.
Be warned that Khargush Pass is one of the most challenging parts of the ride! It's very isolated, the roads are abysmal, and the ride is tough on the body.
I will add if anything else comes to mind. Please message me if you have any questions.
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Samkhanija
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Re: Cyclists: post your travel tips here!

Postby Samkhanija » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:21 pm

What kind of camping stove did you us, propane or gasoline,
If I have a jetboil propane stove, is it possible to get the small canister or similar in Central Asia
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Re: Cyclists: post your travel tips here!

Postby steven » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:51 am

Hi Samkhanija,

outdoor shops in the big cities stock propane canister for camping stoves.
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Re: Cyclists: post your travel tips here!

Postby Samkhanija » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:31 pm

Do you know any in Aktau, KZ? I tried calling Sportsmaster, I had a bad luck with language and sent them email, no response, do they also sell them in the Gas Station, if you know any Gas station franchise that sells in Aktau? Thank you for your help
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Re: Cyclists: post your travel tips here!

Postby steven » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:27 am

I cannot say for certain, sorry. But people like to go camping there, so I think it is available. Perhaps you can also refill also at the gas station. I think sportmaster is not the right shop, though. You need a hunting and fishing shop. Sportmaster just sells adidas.
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Re: Cyclists: post your travel tips here!

Postby Samkhanija » Tue May 01, 2018 1:53 pm

Hi
Is there any taxi or any other transportation options from Tavildara to Kalaikum on the Pamir hwy or further down to Khorog?
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Gratsi and Jan
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Re: Cyclists: post your travel tips here!

Postby Gratsi and Jan » Thu May 17, 2018 8:07 am

We are two cyclists, and we took the train from Aktau (station "Mangyshlak") to Astana (station "Nurly Zhol") a few days ago. The ride took about 45h, and we arrived on time. We read on the "Cycling in Kazakhstan" page that we might be able to store our bikes in the space between compartments. Be aware that you CANNOT take the bicycles along as they are - at least not on this specific train. They must be folded or disassembled (similar to Russian regulations). We shared a 4-bed-compartment with a man who told us that fully assembled bicycles CAN be properly stored, if the train features a baggage wagon which our train did not include. He did not know, though, how we could find out in advance, if a train would feature a baggage wagon.

We don't know how we eventually succeeded to convince them to take our bicycles on board. Maybe because we speak Russian or because we asked about every conductor in every wagon if they had any space left for two whole bicycles. In the end, our bicycles were stored in a completely empty (passenger) wagon at the end of the train, and the guy who was in charge of it asked us to pay him 2000 Tengge in return for this favour.
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