Dangerous road drivers in kyrgyzstan and kazakhstan?

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ppp24
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Dangerous road drivers in kyrgyzstan and kazakhstan?

Postby ppp24 » Thu May 02, 2019 3:19 am

Hi everyone,

I'll be bicycle touring in August to mid-sept in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and have read that drivers are really dangerous and some parts are unsafe for cyclists to be on the road. Was just wondering if you've experienced any and what precautions do you take? also would it make sense for me to install bike mirror to be on the safe side?

Let me know. Thank you in advance.
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Lovetheworld
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Re: Dangerous road drivers in kyrgyzstan and kazakhstan?

Postby Lovetheworld » Thu May 02, 2019 7:36 am

Well, obviously the drivers are less ideal than in Western Europe for example. So what is your expectation?
They are also not really used to cyclists. Cities can be a bit hectic and busy.
The many long roads outside cities usually have good visibility.

However, they might not give you much space at all. So you could think about driving on the wrong side of the road to see oncoming traffic, or put on a mirror as you mentioned.
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Greg
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Re: Dangerous road drivers in kyrgyzstan and kazakhstan?

Postby Greg » Thu May 02, 2019 10:28 am

They're better than India but worse than Europe/America. Riding in the city is a bit of an experience at first but you soon get used to the local norms and expectations. Rigid in the country is no problem as everywhere is so sparsely populated.

Precautions: be aware of your surroundings and keep your bike in good working condition. You don't need a mirror, no bike needs a mirror, you can see and hear what's behind you perfectly well. If you can't do that already, your best precaution would be to get some cycling training before you go. If you're one of those people who thinks your back brake is your main brake, you should also definitely get some training - it will make you a much safer rider.
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Lovetheworld
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Re: Dangerous road drivers in kyrgyzstan and kazakhstan?

Postby Lovetheworld » Tue May 07, 2019 9:37 am

Greg, maybe I don't agree. I'm from the Netherlands and cycling is "in our blood" so to say. However, cycling in countries where it is not typical brings some other issues with it.
Yes you can hear a truck coming easily, or a car, but can you hear if it is going to hit you or just pass you? No, you have to look or just trust that it is going to be alright. I think a mirror is a great idea, so you can keep your position that you will have for the long cycling days, and check if this car or truck is actually seeing you. Alternatively cycle on the wrong side (the roads usually have quite some space or are not used a lot so you can do this).

I don't do any of this in the Netherlands, but in these kind of countries I think it is a good idea. Last year a cyclist got hit in Uzbekistan from the back on a long straight road. And I know a story from South America where two cyclists were killed when a drunk truck driver didn't see them.
I think the long roads outside the city is the worst problem, because of the likely hood to get killed.
People cutting you off or cycling in the city has less risk at such an outcome. And when you're crossing a busy intersection you will already be very cautious.
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Re: Dangerous road drivers in kyrgyzstan and kazakhstan?

Postby bwv812 » Tue May 07, 2019 6:57 pm

I do know that some cyclists in the region have taken to sticking flags from the sides of their bikes to make it more difficult for drivers to pass too close, and I've read more than one blog where cyclists have expressed huge frustration at local drivers.

https://foonsonbikes.files.wordpress.co ... c_0183.jpg

(from their blog entry at https://foonsonbikes.com/2014/09/15/the ... yrgyzstan/)
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Re: Dangerous road drivers in kyrgyzstan and kazakhstan?

Postby steven » Wed May 08, 2019 7:43 am

Not to scare anyone, there are quite a few cyclists in Central Asia, but yes, death is an option: https://caravanistan.com/trip-reports/t ... a-journey/
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Lovetheworld
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Re: Dangerous road drivers in kyrgyzstan and kazakhstan?

Postby Lovetheworld » Wed May 08, 2019 8:59 am

Okay f*ck, this was the incident I was referring to. I heard it from other cyclists who had met them, or I believe his remaining friend. The last thing I heard is that he was in a coma and it was not looking good.

Now I read this. It makes me sad again, even though I pretty much already knew the outcome.
Well written story by his friend.

We (driving a car) discussed this at the time, because we heard about it while travelling there over these long roads in Uzbekistan. And I remember discussing that we would cycle on the wrong side of the road, so you would always be able to see what is about to hit you.
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Robinosaurus!
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Re: Dangerous road drivers in kyrgyzstan and kazakhstan?

Postby Robinosaurus! » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:45 am

My experience of main roads in Kazakhstan is that drivers expect you to be on the dirt/gravel shoulder, rather than the road. You'll get beeped at (a mixture of warning you they're passing and angry I think) and many close passes. As another user says, if there's oncoming traffic and not enough space to pass then you can expect to get squeezed.

Even though cars are faster, the main-main road (E012) actually feels safer than smaller roads like the A2, as there is a proper shoulder to ride on.
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