Planning something BIG for this summer!

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New life, new projects…

This isn’t easy, we can tell you! It’s hard to believe but since we arrived back to Europe in November we almost had no time to deliberately consider on what to focus. This travel had from the beginning a dead line and regardless of the experience itself, it was conceived as « full stop », as a way to start a new paragraph in our lives. Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about an existential crisis. When sitting to write we always tried to structure posts in a way it could be a useful guide for other bike tourers and avoid too much intimate writing (of course there’s some navel-gazing here too!). Well, this post won’t be an exception. Let me explain:

If I ever wished to carry less weight, a few more options for supply and a nice mountain-bike to explore the territory, this was Central Asia.

Pablo in Bartang Valley
Pablo looking for the right direction on the Tibetan Plateau

The « Big Project » – MTB Guided Tours in Central Asia

Today  is time to talk about a pretty ambitious project (and however planned rather as an occasional activity). Ready? We’re organizing bike tours in Central Asia for 2018! Too crazy to be true? How come? Well, while riding at the bank of Issyk Kul in Kirgystan we had the opportunity to meet a group of Kazakh bike tourers that ride around the region very often. We kept in touch with Yarik and Madi, the leaders, and we met them again in their home-town, Almaty. As they’ve been working on such kind of group events for the last 10 years for local people, we agreed to collaborate bringing closer this unknown but mighty region to a wider public.

Two cents on touring there

We know how it feels biketouring in countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgistan, Tadjikistan or Uzbekistan (getting a visa for Turkmenistan can be pipe dream nowadays and we didn’t have the chance so far). Despite a certain and obvious homogeneity among the countries, it’s also that amazing diversity in terms of landscapes and cultures what makes of this part of the world so special. WE LOVED IT and the feeling of adventure and freedom while touring there was probably more intense than anywhere else. Central Asia leaves no one indiferent, that’s a reality!

Manon border-crossing Tajikistan / Kyrgizstan
Manon somewhere in the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgizstan

Now, let us talk us from the perspective of someone who spent 4 months in Central Asia and arrived there after more than a year on the road. If I ever wished to carry less weight, a few more options for supply and a nice mountain-bike to explore the territory, this was Central Asia. Right, the Bartang valley in Pamir has nothing to do with the roads around Samarkand. I agree… we’re by far not athletes, we did it all and we’d do it again – maybe a bit lighter 🙂 – and please don’t misunderstand us. We encourage and will always encourage to go on your own with as much time as you can and as comfortable as you succeed to travel. Unfortunately that’s not an option for everyone or simply not the wish and I’d still try to convince them they’re missing a unique place of this planet. We pretend to solve such scenarios:

  • I  don’t have the time do it on my own and I’d still like to make the most of my trip.
  • I’m passionate about knowing new places and cultures but I prefer assistance on foreign countries and riding with a group.
  • I’d like to explore but I want some comfort assuming I’m taking part in a nomad adventure.
  • I want the make the most of my two weeks of holidays and focus on enjoying them.

Could think about a few more, but that’s the idea.

Where do we start?

Finally let us  just shortly introduce our proposal and how to get some information.

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You’ll find all the necessary information under CYCLEPIC.COM, our official site. We’re still adding content but it’s possible to see already the complete information about first planned MTB-Tour in Kazakhstan:

Secrets of Tian Shan in the South-East of Kazakhstan – September 2018.

This is possibly one of the tours with the most diverse repertoire of landscapes in Central Asia. This is our overview:

Kazakhstan may suggest you infinite semi-desertic steppes that get lost in the horizon. Well, it’s time to visit Sout-East Kazakhstan and blow your mind with the diversity of landscapes!
Our trip starts in Almaty, the former capital of the old soviet republic. The city benefits from an exceptional environment located at the foot of the Tian Shan mountain range with its monumental summits beyond 6000 meters of altitude. The view of the mountains from the lively streets of the city looks like surreal paintings. Our tour will bring us towards Ili-Alatau mountain range, the most northern part of Tian Shan. We will ride through the untouched and mighty nature so extraordinary of Central Asia and discover the most picturesque lakes of the area like the incomparable Kaindy lake. The trip will also allow us to get to know the Kazakh traditions and observe their daily lives. On our way, we will find seasonal nomads and we will be able to contemplate their unique and practical yurts. The trail will also guide us to one of the most amazing natural secrets in the country, the Charyn Canyon which has nothing to envy to its Colorado counterpart. On the way to the idyllic Tekes Valley, we will have the opportunity to approach Tuzkol lake, which is about the same salt quantity as the Dead Sea. It’s in the dawn that we’ll contemplate the summit of the Khantengri in all its splendour. It is the highest mountain in the country with 7010 meters and serves as a border with the neighbouring countries of China and Kyrgyzstan.
An adventure with a variety of incomparable landscapes, combined with the authenticity and hospitality that will immerse you in Central Asia as few experiences can do!
Tian Shan mountain Range MTB
« Recumbent Bike » 🙂 Tian Shan mountain Range on the background.

A second tour is about to see the light. We talk about  Wild Altai and we are currently working on providing all details very soon. This tour will delight those travellers looking to explore one of the most remote and preserved regions of Kazakhstan. We’ll look after the footprints of Genghis Khan around the untouched nature of East Kazakhstan. You can look at the always inspiring posts of Caravanistan.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed. Don’t hesitate to suggest us and give your opinion. It’s more than welcome.

Would you like to join or you know someone who could be interested? Help us to share it! Very appreciated.

Thank you and nice rides!

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