The Silk Road
The Silk Road from Beijing to Tehran is considered to be the longest, hardest, hottest and coldest route in the world as well as historically highly significant. We will attempt to cycle it (supported). At over 10,000km, passing through 9 countries with temperatures ranging from minus 10°C to above 45 centigrade, it is a test at all extremities. Over the 120 days we will climb to over 4000 metres and descend to below sea level. We will aim to be two of the youngest people to ever complete it, (less have completed it than have climbed Everest).
15 May - 27 May (Beijing, China to Ulan Bator, Mongolia):
Commencing in China’s historic capital and traversing the outer Gobi desert, where temperatures can vary by 40 degrees in a day, we’ll cycle onto the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator.
29 May - 18 June (Ulan Bator, Mongolia - Gorno-Altaysk, Russia)
From Ulan Bator we head across the vast Mongolian nomadic plains, which possesses the same authentic Mongolian feel of green expanses, yurts and riders on horseback as it did during the time of the Khan dynasty. We then enter Russia south-west of Lake Baikal, where we will be confronted with the harsh Siberian landscape.
20 June - 5 July (Gorno-Altaysk, Russia – Almaty, Kazakstan)
We shall then head through the worlds ninth largest country, Kazakhstan, home to Russia’s Spaceport, previous Soviet nuclear testing site, vast quantities of unexploited natural resources, the beautiful Lake Alakol and Borat.
8 - 18 July (Almaty, Kazakstan – Osh, Kyrgyzstan)
Beginning with punishing climbs in the revered Tian Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan, we’ll reach the scenic Lake Issyk-Kul, the 2nd largest alpine lake in the world after which we will arrive in ancient Osh.
20 July - 5 August (Osh, Kyrgyzstan – Dushanbe, Tajikistan)
Our most highly anticipated section due to the vertigo-inducing traverse across the Pamir Highway, known locally as the ‘Roof of the World’. We will climb the Ak-Baital Pass to 4,665m altitude and skirt along the Afghanistan border before reaching Dushanbe.
7 August - 23 August (Dushanbe, Tajikistan- via Uzbekistan – Ashgabat, Turkmenistan)
We cycle to Bukhara, Uzbekistan, a key Islamic centre along the Silk Road and will move from one World Heritage Site to another to reach Merv. It was a previously important stop on the Silk Road and is rumoured to have been the largest city in the world in its heyday. We finish this historic leg of our journey in Turkmenistan’s capital.
26 August - 5 September (Ashgabat, Turkmenistan – Tehran, Iran)
Our final leg starts from Ashgabat; the city was painted white by their eccentric late President for Life. From here we will pass into the even more remote lands of the Ayatollah in Iran, home to one of the oldest empires in history. Recently famed for its anti-western sentiment, Iran is actually home to a hospitable, rich and historic culture where we’ll draw our epic journey to a close in the metropolis of Tehran where we will celebrate with a non-alcoholic beer.
For stages, distances, average-speeds whilst cycling the Silk Road please refer to the link below;