Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Photo - Mountain Biking Mongolia

Mountain biking through Mongolia
(Photo courtesy of Tom Allen)
While searching for interesting cycling photos this week I ran across the photo above. Now this is cycling in a remote area! The title of the accompanying article is "Adventure Cycling In Mongolia", which is quite interesting. The two guys (Tom Allen and his friend Andy) who went on the trip live in Armenia, so they took a train to Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia. The city has a population of about 1.3 million, which is about the same as Indianapolis.

They kept their plans fairly simple and flexible. Mongolia is best known for its Gobi Desert, which they wisely decided to bypass. Over a few weeks they rode about 600 miles. Most of what they road was pasture. Despite the remoteness, they said you could generally see a yurt (The tent Mongolian nomads live in), and they would run across people each day.Every day or two the would pass through a small town. The locals were friendly. Each time they stopped at a yurt to ask directions, they were invited in for tea.

Overall, they found the terrain more varied and more populated than they expected. Even in the remote areas there were people herding animals. Biking there was also safer and more practical than expected. Tom said Mongolia is his favorite out of the 30 or so countries in which he has cycled.

If cycling Mongolia on your own sounds difficult, there are companies who organize these tours. One of these is Spiceroads. Their 14 day trip has 8 full days of cycling, and also includes sightseeing of archery, wrestling and horse racing events. Cost is a little over three thousand dollars.

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