Across the Eurasian Continent by Bicycle

From July 2006 till April 2007, I cycled 12,000km from South Korea to Switzerland via China, Central Asia, the Caucuses, Turkey, and Adriatic Sea Coast. In some ways, this was a much more difficult journey than the skateboard journey which followed directly after. 4,600m high passes in Tajikistan, bouts with giardia, 9 months traveling alone. This journey prepared me physically, and, more importantly, mentally for traveling by skateboard.

Posts here are ordered in chronological order – from the preparation stage on, from Day 1 to around Day 390.

Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離:104km Time on bike / 走行時間:7h 46m Average speed / 平均速度:13.4km/h Total distance to date / 現在までの積算距離:761.4km Altitude gain: 1300m  English Summary: Big day with big rewards including free dinner and a beaut spot to camp on some Kazakh’s land. The ride from Urumqi to Heavenly Lake is […]

Day 21 – Urumqi to Heavenly Lake (English Summary)

Distance: about 60km  Got away from Heavenly Lake late at 11am, and already the tourists were there in their hoards. I couldn’t believe that there was a like band playing cheesey pop music at a very loud volume at such a beautiful otherwise tranquil place. Are us humans that addicted to […]

Day 22 – Heavenly Lake to somewhere between there and ...

I was supposed to pick up my Kyrgyz visa today. I was told to come and pick my visa up today. As I left the consulate, the guy at the counter double checked by saying “See you Monday, yes?”. Today the Kyrgyz consulate was closed. Today some more of those overly inquisitive city dwelling Chinese […]

Day 23 – Back to Urumqi

Today I should be able to pick up my Kyrgyz visa. Then it will be off over the Tianshan mountain range to a small town called Narat in the middle of nowhere with internet access. Mike C’s dad was born there. I expect that my next update will be in […]

To Narat or bust

  Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離:52.76km Time on bike / 走行時間:5h 06m Average speed / 平均速度:10.3km/h Total distance to date / 現在までの積算距離:926km   English summary: I find myself in a small town in an overpriced hotel. It’s the only hotel, so I guess that’s why they can charge 50RMB a night. […]

Day 24 – From Urumqi to a town I don’t ...

Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離:46.14km Time on bike / 走行時間:3h 55m Average speed / 平均速度:11.7km/h Total distance to date / 現在までの積算距離:972.2km Today began early. About 2am to be exact. My stomach woke me up with cramps, and my bowels were screaming for the loo. I passed two lots of fairly loose […]

Day 25 – From a town with no name to ...

Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離:34.04km Time on bike / 走行時間:4h 45m Average speed / 平均速度:7.1km/h Total distance to date / 現在までの積算距離:1006.2km English summary: I am surprised not to be feeling the effects of being at 3200m at present. I am currently camped in an old yurt site in my tent. Rain […]

Day 26 – From Houxia to base of Shenri Daban ...

Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離:84.55km Time on bike / 走行時間:5h 19m Average speed / 平均速度:15.8km/h Total distance to date / 現在までの積算距離:1090.8km It is official. The Chinese need to introduce another national law that requires all babies born to be given chill pills. Maybe then China will be a much more chilled […]

Day 27 – CHINA: Base of Shenri Daban Pass to ...

 Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離:32km Time on bike / 走行時間:4h 12m Average speed / 平均速度:7.6km/h Total distance to date / 現在までの積算距離:1124km English summary: Still hacked off with China. Loud tooting Chinese drivers, unreasonable Chinese military…but there are some nice Chinese people. A road construction gang insisted that I join them for […]

Day 28 – From just outside Balguntay to 32 kilometers ...

 Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離:64.63km Time on bike / 走行時間:5h 24m Average speed / 平均速度:11.9km/h Total distance to date / 現在までの積算距離:1189km Well, I guess I was going to have to cross this pass, even if I did have a more detailed map, but it would have been nice to have known […]

Day 29 – Where did that one come from?

Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離:123.96km Time on bike / 走行時間:8h 09m Average speed / 平均速度:15.2km/h Total distance to date / 現在までの積算距離:1313km English summary: Ate raw instant noodles again for breakfast. Perfect weather, spent most of morning on dirt tracks next to the main road because they were smoother. Another big 3100m […]

Day 30 – From an unexpected pass to just out ...

Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離:79.17km Time on bike / 走行時間:4h 04m Average speed / 平均速度:19.4km/h Total distance to date / 現在までの積算距離:1392.2km Woke late at 9:30am after being woken in the night by cows sniffing at the tent and dogs barking. I’m sure I was ripped off by having to pay 20RMB […]

Day 31 – From just outside of Narat to Tuargun ...

Now we’re talking! Highlights of the last few days: 4200m pass Two 3000m plus passes (both not on the map I have) 170km of rough, rough, mostly uphill in first gear roads Getting really, really hungry and really really sick of Chinese instant noodles Amazing people, amazing generosity Amazing, amazing […]

Still alive

Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離:124.64km Time on bike / 走行時間:6h 57m Average speed / 平均速度:18.3km/h Total distance to date / 現在までの積算距離:1519.9km Woke at 6:30am for an early start to Yining, however the motel owners were not up, so I napped until 8am when I heard movement from inside the house. The […]

Day 33 – Fugitive on the run

Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離:74km Time on bike / 走行時間:4h 27mm Average speed / 平均速度:16.7km/h Total distance to date / 現在までの積算距離:1574km A fitful sleep in the brick kiln due to flapping bats and scratching mice began a day that would end in me discovering that I no longer had a camera. […]

Day 34 – Empty camera case

So here I am in the net cafe in Yining updating like crazy. Hope you enjoy the action. From here I head towards Kazakhstan. I expect to be in Kazakhstan tomorrow. Lots of apprehension as I head into the real unknown. At least up till now I have been able […]

Day 35 – Updates in Yining

English summary: Very interesting area here. For almost 100km, the road was lined with corn laid out on the roadside to dry in the sun. Border is closed today, so I have set up camp right at the border for the night.なかなか面白いですよ、この辺。一日中僕が走っていた道路の横に人がトウモロコシを乾燥させていました。100km近くほとんどずっと乾かしていました。そして干すではなくて、路面に直接にまいて、薄くのばして乾かすんですよ。 コルゴスに着いたら、もう出国時間が過ぎていましたので、早速出国の門の前にマットと寝袋を敷いて寝ました。途中でおきたのは一回だけでした。なんと野良犬が僕の足をゴミと間違ってしまって持っていこうとしていた。向こうが僕に蹴られたことで大びっくりしたみたい・・    

Day 36 – Yining to Khorgos – border of China ...

Distance / 今日の距離: 3km Time riding / 乗っている時間: 20m Time to cross China-Kazakhstan border / 中国・カザフスタンの国境を超えるのにかかった時間: 10h 30m No joke. It took 10 hours ad 30 minutes (11 hours and 30 minutes if you include the one hour wait before the gates opened) to cross from China to Kazakhstan today. […]

Day 37 – Kazakhstan, baby, yeah!

Distance / 距離: 102.26km Time / 時間: 5h 52m Average speed / 平均速度: 17.4km/h Distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 1793.4km English Summary: Well, I didn’t really know what to expect from Kazakhstan. All I had in my mind was Ali G’s Borat and Edward Genochio’s experiences of being robbed (sorry, […]

Day 38 – From Khorgos to Tasqarasuw town (English summary)

Distance / 距離: 69.93km Time / 時間: 6h 35m Average speed / 平均速度: 10.6km/h Distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 1863.4km The Kazkakh’s generosity and desire to make me feel welcome became legendary today. I received: – A full sized braized cooked chicken – Four small loaves of bread – 2700 […]

Day 39 – Tasqarasuw to near Sharin Canyon

Distance / 距離: 31.89km Time / 時間: 3h 57m Average speed / 平均速度: 8km/h Distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 1895.3km English Summary: Definitely worth a visit. Absolutely stunning. But don’t come on a fully loaded touring bike. The access roads have regular sandy spots that cannot be cycled through. Lots […]

Day 40 – Sharin Canyon (English Summary)

Distance / 距離: 95.39km Time / 時間: 7h 38m Average speed / 平均速度: 12.5km/h Distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 1990.7km I sit in my tent here about 1km from the Kyrgyzstan border after just crossing over only a hour ago. Compared to the China to Kazakhstan border, this was a […]

Day 41 – KAZAKHSTAN: Sharin Canyon to just past the ...

Distance / 距離: 108.63km Time / 時間: 6h 52m Average speed / 平均速度: 15.8km/h Distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 2099.3km English summary: The ‘really bad road’ that I was warned about yesterday was nothing to write home about. Plenty of potholes to dodge, but not too bad. At 3pm I […]

Day 42 – I’m in Kyrgyzstan! (English Summary)

At the beginning of today I had a few random ideas about how I was going to get to Bishkek to get my Tajikisan and Uzbekistan visas. One plan was to bike to Bishkek (the original plan), and the other was to leave the bike here in Karakol, catch a […]

Day 43 – Karakol

Currently in the run-down city of Karakol in eastern Kyrgyzstan staying at a very nice hostel, Yak Tours Hostel. The mission for the next two weeks is to get my Tajikistan and Uzbekistan visas from Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. I ride the night bus to Bishkek tonight. My bike […]

A quick update from Kyrgyzstan

English Summary: A bout of diahorrea half way through the night made for a rather uncomfortable bus ride to Bishkek. However this was made up for by the fact that I managed to get my Tajikistan visa in one day (for a fee of US$100). Decided to head for the […]

Day 45 – Bishkek (English Summary)