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November 5th, 2006 | categorizilation: all categories,Tajikistan

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Distance / 距離: 80km
Time / 時間: 07:30 – 22:00
Ascent / 上り: 1465m
Descent / 下り: 1165m
Distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 3920kmEnglish Summary: Somebody shoot me. I seem to have this reflex action that atracts me to dangerous places. Or perhaps I am not alone in this. If you had the choice between a 3300m snowy pass, or a 5km unlit, half completed, flooded, under construction tunnel under the Tajikistan mountains, which would you choose? I chose the Anzob tunnel, and it was awesome. Take a look at the pics below (video coming soon). Absolute madness. I had to sign a disclaimer at the entrance that waived the construction company of any responsibility should I be injured due to rock fall. And get this. This Anzab Tunnel was officially opened by the President of Tajikistan a month ago. Freaking madness I tell you. At one point I was cycling through knee deep water. You should have seen the expressions on the faces of the workers as I came out the other end of the tunnel. If you are in the area, you have to do it. Just don’t forget your helmet (think of it as caving).



Road approaching Anzob Tunnel, Tajikistan



Is this tunnel really open? Anzob Tunnel, Tajikistan




The 'open' Anzob Tunnel, Tajikistan




The 'open' Anzob Tunnel, Tajikistan


The 'open' Anzob Tunnel, Tajikistan




The regular plethora of cameras in my face - near the Anzob Tunnel, Tajikistan







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    Permanent Link     Comments (23)

Comment by Uncle Peter — November 9, 2006 @ 3:15 am | post a comment

There seem to be mud guards on your bike. There should be too much water flicked up onto your clothes. Do your lights mount onto your helmet? or attach on to the frame of the bike? You should be able to knock out 5 km a lot quicker than going over a 3300 metre pass. It all seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Comment by Achim — November 9, 2006 @ 5:30 am | post a comment

Hi Rob, tunnel-rides?! I did kind of this in Shikoku, narrow one way tunnels, not 5km long, but HINO-Trucks were chasing me and trying to run me over. Creepy atmosphere in crazy tunnels whith roaring diesels.

If you go to Schwalbe in Germany, its the Ralf Bohle Company in Reichshof, about 20km near Cologne, so its on your way. Lets have a drink in Cologne after a visit of the famous dome. Stay warm, fit and healthy.

Ciao Achim

PS: Did the Baku Bicycle Club in Azerbaijan contact you? Have fun.

Comment by carl w. — November 9, 2006 @ 9:42 am | post a comment

This tunnel is finished? Holy Ding Dong I'd hate to see a job they call half done. Surprised they never asked you to get a pick-axe and give them a hand.

Comment by Lee — November 9, 2006 @ 4:07 pm | post a comment

In the words of the mighty Steve,

Faaaaaaar out.

You totally made the right choice though.

Stories for the grandkids…

Comment by Mum — November 10, 2006 @ 12:34 am | post a comment

seems to me that you've had plenty of high passes already and no tunnels so not a crazy choice at all. I presume that even though the tunnel is opened it is not actually used yet?

Comment by Rich — November 10, 2006 @ 1:29 am | post a comment


You're awesome. Love your choices;) My longest tunnel was a bit over a kilometer long in Kashmir, India (Jawarhar tunnel, if I remember the name correctly). Keep up the good spirits and have fun;)

From a fellow cyclist now resting in a backpacker's paradise of Thamel in Kathmandu;)

PS: Finally, I can read your blog. I had some problems, on & off, accessing your website from China. No idea if it was local firewall, the 'Great Firewall of China" or just computers I was using. BTW, I cycled the Saga – Kathmandu stretch with Nicolai, Danish cyclist you met in Osh. Isn't funny;)))???

Comment by martynJ — November 10, 2006 @ 2:39 am | post a comment

Recumbent potholing! Thats got to be a first!

Comment by Tim — November 10, 2006 @ 2:53 am | post a comment

Well it seems you've been having some adventures, that tunnel looked like fun.

Comment by okaasan — November 10, 2006 @ 3:28 am | post a comment


nande nihongo no houni naino?

naniha tomoare, buji ni

tonneru tuuka omedetou!

tanoshisou ne.

ikanimo adobenchaa tte kanji.

Rob no sentaku ha seikai datta ne.

Comment by Glen McCabe — November 10, 2006 @ 4:58 am | post a comment

Simply amazing! I can't believe that you did that! What a ride…

Go hard mate!!!


Comment by Chris J — November 10, 2006 @ 8:10 am | post a comment

Rob, I remember that you had an inflatable boat in your room in Beppu. I bet that came in really handy in that tunnel. You, ah, did remember to pack that boat into your gear right…? Afterall, you never know when you might run into another half-finished, half-flooded tunnel in the mountains of central Asia… ;)

Comment by Ailsa — November 10, 2006 @ 11:03 am | post a comment

Hi Rob, just caught up on all your news, sitting in the library using the computer and getting looks from people everytime i end up laughing out loud. Glad your well and keeping going, also how i will never again complain about cycling in london:)!

Comment by Aunty Les — November 10, 2006 @ 12:03 pm | post a comment

Well, I guess it's a change to go under a mountain rather than over it! I presume that's what the tunnel is for. Only, you don't get such stunning photos this way.

Comment by Aunty Les — November 10, 2006 @ 12:19 pm | post a comment

I've just looked at the photo gallery. That river is a very beautifil colour. I notice there were some trees around, for a change, as well. Interesting notice – I presume before you enter the tunnel? That notice surely warns you that all is not well ahead!

Comment by matt — November 10, 2006 @ 1:09 pm | post a comment

hey rob,

when your riding your recucumbant bike through knee deep water, it must me a huge challenge considering your knees are the same height as your neck…

you should get a snorkle for your bike man!

Comment by malcolm — November 10, 2006 @ 8:08 pm | post a comment

Dude. quit while yo're ahead…… you might hurt yourself. also – my sister thinks it might be dangerous – you cycling alone through that part of the world. so if there are any "dangers" – well I guess she told you so. the dudes in your photos look yemeni. I guess you're getting to people with arabian influence. I'm in my last week of work now – then I retire.

Comment by Murdo — November 11, 2006 @ 3:25 am | post a comment

Hey man,

Absolutely priceless! Keep it up man, we are loving your adventures and just think, if you ever do publish your book you already have at least 50 customers!!!! One thing I am impressed with is your ability not only to get your thoughts down as well as you do in English, but to manage to update the Japanese page so well too. Just sitting on my arse doing nothing and it is still tricky writing the old nihongo man. Full credit to you mate!

Comment by Rob Thomson — November 12, 2006 @ 5:40 am | post a comment

Achim, was the Baku Bicycle Club your doing also? Yes they indeed did contact me, and one of the memebers is helping out by receiving some winter gear I am having sent from Japan.

Comment by Achim — November 12, 2006 @ 6:12 am | post a comment

That's right, my networking experiment:-)

Good to hear that those guys of the Baku Bicycle Club over there in Azerbaijan are helping you. I bet they will be excited to seeing you and hearing all of your stories.

Stay warm, fit and healthy.


Comment by Rob Thomson — November 12, 2006 @ 7:30 am | post a comment

Mum, that's the amazing thing! The tunnel is being used on a very regular basis. When I was going through, at least 15 cars went through.

Comment by Rob Thomson — November 12, 2006 @ 7:31 am | post a comment

Matt, all my cycling at high altitudes in the last month or so has increased my lung capacity to the point that I hardly had to come up for air at all…

Comment by Rob Thomson — November 12, 2006 @ 7:33 am | post a comment

Murdo, the Japanese is a chore. But as they say, if you don't use it, you lose it. Thanks for the encouragement.

Comment by Mike C — November 13, 2006 @ 1:18 pm | post a comment

Rob you nutter.

That's exactly what I would have done… ;-)

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