Page 2 of Bike Tour Eurasia Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Qinghai » Golmud July 5th 2012

Note: Our photo upload capability seems to be blocked here in Qinghai. We will post these later when we can make it happen. In China, drivers blow their horns. They blow them to warn pedestrians, to signal to other vehicles, to send a warning as they speed through a town, and to part livestock. It is also a habit perhaps concurrent with the excitement of the recent arrival of cars in the mainstream. In 2009 we observed a driver cruising down a six lane highway in the middle of nowhere blowing his horn vigorously at the empty road. It can be irksome but the system is quite useful at times. In many towns, a broken horn could be deadly; we recently sat eating breakfast at a gas station and watched countless scooters cutting straight across a ... read more
Chinese bike tourist
Asbestos mine

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar » Taklamakan Desert June 11th 2012

"There once was an old farmer with one son and one horse. The horse ran away and the man was unlucky. When the horse returned it had found a mate, now the man had two horses and was very lucky. His son tried to ride the horse and fell off, breaking his leg. Now the man felt unlucky again but soon the nation went to war and all of the young men were called to fight. Luckily, because of his recently broken leg, the farmer's son was excused and he was again lucky" A swiss man told us this story at Chinese customs the other day as we were receiving a bit of unexpected news. The Irkeshtam pass bridges the border from Kyrgyzstan into China's wild west in a gap where the Tien Shan technically meets ... read more
Tokbel Pass, Kyrgyzstan
Invite for breakfast

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Jalal-Abad » Arslanbob May 15th 2012

Leaving Karakol was bitter sweet. We had been there for ten days and we had grown attached to the characters, the mountains, the friendly dogs and the hot springs. But Karakol itself is a hole. How it became so famous as a "pleasant, leafy, fresh air town" is either some relic of a Soviet secret or (more likely) the work of overzealous guidebook authors with a tight schedule and no bicycle to slow down the pace. Either way, it is a pretty rough town with an increasingly bad reputation and we were happy to have minimized our days in the town itself. We said our goodbyes to Sergei and his friendly dogs and even crazy Kolia stopped by to bid us farewell. The north of Kyrgyzstan is decidedly Russian and though we knew that things would ... read more

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Karakol May 1st 2012

"Humankind is the only creature that refuses to be what it is" -Camus Winter never seems to last very long. No matter how many days we get out in the cold, there never seems to be enough hours spent on frozen water of some sort. The more one becomes informed about and examines the finite crystals that fall from the sky, the more it becomes clear that snow is basically a miracle. This year saw less of these miracles falling on the Sierra but it did not prevent the making of some epic days. Sunrise to the beat of a pounding heart, long skin tracks scribe a human line in a wilderness of white. Tools sink into supple ice, soft as plastic, rare as gold in the state of eternal sun. Blue hardwax grips but barely, ... read more
Cage the dead
They like big butts
Soviet residue

Years ago, in what can now be called youth, my comrade Eliot and I struck out for Alaska one spring as the Sierra melted out. I had an injured ankle but figured that I could stuff the thing into a kayak if nothing else. We worked at a greasy spoon in the Kenai, paddled the local coasts and rivers, clambered around the peaks of the Chugach, and lived off "da fatta da lan". After a few months of smelling like a hamburger, one day the axe just fell and we headed for the great north with scarcely more beta than what could be garnered from a few conversations with a retired long-haul trucker named Norm. Thanks Norm. We took the Haul Road for the Brooks range and climbed the first big, imposing ridge traverse we could ... read more
Descending to Denali Pass.
Topping Out
On the way to high camp

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Dubrovnik September 25th 2010

Istanbul has a history of being a great crossroads. The ethnic blend of the Turkish people in general is reminiscent of our own country and in the urban center-of-it-all this becomes even more distilled and obvious. Of course, this idea of "east meets west" is heavily marketed and commercialised in a city overflowing with tourists and, following a sojourn through more authentic places, this quickly rubbed us the wrong way. We have learned from living in a tourist area that every such place has a more realistic side where day to day life rolls on and the beauty of banality lies in open display. One day, while eating baklava and watching the throngs of tourists march by, two folks came along and opened the door to such a culture in Istanbul . Because the city ... read more
Entering Macedonia from Greece
North end of Lake Ohrid, Macedonia
Team James Frames poses

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul September 14th 2010

The thunder clapped like the Ramadan cannon and the rain sounded like hail as it pounded the side of our tent in drops the size of marbles. The cold front had finally arrived and the heat moved out like migratory birds. Good riddance. We were not the only people to breath a sigh of relief as this summer has been the hottest that any in the region can remember. The next day brought us to the end of our Black Sea experiences as we approached a 1500 meter climb into the interior. Clouds veiled the sun´s intensity as we rose with wings into pristine pine forests. Days like this are what cycling is all about and it always makes us homesick. The serenades of the tiny mountain mosques paired with the peaceful greetings of locals ... read more
Road construction
Roaming inland
Leaving Karabük

Middle East » Turkey » Black Sea » Sinop September 3rd 2010

"Seek my part, devote myself. My small self. Like a book amongst the many on a shelf...." -Eddie Vedder We have read that the Black Sea is actually quite new in geologıc time. It seems that what is now the sea floor was perhaps once inhabited by homınids of some derevation before risıng sea levels following the last ice age flooded the vast basin. The interplay between legend and science is an interesting matrix as both fields essentially belie the existance of fact and thus maintain a wide catchment for interpretations and understandings. The current human population here on the Turkish north coast share such a wıde range of ideas, not only about the character of their fair sea, but of the future of their world at large...... "The sea turns black in winter", "fish ... read more
Welcome to Turkey
Old man ın the sea
Smooth pavement, shoulder as wide as a lane

Europe » Russia » South » Caucasus » Mt. Elbrus August 24th 2010 the rivers of Babylon, where we sat down. Ehr we wept, when we remembered Zion..... The train that carried us away from Berlin had a ghostly feel not unlike the chariot that carried Jonathan Harker away from the Bistritsa pass in the opening chapters of "Dracula". Prior to this we had travelled in European luxury in the hands of typical Deutsch Bahn comfort, but the transfer ride from the glassy, modern Berlin central station to the Kiev connection told a different tale. Drunks sat about mumbling to themselves, security was nonexistant and the air around us filled with the unmistakable sound of Slavic tongues. Goodbye Europe, Hello Bloc. The faces of those around us also changed from the virtually post-ethnic intelligentsia of the worlds most developed countries to the pure bred, blue eyed stare of ... read more
blood meat
lift me up
sunrise on Caucasus

Africa » Tanzania » North » Moshi August 6th 2010

This, the first blog on the road, is dedicated to community visionaries the world over and to those who are humble enough to respect their visions. Special thanks to Greg Higgins and Mark Lindow for your work and the unabashed way in which you share your passions with us all. Asalam Alekhum, na safari njema...... It was really just a big trip, nothing besides. That is what we were naive enough to believe when we planned and executed last summer's journey. But lifestyles have momentum and, following a year of dreaming and doing, we found ourselves creatures of a new habit. Winter leaves no doubt about where we should go and what we should do, but the loathsome days of summer require planning for emotional survival in a reality without the nucleus of snowy simplicity. This ... read more
Warrior Spiritual
A cheap bike, a break from reality
Evening in Pangani village

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