Cycling tours have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially amongst adventure travelers who are looking to explore the world from the seat of their bikes. One of the leaders in organizing these kinds of adventure cycling trips has always been Tour d’Afrique Ltd, the creative minds behind such epic rides as their namesake Tour d’Afrique and the Vuelta Sudamericana. The company has even launched a website called DreamTours that allows us to design and plan our own cycling adventures, leaving all the logistics to their travel experts.
As if that wasn’t enough to keep us happily peddling our way around the globe, the Tour d’Afrique team is busily preparing for another long distance ride for 2010 that will cover the entire Silk Road, starting in Istanbul, Turkey and ending in Xi’an, China. The ride will cover more than 6650 miles over 16 weeks time, crossing through Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, as riders follow one of the most famous and important trade routes of all time, a route that was also explored by such historical figures as Alexander the Great, Marco Polo, and Genghis Khan.
Some of the highlights of the journey will include passing through an amazing variety of landscapes, from including snow capped mountains and desolate open plains. Travelers will get the opportunity to camp below sea level in the arid deserts of the Xinjiang Province in western China, while also ascending to dizzying heights as they climb along the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan, which rises well above 15,000 feet, offering a challenge for both the heart and the legs. The ancient cities of Samarqand, Bukhara, and Merv will be stops along the way as well, offering refuge from the road and a chance to explore marketplaces that have been bustling with shoppers for centuries.
All told, this cycling tour will put riders in the saddle for a total of 92 days, covering an average of roughly 70 miles per day. There will also be 22 rest days, and one day of travel by ferry across the Caspian Sea, bringing the total number of days on the Silk Road to 114. That’s quite a commitment for any traveler, but fortunately the route is broken down into seven stages, so even if you can’t make the full ride, you can still have the opportunity to experience part of the adventure by riding one of those sections instead. The cost for the full trip is €8500, but the company is currently running an early-bird special that cuts €400 from the price when you book the trip before November 15th. Pricing for the individual stages can be found on this web page near the bottom.
The Silk Route Tour is an amazing cycling tour that combines culture, history, and adventure into one spectacular trip that is sure to be a life altering experience. The ride gets underway on May 22nd of next year, so get training now and prepare to join in on this once in a lifetime experience