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Silk Route Bike Challenge: The adventure continues!
Some people might think we’ve seen everything the Earth could offer, that the era of great adventures is over. But those who took part in the Silk Route Bike Challenge in August think quite different…
At Orbea we promised you’d have the adventure of your life, and Kyrgyzstan helped us fulfil this promise. Welcoming us with a beautiful sunny day (and thus living up to its reputation as one of the countries with the highest number of sunshine hours a year) and bidding farewell to us with our rucksacks packed with indelible memories, the land conquered by Genghis Kahn seduced each and every participant in the Silk Route Bike Challenge.
Hailing from Switzerland, Spain, France or Russia, our fearless adventurers landed in Bishkek on 2 August, ready to follow in merchant traveller Marco Polo’s footsteps. For five days and almost 600km, the Silk Route Bike Challenge quenched everyone’s thirst for adventure.
In less than a week, Kyrgyzstan offered riders the whole range of landscapes available on our planet: from the ochre to reddish semidesert of the Kyzyl Korgon canyons to the grassy area of Song-Köl lake, peppered with white dots, from the majestic Tian Shan mountain ranges (the ‘Celestial Mountains’) to the plain Issyk Kul lake – the second largest saline lake in the world.
Comradeship, solidarity, sporting spirit
Day 1 of the Silk Route Bike Challenge meant riding for 128km and going up and down for 2,200m. Day 4 was even tougher: a 4,000m ascent to Tosor Pass. It took all the physical and mental strength in participants to overcome hurdles and endure all kinds of weather. It also helped build solidarity and comradeship between them.
Sports-wise, Vladimir Bragin from Russia and Mélanie Leveau from France were the strongest man and woman, but that’s almost irrelevant, secondary to locals living in yurts, the peace and quiet on the banks of the river Naryn, only interrupted by marmots, and, above all, the pride of conquering the most beautiful and inhospitable of all adventure lands.
This adventure is to be continued in 2015…