Bikepackingtour Kyrgyzstan 2021
Stunning endless mountains, the charm of past Soviet power, huge free-running herds of horses, nomads with their yurts and lonely campsites are just a few points that make Kyrgyzstan a brilliant destination to explore by bike.
When I was in Kyrgyzstan for the first time, 5 years ago, it was just an appendix to my Tajikistan crossing, and at that time my focus was more on Tajikistan than on Kyrgyzstan, where I mainly drove on main roads. That should change this year, and thanks to rather loose Corona restrictions and 2 shots of Biontech in my upper arm, it was clear that I had to take this incredibly beautiful country under my wheels again. On my previous trips, I had found more and more joy in remote paths with little traffic and idyllic camp possibilities in solitude. And there is enough breathtaking solitude and little traffic in Kyrgyzstan. And for that reason the switch from classic biketouring setup with panniers to bikepacking setup was more and more clear. No more shaking and rattling and no more scratched legs from the back pannier when pushing the bike. The Gear should also be a lot lighter for better Bike handling. In the mountains of Kyrgyzstan I quickly realized that the change was a pretty good thing. My chosen route was a combination of Bikepacking.com, Silkroad Moutain race (many thanks to both) and my own route planning. I took a total of 5 weeks for the approx. 1200km, a lot of time, but I don’t see my bike trips as a sporting challenge, but as an experience of nature and getting to know culture and people.
The grandiose endless mountains, the soviet charm of the villages and cities, the friendly people as in many other Central Asian countries, the seemingly endless expanses with nomads who live in their yurts in the summer months make this country an ideal bikepacking destination. In addition, the country is very safe for travelers.
The paths are usually quite good and not very technical, but often steep and bumpy, in any case I was quite happy with my 27.5×3.0 tires. Longer pushing passages and capricious weather conditions like the most beautiful sunshine with snow and hail in direct connection you have to accept from time to time. Also some self-planned routes that should be good according to the map can sometimes in reality vanish in to thin air. The food supply in the villages is good and the distances between them are such that you don’t have to carry too much with you. Most of the time I had food with me for between 3 and 6 days. Water supply is problem-free as there are rivers with clear water everywhere. A water filter, Steripen or water treatment tablets should be used to clean the water, as herds often graze right next to the water. The food is good, but there are a few “delicacies” like cooked sheep head, Kymys and Kurut, which can be also a kind of adventure for some. Learning the Cyrillic alphabet before the trip is also very helpful, at least you should be able to decipher one word, магазин.
To make it short, if you take on the efforts, you can find your bikepacking paradise in kyrgyzstan