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On the road . June 2007 . Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan

map route Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan

Chost Internet Cafe, Tashkent, 06-06-07
Way off in Lada-land
Samarqand to Tashkent
(3 cycle days; 335km; 862m)
Samarqand to M39 near Uchtepa (122km; 477m)
M39 near Uchtepa to M34 near Gulistan (112km; 63m)
M34 near Gulistan to Tashkent (100km; 322m)

Hot and hilly
Today's scenery is the best we have seen to date in Uzbekistan. The initial lush farmland quickly transforms into a rocky landscape with very little vegetation but an amazing combination of rolling greens, golds and browns. A snow-capped mountain range silhouettes our right-hand view. Contrary to the information given to us about it being flat the whole way to Tashkent, there is quite a decent climb just before Jizzakh. While the percentage doesn't match the "standard issue 12% signs" on every incline in Uzbekistan, most of the way is a tough 8%. It is especially difficult in the heat of the day and today is a blistering 48 °C in the sun. We engage 10 hours in total on the road, whereby just 6½ hours are spent in the saddle...
read on
not loosing Ortlieb clips Tip of the month: Tape and old tube to secure Ortlieb bags
A few years ago, much to the annoyance of owners of Tubus rack and Ortlieb bag combinations, Ortlieb decided to change the size of their mounting clips. This was so they could be used on a variety of different size bike racks. Now, in order for their touring bags to fit Tubus models, a small black insert is needed which fits inside the mount.

The problem with this is, they inevitably fall out, even when you glue them in. This of course leads to irritating search sessions around campsites and in hotel rooms and corridors. Furthermore, this system no longer stabilises the bags on poor condition roads and they easily fly off. My bags were bought before Ortlieb made this alteration and I have never had this problem at all. My mounts fit snug around the Tubus bar.

Nigel, who we met in Osh - and who we have christened as the cycling guru - told us about this great idea. He suggests wrapping a few layers of old inner tube and securing this in place with gaffa or power tape. He swears his bags have never come off since he made this adjustment to his racks and he has covered a lot of miles in the last five years of cycle touring.


Samarqand (Uzbekistan) - Irkeshtam ( Kyrgyzstan)
1055 kilometers and 850 meters
Riding days: 14
Alti meters: 8518 meters
Weather: sun, sun, sun, sun...
Best accommodation: Gulnara B&B in Tashkent.

Special thanks to:
Christine & Gilse for the evening chats at Gulnara B&B in Tashkent • Muzaffar from Kazakhstan who persisted in giving Ali his watch • Nicolai & Max at X-Store / Bike Master for their help fixing Son's front fork and the free thorough service done on the cables and brakes • Sandra for the riding company from just out of Osh and all the way to Kashgar • All the boys: Urs & Jonas; Alexandre and Niall for the fun times at Osh GuesthouseNigel for his wonderful cycle touring stories • Tom McCutcheon for his Irish humour and love of travel

03: broken spoke (Son)
11: flat (Son) replaced tyre again...
16: replaced front fork (Son) after collission with parked car
18: Son fractures wrist and needs plaster again
18: flat tyre (Ali) first one in 9 months! (since Leon, Spain)
24: back rack attachment eyelet breaks on bike (Son)
25: flat tyre (Son)
29: eyelets welded on bike (Son)

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