Adventure rider reaches Tajikistan

Ex-MCN man takes us on his round-the-world trip, stopping off in Uzbekistan...

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Vultures circle overhead but we don’t care, we have one last Coke bottle of fuel. Alissa (my girlfriend) pours the last few drops into the tank and slumps back down against the bike for shade. We filled-up 200 miles back and have no idea when we’ll find the next one.

We swig from our near empty bottle of boiling water and soak in the sandy surroundings. Over half of Uzbekistan is arid desert and we have no choice but to ride from one end to the other to get into Tajikistan.

And it’s no easy ride; the roads are peppered with pot holes and dust filled craters – taking its toll on the bike. Bolts are shaking loose, the number plate snapped off and the front brake hose clip fell off, leaving the hose to rub against the disc, millimetres from disaster.

But we’re used to that; since leaving the UK in January, our exhaust snapped, battery died and the suspension broke leaving us stranded in -10C Slovakia for three weeks. We battled our way through the Beast from the East for weeks of snow, ice, rain and wind. We bathed along the Turkish coast, cruised the Caucasus, fell in love with Azerbaijan, spent 50 hours crossing the Caspian Sea, blasted through Kazakhstan and now here we are – alone in a sweltering desert.

But – right on cue – a trucker comes to a dusty stop beside us, jumps out with a beaming smile and carrying offers of petrol and cold water. We’re used to this too; exceptional, mind bending hospitality from incredible people along the way. We love doing this and can’t wait to see what’s next on our way to Japan and beyond… but first, how the hell do we get out of this desert?

You can follow Andy and Alissa’s round-the-world adventure on www.madornomad.com and on Facebook at Mad or Nomad.

What is R5K?

And if you fancy having your own adventure, why not join our #ride5000miles Facebook page. The is aim to encourage riders to cover 5000 miles in a year. See how others are getting on at our #ride5000miles page.

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Make a note of your mileage at the start of your biking year. Take a photo at the start and end of the challenge.

Five reasons to sign up

1. It’ll make you a better rider.

2. You’ll know your bike better than ever, and enjoy it more.

3. It’ll make you ride to places you’ve never been before.

4. Be part of a top biking community.

5. Share tips on where to ride and what kit can go the distance.

 
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Andy Davidson

By Andy Davidson

Former MCN Feature writer