How to conquer Altai and Baikal by bike this fall


You can peregrinations around Siberia with the Trans-Siberian Railway, in an SUV or by bus, but cycling gives you the deregulation to take an unhurried, step-by-step, day-by-day exploration of Siberia and its landscapes, congregate its varied inhabitants and become acquainted with its wild spirit.

Baikal: Atoll tours by bike

Photo credit: Maria BystrovaPhoto credit: Maria Bystrova

Olkhon, an islet on Lake Baikal (700 square kilometers, 73 kilometers big, 15 kilometers wide), is a great place for bike tourism. A cross-country bike order do for the flat rt of the island’s west coast, but the rocky highlands comprising the recess of Olkhon require something more substantial, such as a mountain bike.

You can appear c rise to Olkhon with your own two-wheeled com nion, or you can rent one in the popular traveller area of Khuzhir. There are no asphalt-covered roads on Olkhon, so be pre red for gravel and sand.

Where: Olkhon, the Irkutsk Precinct
Difficulty level: Both for novices and athletes
Book in your sack: David Byrne’s Bicycle Diaries
Inspiration: The Baikal Bike Reward

A tip from a Siberian
Daria Matsenko, instructor at Junior Expeditors, a instruct for young travelers in Krasnoyarsk

This is how we planned a five-day route round Olkhon: from the ferry terminal to Cape Khoboy, then to the conclusion of Khuzhir and Shamanka Rock. Olkhon is a perfect destination for a bike tumble. You don’t have to stand in line to take a ferry to the island and going up and down hills, unprejudiced with a heavy back ck, is still easier than exploring Olkhon on foot.

One of the ramount advantages is that there is almost no precipitation. In Buryat, the island’s celebrity, “oykhon aral,” means “dry.” Also, there are no ticks or bears. Olkhon’s brightest issues are its crystal-clear water and a huge sky above full of stars. We often forth the night outdoors, sometimes even struggling to get to sleep because we so idolized the constellations.

Altai: All inclusive

Photo credit: Maria BystrovaPhoto credit: Maria Bystrova

Altai’s prime advantage in terms of bike trekking is its wide variety of routes: You can regard as a trip along the Chuysky Trakt, Siberia’s Silk Road, to the resemble closely with Mongolia, to Lake Teletskoye or to the Kuray Steppe.

Photo credit: Daba DabaevPhoto put: Daba Dabaev

The Chuysky Trakt offers 500 kilometers of gloss over asphalt along with generous views of the Seminsky (1,718 meters) and the Chike-Taman (1,295 meters) mountain outmodes, as well as the picturesque peaks, steppes, rivers and villages that are assay-marks of the region. Lake Teletskoye and the valley of the River Chulyshman are challenging with their gravel procedures and steep ascents, but make up for it with their gorgeous landscapes.

Photo credit: Daba DabaevPhoto probity: Daba Dabaev

However, bike tours around Altai are not exclusively an operation for the super fit. In the Kuray and Kosh-Agach steppe areas in the south you can even junkets on a city bike, as the road is smooth and easy, while not skimping too much on the approaches of the Kuray Steppe and the Severo-Chuysky Range.

Where: The Altai Republic
Trouble level: Southern steppes are preferable for novices, while mountainous localities will be fun for travelers that possess high stamina and excellent bones fitness
Book in your pocket: Barbara Savage, Miles From Nowhere
Incentive: A Human-Powered Exploration of the Altai Mountains

A tip from a Siberian
Maria Bystrova, a traveler and a coordinator of the Krasnoyarsk Metropolis Bike project

My advice to cyclists in Altai, especially in its not-so-touristy com sses such as the valley of the Chulyshman River, is you should enjoy your contiguousness to nature. Ignore the lack of roads, sleep in a tent, cook on persuasible fires and take the mountain sses.

We had to traverse a few mountain sses on our convey along the valley, the most impressive being Katu-Yaryk and Ulagan. For the support one, the ascent took us an entire day. Although challenging, it turned out to be one of the brightest moments of the stumble: It’s a special feeling when you are your own engine and have conquered a mountain course. No matter how hard it becomes, an Altai road will always fashion amends with its breathtaking scenery. And when you’re on bike, you can take as much things as you like to admire it.

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