Bracing for Winter

asia route


Trujillo – Peru

We´ve done a bit of a U turn (not literally) regarding our route across Asia. We originally planned on cycling from Shanghai (one of our antipodal points), across the Gobi desert to Ulan Bator in Mongolia, then west across the Trans-Siberian Highway in Russia. But with the rutted muddy roads in Bolivia, and an unexpected amount of visits from the stomach monsters, we got a bit behind schedule. The delay would put us in Siberia in winter so, not wishing to get our nuts frozen off, we thought about taking the hotter Southerly route from Shanghai to Thailand, boat it across to India (to avoid Burma which has closed its land borders), then crossing Pakistan and Iran to Turkey. 

Yes, this did indeed sound lovely, good food, well populated and a darn sight warmer than the Siberian winter. Unfortunately though, events in Pakistan have meant that it´s pretty much out of bounds which would make the Southerly route more of a hop than a continuous cycle across Asia.

So now it´s back to the Northerly route through Siberia. We´re in two minds on the best way to cross Russia without turning into human lollypops. The first is to jettison as much kit as possible, step on the gas and try to get across before winter sets in properly. The second is to get lots of extra warm clothing (including of course one of those big, furry, floppy-eared Russian hats) making our bikes heavier and slower, and resign ourselves for a freezing winter. We´re still pondering on which is the better option, each having their merits. Either way though, it´ll be a great adventure.


3 thoughts on “Bracing for Winter

  1. Simon,

    I think Napoleon Bonaparte tried that once.

    Predicting the length or severity of a russian winter is like buying a lottery ticket. It can start in early October and how can you cycle in snow? Cycling across southern China is much safer and it’s friendlier.South of Shanghai doesnt go much below zero.
    Good Luck,

  2. Yea,

    How much of Pakistan is over-run with gun toting Taliban? I thought it was just one bit next to Afghanistan and you can always skirt by that into PIR Iran.

    I know I’m reeling names off like brands of toothpaste but I bet you couldn’t predict the good the bad and ugly so far on the trip as you rolled away from home. Crazy drivers in India would scare me more.

  3. hoo hoo hoo! (he chortles to himself over a nice warm cup of tea…)
    siberia eh?!

    Give your options some thought then let’s chat…

    (I was at Mark Beaumont’s launch today – he’s headed your way now: I told him to get in touch)

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