The Silk Road Bike Race: 1,700Km through Kyrgyzstan

Central Asia’s first-ever unsupported bikepacking marathon, the Silk Road Mountain Race, begins on August 18 in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. For 15 days, 95 participants will cycle a mostly unpaved route winding 1,700km through Kyrgyzstan’s wild Tien Shan Mountains. They will climb a total of 26,000 meters, including over several mountain passes near 4000m. Also, they will carry all their food and drink whatever water they find. Each night, they sleep where they drop in the tents and sleeping bags they carry on their bikes.

There are no prizes to be won, but the reward for the entrants is the chance to suffer in such an exotic locale and pedal the shorelines of such beautiful alpine lakes as Song Kul, Kel-Suu and Issyk-Kul.

You can follow the race via live updates on their Facebook page.