Mountain biking tour

Mountain biking tour

 

 

Day 1-2

 

Mountain biking tour

This mountain bike tour in central Mongolia provides a fantastic insight into Mongolian landscape, culture and wildlife. You will travel through striking rolling grasslands, mountains lined with forests, even touching on the fringes of the desert. The first part of the tour begins on the train and finishes with a minibus, in between you will cycle 800km (average 57km each day) with 1 day of rest in between.

The roads are mostly dirt tracks, although they tend to be firm and offer good cycling. The mountains provide more challenging cycling with rugged, rocky roads. You will also have to get your feet wet whilst fording rivers. There are some short, very steep slopes, but these are few and far between. The mountain climbs tend to be shallower but longer!

It should be remembered that whilst this is a tourist excursion a reasonable level of fitness is required. All luggage and camping equipment is transported by motor vehicle. There will be 3 staff on hand throughout the tour: a guide, an interpreter/cook and a driver. Depending on group size additional support staff will attend. We will camp every night, except the nights either side of the rest day where accommodation will be a home stay or simple hotel. Camping will be alongside rivers and with nomads so you can relax after a hard day in the saddle and watch nomadic life.

 

We will be catching the train from Ulaanbaatar to Erdenet, departing at 20.20 and arriving in Erdenet at 08.00AM the following morning. Your will spend the night in a 4 bed sleeper compartment on the train. The bikes will travel with us in the luggage compartment.

Day 3-8

The ride begins, bearing mostly southwest across rolling green grasslands with an abundance of wild flowers; Edelweiss is all around. Cycling through the provinces of Bulgan and Arkhangai, passing the provincial capital of Bulgan and other small villages. The majority of the ride will be through the vast expanses that Mongolia has to offer, with only the occasional nomad, their gers and animals, to remind of human culture.

 

Day 9-12

We will cross the green and partially forested Khangai mountain range from north to south. We pass by the highest mountains, towering at 3500m above sea level, as we cross a pass at 2800m. Due to their height some of the mountains are still swathed in snow well into the summer. Nomads who live and herd in the mountains tend to prefer yaks because they are able to negotiate the mountainous terrain. We will have to cross quite deep rivers and the roads can be a little tricky.

Day 13

A well-earned day of rest in Bayankhongor city, the capital of the province with the same name. There is a large market and a museum to visit

Day 14-17

Traveling from Bayankhongor to Arvaikheer we travel through a landscape with the Khangai Mountains to the north and the Gobi to the south. Here camels are preferred to yaks in this very dry landscape. Here rivers are drying out and wells need to be dug for fresh water. On a clear day you can see the 3957m high mountain of Ikh Bogd Uul rising out of the Gobi.

Day 18

 

From Arvaikheer, the province capital of Ovorkhangai, we travel back to Ulaanbaatar by minibus, stopping on the way to visit Shankh Khiid, a beautiful small monastery. Further on we arrive at Karakhorum, the ancient capital founded by Chinggis Khan, now famous for being home to Mongolia’s oldest and most famous monastery, Erdene Zuu. The final leg of the return journey, from Karakoram to Ulaanbaatar is along paved roads. We make our final stop in Mongol Els, a dry, rocky area in central Mongolia famous for it’s Gobi-like sand dunes.