Sep 18 2016

Arrival of ‘sweet autumn’

Colours are getting more saturated in the steppe, wind is picking up more regularly. No nasties are biting at us during riding and patches of soft sand boost our heartrates and deflate our morale a touch. Mix this in with morning temperatures that drop well below 10C and all the signs of autumn appear to be there.

Some lovely recent rides, were care is again taken for choosing riding direction based on wind strength and direction. the idea is: ride out into the wind, and back with the wind. In practice it usually turns out as ride out into the wind, ride back into as well….

None the less we continue to ride, and good rides we have seen again.

Saturday saw some folk explore the entire length of the side canal of the Ural northbound towards the point were it intersects with the Ural around 40km north of Atyrau. New very sweet trails along canal and river were successfully mapped and tested and have been dubbed “Gone Bananas”. This full new loop makes for Centurion (100km+) distance riding. With three starters and finishers this ride made it into the big rides hall of fame.

Others in the meantime rode Pete’s with some extension to HB and ZP and were nicely blown back to Levee Junction from Pete’s.

With a beautiful sunrise on Sunday a group headed dead west into the wind to ride the “lala Lada brick road” towards Zhaks fall, whereafter they had a sweet tailwind blow them back to town for the call of the Krushka.
Two brave souls diverted to explore and map possible Centurion track westbound; they may still be en-route as this hits the binary world.

Saturday and Sunday ride photos

 

Saturday Gone Bananas

Sunday Lada Brick Road

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Sep 04 2016

The obliging continuum

And so the  promise of favourable riding conditions with nice predictable constant factors of sun and clear blue sky and a touch of wind in the face turned to reality.

9 riders set out to do MattvonGunter bahn. There camels and cows with a shepherd were greeting us next to a canal that was serenely reflecting the rising sun.

After MvG, 4 souls continued on to ‘inspect’ the other side of the same canal along the Peshnoy Levee loop. At the end of that, an attempt was made to pay a short touristy visit to Peshnoy village and the war monument over there. Unfortunately, 3 armed soldiers with fingers on the triggers, were not accomodating and were friendly but firmly gesturing us to return. So we did.

Some visuals:

Route ridden:

 

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Sep 03 2016

High-speed stealth train to Just Villa

With the excuse of some riders wanting to get back early for family duties, three brave souls decided to head out early and ride ‘big, long and hard’.

At 06:30, with the sun below the horizon and temperature below 10C, the train started rolling westbound, straight into the wind, that was definitely present.

What followed was a superstrong ride via the ‘mini-lake’ to the ‘just Villa’.

The high-speed train stopped only very briefly at the lake and the villa, only to return directly.

In a 3.5 hours moving time the train covered 85 km’s.


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Aug 30 2016

Accommodating weather

A  weekend and a National holiday that saw great cycling weather around Atyrau with fair temperatures and very little wind was all not to be missed.

And so on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday a good deal of folk turned up.

Saturday saw us ride our classic Pete’s Villa loop, and back at Levee Junction some continued on on the recently introduced “Lady brick road” towards Zhak’s Fall, while battling the increasing temperatures. Lucky no mozzies, big spiders or other nasties across our tracks to distract us. For others the call of the Krushka was too strong to resist and they hence headed back.

Sunday saw another large group of riders at the start. This time the group headed north on the eastern river bank of the Ural.

Again, lovely weather, and the freshness of the river could really be felt and enjoyed without actually jumping in. Again the most reliable shop of the region, or little pinky refueling station at Besekti, did not disappoint and had cold ice-cream (!) waiting for us beside the usual resupply of water.

While some returned from this point others went on to re-eye forest, about 40 km north of Atyrau, where a shady strip of willows once fought us back and had a branch strike someone in an eye (all good in the end), thus providing us it marker name.

And then a “bonus ride” on Tuesday as Constitution Day is celebrated in Kazakhstan. Again a large, eleven-souls strong, group at the start. This time to Zen Pond and then cut north along the canal to the bridge at the start of Rocky’s Highway. From here directly north following the canal and onto Northern Dog trail to Almaly. From there the wind blew us back to Atyrau along the banks of the Ural.

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Aug 25 2016

Constitution Day Bonus Ride

AO Bonus

Constitution Day of RoK is coming up on Tuesday August 30th and is declared a public holiday.
That makes a great opportunity for a bonus ride to hone those legs muscles towards the sweet tail end of the summer.
A sneak peek on the weather forecast is promising a sunny & dry day with somewhat lower temps at 25C and the ever constantly present wind at ~5m/s.

We will leave from TCO Dostyk village main gate at 08:00

At this moment there are no firm plans yet for where to ride to and how long to ride. We will settle this in our usual pre-ride discussions.

 

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