Oct 01 2016

2016 Centuri-run “Really Gone Bananas”

Like an itch that was not scratched. At least to those who could not make it last week it felt that way.

Why not ride and re-ride, re-enjoy the track along such a long stretch of water and further en-grain it into our memories and into the internal memory of our better-trusted Garmin devices?

There was enough appetite with  a number of people joining who where unable last week and another few brave souls who where in for riding it again.

Mild winds, fresh and chilly, down to nearly 0C, it was promised to be. And chilly it was: Various cold extremities ensured no suppleness was achieved for at least the first hour or so.

As the morning progressed temperatures rose and the sun came out.

Some of us were able to bring the joy of the “in-ride experience” to a whole new level with cigars and beer en-route. Maybe this should become standard issue for all AO riders?!

Other were living new fantasies doing a small catwalk along bra-brothel tree.

Lastly we had the pleasure of guiding a rogue returning visitor longing for his old steed, who just can’t get enough of the Atyrau steppe as opposed to the Houston circus.

A joy it was again with another strong finish at Dostyk!

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.atyrauoutdoors.com/wordpress/?p=2548

Sep 25 2016

2016 Centurion “Gone Bananas”

With a relative short-notice announcement over our WhatsApp group, the decision was taken to ride the big annual Centurion ride last weekend. Most riders that were around had been riding fairly regularly and/or knew what they were getting themselves into.

The weekend before had seen a small group explore some new tracks to create a new route: “wouldn’t it be nice to ride along water for a long stretch?” Some pouring over the map time revealed that the canal that we cross at Zen Pond and Horses Bath comes from the north and joins the Ural somewhere north of Almaly. So it seemed a nice route to simply ride to the canal, follow it northbound and about 10 km’s north of Almaly hit the Ural river and ride back down to Atyrau along the river. The course that was plotted made just over 100 km’s.

Two groups were established, one normal one, to ride at a normal pace, and a smaller, less normal one that wanted to ride a bit faster.

Some rain was forecasted in the afternoon, and some headwind on the way back. While we could see the rainclouds form at the steppe horizons, they never even came close to us. The sun even showed itself later in the morning and early afternoon.

So did the wind, living up to its promise of making up the one and only predictable constant in Atyrau.

After some early fat bike tyre issues both groups rode on with no issues other than the occasional close encounter with some sand.

It was a great ride and both groups came out unscathed, leaving plenty of time for a swim at Dostyk and a well deserved strong finish!

It appears that Atyrau does have a mountain to descend from then after all:


Fransesco shot some very nice footage in-ride and turned it into a lovely summary




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Permanent link to this article: http://www.atyrauoutdoors.com/wordpress/?p=2465

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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Permanent link to this article: http://www.atyrauoutdoors.com/wordpress/?p=2428

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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Permanent link to this article: http://www.atyrauoutdoors.com/wordpress/?p=2423

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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Permanent link to this article: http://www.atyrauoutdoors.com/wordpress/?p=2373

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