It is with pleasure and pride that we bring to you a logo created for AtyrauOutdoors under the OOPS! initiative (Open Outdoors People Spirits!). The logo intends to be recognizable both in small and large size. It has distinct features of Atyrau embedded that we witness during most of our rides around Atyrau, Western Kazakhstan. These include bringing a sense of endlessness of the sandy steppe, the Ural river near Atyrau flowing into the Caspian sea, the typical steppe camel, obviously Pete's villa (where they bl**dy still don't serve coffee), the biker in eternal search of an unobstructed view on the open Caspian, the usually present sun, and of course the Kazakh colours encompassing this all.
I'll be coming to Atyrau next week. Does anyone know if there are any places that rent mountain bikes? I've been looking online with little luck. Address and phone number would be a great help if anyone has them.
Has Spring Sprung Already!? A week before the Equinox and more importantly the National Holidays, the Sunday sun coaxed 5 riders to the 0900 Dostyk start. Yesterdays bleak and biting winds forgotten, at least by most, the decision was made to test the Steppe trails and make for potential mud. The first trip of the year to Levee Junction, Horse Bath and Zen Pond in cool but very calm conditions. The trails have been cut up considerably by Mr Lada and Co with a scattering of Camel, Horse and ...other waste products, but it was great to be Ice free, at least on land. HB and ZP were still frozen but in the next week or two they will be 'open for business' and the wild life will return to the bank of the waterway. One or two potential mud traps avoided we made a gentle B Group circuit with lots of stops and returned to town in just over 2 hours. So away with the Ice studs for another year and welcome to the 2015 biking season. Numbers will be a little light until after the holidays but the rides will continue so check the website start times, get your bikes out of hibernation (and off the trainer....you know who you are!) and we'll see you on the trails. Morning and evening rides will start in April...watch this space for details. 32km -2 to +5 no wind. 2 hours 20m
Following last weeks epic Ice rides to MVGB Border and deep discussion on the relative speed of the 'Squirrel' (you had to be there!) we decided that this week the ice was most definitely a little on the thin and dodgy side. Mud detectors in the red after a week of very warm day time temps the only option was a nice road ride to Damba/Peshnoy. 6 riders braved the freshening northerly and set out on into the instructional and therapeutic Atyrau traffic. (Somethings never change). As predicted a great ride out and a very tough ride back, but great road practice on drafting techniques. 2 natural groups formed and set there own pace, although consensus is that it may have been a rather tough ask for a first timer...Very well done Tania. a 100% return record beats the target yet again and now the only decision is on what to do tomorrow...Test the step...test the road again or ....watch the F1....Hmmm, tough one. 60k 3h30m -1 to +3..very windy.
Two well attended rides this weekend down river and onto the Mat Van Gunther Bhan-on ice- route. Temperatures have been on the rise with sustained daytime positive's..The surface snow is reduced, but the night time freeze leaves a lumpy ice ridge track just waiting to unsettle the less confident rider. That said the MVGB on ice is a great trail to avoid the wind and we managed a full 50km ride without incident. Great also to see the rides now splitting into pace groups. Today a more leisurely pace and distance with a group of 5, the self proclaimed 'Old Mans Ride' taking a trip down to the Island and back and 3 Others riding the return trip to the MVGB boarder post. A format we would hope to continue into the Spring in order to attract more regular riders.
It is with pleasure and pride that we bring to you a logo created for AtyrauOutdoors under the OOPS! initiative (Open Outdoors People Spirits!).
The logo intends to be recognizable both in small and large size.
It has distinct features of Atyrau embedded that we witness during most of our rides around Atyrau, Western Kazakhstan.
bringing a sense of endlessness of the sandy steppe,
the Ural river near Atyrau flowing into the Caspian sea,
the typical steppe camel,
obviously Pete’s villa (where they bl**dy still don’t serve coffee),
the biker in eternal search of an unobstructed view on the open Caspian,
the usually present sun,
and of course the Kazakh colours encompassing this all.
Welcome to the final announcement of the fifth edition of the Annual Atyrau Centurion Ride !
The highlight of the AtyrauOutdoors biking season will take place on Saturday September 20th. Hopefully you’ve started picking up the riding since the previous announcement of the dates as we’re up in two weeks!
2013 Centurion finishers posing at Dostyk
[warning]The Centurion will be postponed with one week to Saturday September 27th in case of unfavourable (wet) weather.[/warning]
If you joined recently, haven’t gotten more intimate with the Centurion ride or simply haven’t trained yet this year, here are the principles:
[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”30%”]”What’s this Centurion business?”[/pullquote]
Participation to the Centurion requires that you regularly ride with the A-riders group. Although the Centurion should (and will) be a significant physical and mental challenge, every participant should be able to do this distance in a comfortable and healthy way. Considering the Atyrau B*&%$ch WindFactor (=strong winds) and potential for sandy surfaces, a 100 km ride is very demanding and we don’t want to push anybody over his / her limits.
We’re not trying to put people off, but it is un-fair if the whole group has to wait for one un-prepared rider. If there are people who want to do the route a bit slower, they can do what they want, but they should get in touch with each-other. We will not be making any arrangements for them….
We want to cycle as a group for social and logistics reasons. It just makes a hell of a difference if you as a potential participant have ridden at least a few rides of 65/75 km. That will roughly allow you to make the ultimate jump to 100 km; it will usually be the last 30 km’s or so that prove to be most demanding.
[pullquote align=”left” textalign=”left” width=”30%”]Be good to yourself and social to your fellow riders and prep well and serious[/pullquote]
You do yourself and your fellow riders a big favour here if your prep your bike well and take enough spares.
So start the Centurion with a clean bike that you have lubed and inspected thoroughly, make sure your tyres and tubes are in good and predictable shape.
Also one spare tube is not enough, this just gets you home. Take 2, or better still 3 with you. Consider strong tie-wraps for ripped tyres or better still, even bring a spare, as well as a spare mech hanger. (yes it has happened, they do break in Atyrau)
Bring plenty of energy and drinks. one doesn’t get around on one bidon, take around 4-5 litres -one for every hour- if you can. Bananas, nuts dried fruits, well just bring lots of it !
In the Bag
Don’t forget to bring a cell phone, some cash, and an ID, in case you get stopped by police.
The planned number of stops during the Centurion Ride will be limited to 3 and the duration of every stop will be around 10 minutes. We aim to do the Centurion in 5.5 upto 6 hours. Although we all love biking, we want to avoid it becomes a whole day event. Too many and too long stops extend the duration of the Centurion Ride significantly…
A very early exit point exists at Levee junction and gets one back to town with around 40 km’s in the legs.
Another early exit point exists at Atyrau Mountain and gets one back to town with around 65 km’s in the legs. This point is also the point of no return. You decide to continue here means you WILL make it!
We will try to maintain an average speed of 22 km/hours. To achieve this average we have to target a steady pace of 24 km/hours. On the other hand, we will not have “peaks” up to 30 and (much) more. Referring to the previous paragraph, we want to avoid some people waiting for 20 minutes every 10 km while others are struggling to catch up…
The Centurion route has been set out and tested. Some brand new tested tracks unlocking Almaly offroad are combined with some existing tracks. The full route has been tested.
The route can be downloaded here and can be uploaded to a GPS as a course.
Instructions for Garmin owners: Copy these files to the “newFiles” directory on the device. After startup of the Garmin device, goto <Menu> , <course> or <location> and select 2014 Centurion. This will get the course and waypoints automagically created.
The Starting point will be in front of Old RiverClub on the boulevard at the big satellite dish (near the pedestrian bridge over the Ural).
We start riding at 07:30. So this is NOT 8 o’clock starting time as otherwise normal during this time of the year!
Please arrive at07:15 as we will take some group pictures while we’re still fresh.
The Finish point will be at Dostyk village, where refreshments and a BBQ will be waiting, including the possibility of a swimming pool dip. Finish time estimated around 13:00.
Summary description of the route (See map section below for full details):
Start RiverClub Sat dish
Via boulevard, Balikshi to Pete’s villa Pause at Pete’s Villa (22km)
To Levee Junction (very early exit point)
To Horse Bath
To the Mines
Via Mines highway to Atyrau Mountain Pause at Atyrau Mountain (52km) (early exit point and point of no return)
Via Pelican pond follow brand new “northern dog trail” to A27 crossing
Via Almaly village (possibility to resupply in small shops) to Almaly lake Pause at Almaly lake (74km)
Via “wheeping willow loop”
Via Ural river
Back to town along canal Finish at TCO Dostyk village (102km)
BBQ, drinks and swimming
So as you can see the route does not come past Atyrau half way; we stay away from town the whole route.
Supporters are welcome for those who make it back alive: Family members and friends of riders are welcome to join at Dostyk to hear us brag about this remarkable milestone and smell our suffering and to join in with a BBQ! Young supporters are most welcome as well, and if brave enough, can opt to go for a swim.
We will share the costs of the BBQ and this is estimated at around 3000-4000 KZT per adult and half that for children. Costs to be settled in Cash with Jeroen. When participant numbers are know, we will know the exact costs per person.
[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”30%”]”Man… Why did I try this… Had I only known!”[/pullquote]
AtyrauOutdoors is not associated with any professional, overarching riding organisation. Not in the Republic of Kazakhstan, not anywhere else. It simply consists of a bunch of very enthousiastic and posibly fanatic riders.
This means if you join us for the Centurion, you are in it on your own account. Don’t fingerpoint if you don’t make it, break your bike, have to take off work for recovery, can’t breastfeed because of dehydration, or whatever else you may not like.
And hence this very extensive description!
Now don’t despair. We will give each other a little supportive nudge when someone is falling to shambles!
So you made it to here. Still interested?
[important]Then register with us. This is mandatory and required for logistical purposes.
Register for riding and who (including family names please) and how many people will join at Dostyk afterwards and who will indulge in the BBQ.[/important]
If you are the kind of person who records his/her rides with a Garmin or comparable smartphone device, you can quite easily automagically upload this information to Strava. If you then join this Atyrauoutdoors “club” on Strava, your ride statistics will feature on the clubs so-called leaderboard.
A great addition to a 30km ride to the steppe this last Saturday 16-Aug were 4 University students visiting their parents here in Atyrau. The students are from England, Holland, Alaska and Oregon. Playing tourist, we rode our bikes up to the Islamic Cemetery, and then had the good fortune of running right into a herd of camels. Great memories, in spite of the 38 C heat!
[warning]Note that the Centurion dates have shifted backward by one week, to ensure availability of Dostyk swimming pool and BBQ facilities[/warning]
It is that time of the year again: it is hot in Atyrau, people are returning from leave and want to get going on their bikes to see and enjoy the steppe before we hit the winter. And you maybe simply want to loose weight, or even more simpler, you may just want to ride because you have not done so in a long time. And then there are newcomers in Atyrau that want to explore it’s surroundings.
What better than to set up that big milestone that you can prepare for in order to meet any of the above?
2014 Centurion dates
Saturday 20 September 2014 : primary date
Saturday 27 September 2014 : fall-back date in case of unfavourable weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances preventing riding at primary date.
It is the intention to follow the same successful recipe of last years Centurion to start off at the Satellite dish at RiverClub and to finish at Dostyk swimming pool with some nice BBQ catering.
Depending on weather, punctures and other varying conditions, Centurions typically last between 5 and 7 lapse hours.
In order to target for this, we will attempt to ride at around 22-25 km/hour so that we can do the centurion roughly at an average of 20 km/hour.
This also means we will leave early at 07:00, as otherwise temperatures may still get so high that they wear us unnecessarily out.
The full route is not established yet, as an attempt is under way to establish a new, interesting and reliable route. This will take a bit more exploration.
We plan to include one or two bail out points in the route as well and also intend to plan to pass a small store somewhere for refreshments.
Details of a (GPS trackable) route and start- and finish times will be subject of another announcement in the following weeks.
This later announcement will also prompt potential participants and supporters who wish to join in at the finish for a compulsary response for logistical purposes. No registration will mean no access to Dostyk facilities.
So do treat this as a heads up so you can jot down the dates in your diaries and start training!
As the experienced Centurion riders will confirm, an off-road 100km ride in the Kazakh steppe is not easy, however trained your are.
There for, train regular, train serious and make sure you include at least a few longer rides of 50+ km’s and one or more rides of 70 or so km’s. It is no luxury to have these in the legs as preparation.
[important]ATTENTION, SCHEDULE CHANGE[/important]
As the sunrise is now past 9 am and the winter is setting in we decided to move the start times for the Saturday and Sunday rides from 9 am to 10 am as of 11-Dec-2013. This ensures proper daylight and more suitable temperatures for the coming bike rides.
Please refer to the …
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Cycling safety tips and notes
Beside being a low impact sport with great cardiovascular benefits, cycling is also an excellent way to explore the environment and see Atyrau from a different perspective and breathe some fresh air. Lots of people bring cameras and you will notice from the many articles that there are lots of nice spots, …
Update 28-29 July
FIRST: I noticed that the website is not functioning properly, but I am trying to sort this out – bear with me for the time being, please
As this article proves, we are still cycling albeit with less people as the usual Summer Break period has begun. Most likely by early September we will …
Weekend 21-22 April
This weekend saw us riding in 3 different groups. On Saturday, 2 groups started at the Satellite dish, the A-group with Sicco went to the Wetlands and the B-group with Pieter did the Refinery loop. The turnout was a bit lower than expected, as some people had not been looking at the website …