Sep 25 2016

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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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