Travelling by bicycle is just fast enough that you can cover some real distance in a day and just slow enough that you really get to know the places you travel though. On a bike you are much more likely to stop and check out a local market and nothing beats the view of mountain top you have just climbed to the top. Food tastes better (and you can eat a lot more of it!) and the friendships formed on a cylcling tour last forever.
Silk Road Cycling
While there are dozens of cycling tours that will help you zigzag all over Europe or North America a bike tour that explore lesser developed countries and out of the way places is often a much more rewarding experience. It doesn’t get much more out of the way than the Silk Route.
What is the Silk Route?
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across Asia and reaching to the Mediterranean and Europe. It is called the silk route because traders from the West would travel the route to eastern china to trade for Chinese Silk. At one time the Chinese were the only people to know how to produce the coveted material. Marco Polo and Ghengis Khan are two of the most well known historic figures from the days when the Silk Road thrived but there are many others.
How to Cycle the Silk Route
If you want to travel the silk route with an organized tour one option is to go with the well know bicycle tour company Tour d’Afrique. The company’s Silk Route Bike Tour starts in May 2012 and travels from Shanghai to Istanbul over 4 months. The tour can be done as one long epic adventure or participant can choose to sign up for a short section of the tour.
The Places of the Silk Route
The list of things you’ll see and experience cycling across a continent is long and vaired. Some highlights on the Silk Route would be: Visiting the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, Dune surfing in Turpan, Cycling the Pamir Highway, The Mosques and Temples of Samarkand and Bukhara, Visiting the …. of Iran and of course ending the tour in Istanbul couldn’t be more perfect.