Ride your bike in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Marco Polo and Genghis Khan across the most famous trade route in the world, the Silk Route.
The Silk Route epic tour is offered as a bicycle tour and a race, you can do either. Ã‚Â It’s put on by Tour d’Afrique Ltd., who since 2003 have put on the Tour d’Afrique, Orient Express and Vuelta Sudamericana bike tours and races.
The Silk Route carries you from Istanbul to Xi’an, with elevations ranging from below sea level to more than 3,600m (11,800ft) through the Taldyk Pass in Kyrgyzstan. Ã‚Â During the nearly 10,700km (6,649 miles) and 114 days of riding, you’ll pass through markets and civilizations that have been around for more than 2,000 years. Ã‚Â The route traces the steps of soldiers, merchants, monks and adventurers through some of the highest passes and harshest deserts as they created powerful political and trade routes as far back as 138 BC.
You can race or ride the entire tour, or just jump in for parts of it. Hit ‘more’ for pricing, dates and other details…
The tour featuresÃ‚Â 92 cycling days, averagingÃ‚Â 115 km (71 miles) each, broken up byÃ‚Â 22 rest days and a day of travel across the Caspian sea for aÃ‚Â total of 114 days. The length of each day ride will range from 80 km on really bad terrain to over 180 km on good paved roads.
If you can’t make the whole trip at once, you can choose pre-determined sections or arrange to drop in when and where you can. Or, you can pay for the whole trip and complete different sections in different years (which saves on total cost versus just paying for some sections at a time, but, you know, you’re paying it in full up front).
The full Silk Route Tour is Ã¢â€šÂ¬8,500 (about $12,700 US at the moment), which includes four meals per day (excluding rest days) and runs from May 22 through September 12, 2010.
Sections range fromÃ‚Â Ã¢â€šÂ¬1,150 toÃ‚Â Ã¢â€šÂ¬1,950 and span anywhere from 10 to 21 days. Ã‚Â There’s aÃ‚Â Ã¢â€šÂ¬400 discount for early registration (before November 15, 2009).