The Bishkek Spectacular is a small loop south of the capital city, for which you'll need between 4 and 7 days depending on your stamina and riding preference. Belén and I set out to scout the route because so far there is no looped routes connecting the capital to rural Kyrgyzstan, so we wanted to create it.Unfortunately, I got a bad case of food poisoning on day five, forcing us to abandon the scouting trip and hitchhike to Bishkek (an advantage to be so close!). Nevertheless, I've added the days we missed (5 to 7) as proposed route sections with ending spots we think would be good for camping, with distances based on the elevation profile (day 6 is long, but with a long and massive downhill). Day 5 and 6 should ideally be done on week days and early, so to avoid typical Kyrgyz truck traffic. As for the days we managed to ride, I edited a little video together to give you an impression of what you may find out there. We hope you take our route as inspiration to start your journey from Bishkek and wish you safe passage through the Kyrgyz wilderness!
Leaving the comforts of Bishkek! Riding out of the city via the flagpole, after which the mountains unveil themselves in the distance, is a real highlight. Until Kegety village, you're following a pretty quiet asphalt road.
The climb up to Kegety is long and can bear treacherous weather. Be prepared with a good clothing kit and enough food, since you won't see a single shop until Suusamyr. We recommend the village of Sovetskoye (day 1) as your resupply point.
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
Up and over! After camping before the top, we completed the last ridable switchbacks and pushed over the scree on top of Kegety. The south side is a landslide mess, you've been warned. The valley that follows is tranquil and slightly downhill until the next climb.
After making our way over the short climb, it was time to descend through the long Karakol river valley to Suusamyr. Fill your water from the early glaciers before heading west, as the river gets murky. Suusamyr is a resupply point, avoid the one roadside restaurant to avoid food poisoning.
As we ate in the one roadside restaurant in Suusamyr, I got foodpoisoning and threw up 6 times overnight. Horrible time. We decided to cut the trip short and hitchhike back to Bishkek. The track to the capital is pretty sweet though, so we encourage you to find our proposed GPX tracks inside The Bishkek Spectacular collection.
Mountain Biking Collection by Katie-Jane L'Herpiniere
Hiking Collection by Vanessa Kopp
Hiking Collection by MySwitzerland
Bike Touring Collection by Ana Carmen