Bike Touring Highlight
Bike Touring Highlight (Segment)
Includes off-grid segments
Navigation instructions may be limited.
Planned by Silk Road Mountain Race
The route from Kochkor to Shabdan includes what is still likely the hardest pass of the race: Shamsi. It's essentially a horse track over a 3800 meter pass that includes around 20 kilometres of hike a bike. That being said it is also one of our favourite sections and more than one rider from last year agreed with us. It's best tackled during the day for all but the most experienced and confident riders. The top of the descent is a steep scree slope that very few riders were able to ride. It soon becomes a little gentler, and if you have the mountain bike skills for it, it's a fantastic descent. There are four river crossings lower down on the north side that can be up to waist deep if it has rained recently. Please proceed with caution. The next major difficulty after Shamsi are a series of three climbs, that became known as the ‘bonus climbs’ as they were the last extra difficulties before the end of last year’s race. They may be smaller than Shamsi but the first of them is still a big climb. The surface is rough and if it is has rained everything turns to sticky mud leading to this climb being given the nickname ‘peanut butter hill’. The route then heads down through rolling hills for some really enjoyable descending before briefly crossing the main road to Issyk-Kul. Please be cautious as you cross the highway as traffic is often fast. The final stretch of this section takes riders into the village of Shabdan, just across the river from last year’s finish location. They will be able get some supplies here before the final leg of the race.