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SRMR Day 9, the goat path, Kegeti and the Chinese gold mine

This night I slept quite well. Stopping at 7 pm I probably managed to got fall asleep at 8 and the alarm sound at 3:30 am means that I got a solid 7 hours of sleep, good enough for one more day in the saddle but not enough to erase the lack of sleep from […]

SRMR day 8, the descent to Baetov and the climb to Song Kul

The alarm rings again at 4:30 and I manage to pack everything and be back on the bike in less than half an hour. Generally I really like the early morning start and I like being on the bike when it’s still dark and today this seems to work out. Even the legs feel OK […]

SRMR day 7, the Chinese border road and the old caravan route

It must have been past midnight when I finally managed to fall asleep, so when the phone rings at 4:30 in the morning I feel far from rested, but at the same time I know I need to get moving. It’s almost 12 hours since  I arrived at the checkpoint and as I pack up […]

SRMR day 6, headwind, Kel Suu and the struggle to sleep

From all the elements the wind is the cyclists biggest enemy. If I can tolerate the cold, the heat, the snow, the rain and even the mud wind gets me mentally every time.. And it’s not that I don’t have the power, I’m but no means scrawny, it’s just the simple fact that you have […]

SRMR day 5 ~ Tosor pass and the road to Naryn

After 4 days of racing I start to wonder if there’s any way of knowing in advance what will make the day ahead of you a good day : is it sleep?, is it what you eat?, is it how you pace yourself? or is it a simple matter of perception? For example the way […]

SRMR day 4 ~ a race to the Arabel pass

The phone alarm sounds at 4:30 but when I check the weather outside I see that overnight it started snowing and a low cloud cover doesn’t promise anything good for this morning. In the end I decide to go back to the sleeping bag, snatch one more hour of sleep, wait for the daylight and […]

SRMR Day 3, cold, snow, sun and 270 kilometres in the saddle

When the alarm rings at 3:30 in the morning the first thing I do is to get out of the sleeping bag and check the conditions outside. The air is cold and crisp, the menacing rain clouds from last night have all but disappeared and a clear black sky full of stars stretches above. You […]

SRMR Day 2, tough climbs, headwind, rain and kymyz

When the phone rings at 4 am it’s hard to say if I had a good nights sleep or not, what I’m sure of is that it didn’t compensate all the sleep deficit from the last two nights. During such a race the question is not whether you can fully recover from one day to […]

SRMR Day 1 ~ fresh legs and tyre destroying descents

The police Lada which escorted us out of Talas stops, waves that we should go past and the race actually begins. It’s still dark, but the first signs of the new day are already visible in the eastern sky, the air is brisk and cold and a long string of cyclists stretches out in the […]