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Cycling in Kyrgyzstan: M41 Osh to Bishkek

Listed under Cycling Challenges in Kyrgyzstan.

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Want a challenging but rewarding cycle trip, with beautiful mountain views, some great wild camping spots and, which is off the ‘tourist’ trail? Then cycling the M41 from Osh to Bishkek, might be for you. Don’t be put off by this route being along the main road, as it has a lot to offer. The first couple of days of the cycle will be easy-going and relatively flat, on a newly surfaced bitumen road. You will pass through many small towns and villages, where there are plenty of places to stop and refill water, buy locally grown fruit and veg or freshly baked bread. People are generally friendly and welcoming – kids will stop and wave and adults will ask curious questions and sometimes offer you gifts of bread or tomatoes.

About 100km into the cycle, you will hit the mountains, this is when the scenery becomes really stunning, though the climbs can be quite strenuous. You will pass beautiful lakes, rivers, mountains and rural villages, and experience some of the best wildness camping spots around. Villages and towns start to become few and far between on this stretch, so it’s advised to stock up on food. Toktogul is the only town for about 150km, before you hit the town of Kara Balta. During the Summer months yurts can be found along this section of the road and often sell local produce, including fermented yak’s milk. If you want a break from camping, most yurt’s also offer rooms for the night, for a small price.

Read more on Kelly's blog.

Written by  Kelly Sheldrick.

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