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Old 15 Feb 2012
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Location: Switzerland
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Is 4 months enough for a RTrip Switzerland - Southern Asia (Silk-Road)- Russia?


I'm a rookie in here, and this is my first post in the forum.

A friend an myself are planning a RT starting from Switzerland and heading (if possible) to China through the well-known silk-road (more or less), and then return back within Mongolia, Russia and Europe. Our definitive checkpoints aren't set yet. We are more or less sketching up the things.

My friend is pretty optimistic about the feasability of such trip within 4.5 months. In my case, my first feeling was that, some 26'000 km to ride in such time constraints seems to not make such sense, for the sake of having enough time to really enjoy what every day might have to offer us.

My personal opinion would be to make it a one-way trip and fly back home. I'm a (rookie) BM rider and especially enjoy to travel slowly with no rush.

Any opinions and hints you might have would be greatly appreciated!

*** Travelling is an everyday discovery of our own ignorance's wideness ***
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Old 15 Feb 2012
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200km each and every day 4 and a half months. Happy with that?

Easy on good roads - but tarmac is not a well known substance in Mongolia and neighbouring Countries.

There is a strip of tarmac all across Russia from Vladivostock to Europe, mainly good but some poor sections.

You may be aware of the Guide requirement in China - not cheap.

A popular practical option, avoiding China, is flying bikes to Soeul, ferry to Vladivostock then ride back through Russia, partly on the Trans Siberian Highway (which will drive you mental with boredom) with possible detours off within Russia or into Mongolia and back into Russia, and then into Kazakhstan from where there are many Stans to the south. Then back into Russia to Europe. This needs Visas - and Russia could pose time and number of entry problems.

Sorry if I sound negative. Not intended. It sounds a great trip.

As your plans evolve you will get lots of answers and advice on HUBB.
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Old 15 Feb 2012
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Welcome to HU! And I think you're right - one way and fly home - it's a long way for such a short time if you want to see anything properly. That's almost 200 km a day, EVERY day. EASY in Europe, not so easy in the third world, and not every day. Stop one day and next day you have to do 400.

Ride out and fly back works well. (no worrying about the bike arriving intact and on time).
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
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Old 16 Feb 2012
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 10

Thank you for your replies.

I believe it's not very easy to design a route with a fix given timerange. If we take some initial constraints into account, such as:

  • Timerange is a conservative 120 days
  • No fight against schedule (aka avoid stress, working everyday is already enough!)

how many kilometers per day, as a global and realistic average would you take into account? e.g. 100/day? 150/day?

I know an alternative would simply be to quit the job and hasta la vista but I would rather keep it warm for, let's say if a rtw might be in sight (understand $$$)
*** Travelling is an everyday discovery of our own ignorance's wideness ***

Last edited by Arkean; 17 Feb 2012 at 20:23.
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Old 18 Feb 2012
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I think on the kind of 'none roads' you will find (in for example Mongolia) you can safely count on doing at least 200km a day. On old broken up tarmac roads 350km+ in the back of beyond, and on good tarmac whatever you want. The vast majority of your trip will be on good tarmac.

That timeframe sounds fine if you want to spend most of your time riding. China might cause problems and delays though?

But ask yourself, do you want to spend over 4 months riding nearly every day?
UK to Mongolia 2009, on a DR350
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Old 18 Feb 2012
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I think your hoping a wee bit too much.
I agree with Grant go one way fly back, or cunning plan
B) Go halfway and ride home a different route.

I would suggest you look and see how long it would sensibly take you remember, there is 2 of you, and depending on the amount of riding you both do on a daily basis and how well of having a off day, (feeling a bit ill), will mean what you can do in 1 day don't mean your mucker can do.
We are the Pilgrims, Master, we shall go Always a little further: it may be beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow, Across that angry or that glimmering sea.
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Old 18 Feb 2012
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Location: istanbul
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3 friends from Switzerland have just finished their Switzerland-S:E:Asia tour.
Sure they have many tips..Give Roland,Rene and Stefan selam from us.
Wish you all the best.
Mehmet Zeki Avar
''Friendly Pit-Stop in ─░stanbul'' https://www.facebook.com/mehmet.avar.12?ref=tn_tnmn
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