How are we planning bicycle trips? Our preparation for Biking Borders – a 9 months trip from Germany to China. Everything you need to know about the route we cycle and how much we actually decided to plan in advance…
Planning bicycle trips: every detail vs. adventure
The past few years both of us have gained experience in planning longer trips by traveling on our own. But should we do start planning bicycle trips like Biking Borders? How much planning will we have to do for such a trip? This question evolved quickly after making the decision this isn’t just normal chat about life but something we are going to make a reality. We both knew that simply taking our bikes and start paddling towards China wasn’t really an option or at least none we were willing to give a try. Thanks to modern technology, everything we needed to know to plan such journey could be found online. In the last few years, cycling around the world has grown great popularity and other adventurers before us have cycled similar routes. In order to plan every single detail of the route all we needed to do was spend a tremendous time on different blogs and study different maps. With that in mind, we decided that planning every little detail isn’t the adventure we are looking for with this trip. We want our journey to be as spontaneous as it can be. Quite frankly, we have planned a route all the way from Berlin to Beijing. The website we used is Komoot. Komoot is an outdoor route planner for cyclist and gives you great insights on road types and road surfaces. However, we don’t see it as a route we need to follow step by step, city by city. Many things can change in 10 months. That’s why we want to embrace the adventure and want to choose the actual route based on our current state of mind, our interests or recommendations from people we meet along the way.
Berlin to Turkey – 3680km
Planning the route through Europe was relatively easy. There is plenty of existing cycling routes to choose from. This gives us time to enjoy hundreds of kilometers of empty roads and take it all in until we hit the chaotic traffic in Istanbul. Starting in Berlin we will head south, passing the Czech capital towards Vienna. From Vienna, we will make our way towards the Croatian coastline enjoying the last few weeks of the Mediterranean climate before long months of winter in the mountains of Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and Iran await us. To give us some time to rest, finalize the Iranian visa and hopefully catch up with some of our friends we are planning to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Istanbul.
Turkey to Tajikistan – 5368km
Fully charged with new energy we will leave Europe at the beginning of 2019 and make our way to Iran. Arriving in Teheran, there will be plenty to do in order to continue our adventure. That’s where the months of planning take into place. Time to extend the 30-day visa for Iran and apply for Turkmens, Uzbeks, and Chinese visa. From there on we would like to make our way to Mashhad to get to Turkmenistan. We will only have a 5-day transit visa which means we will have to race through the Turkmen’s dessert or find a friendly truck driver in order to make it to the other side of the country on time.
Tajikistan to China – 6261km
In Tajikistan, we will follow the highway through the Pamir, one of the highest roads in the world. A fascinating and simultaneously intimidating challenge but hopefully worth all our efforts. Afterward, we would like to head towards Kyrgyzstan and enter China through the Kazakh border. To save time so we can make it back home at the end of summer, we will catch a train saving 2000km of the inland of China and cycle for another 3000km to ultimately arrive at our final destination in Beijing.
… and this is our opinion when it comes to planning bicycle trips!
Follow our journey live on Mapify: https://mapify.travel/whereisnono
For further questions about the route or tips on how to start your trip send us a message on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bikingborders/