Thursday, June 3, 2010

Forkin Hell!

In retrospect, 1000km on rough corrugated roads was asking for a mechanical issue, especially given the additional 20kg of water and 10kg of food we were taking at some points.Several days ago Ali’s front fork decided enough was enough. One of the eyelets holding the rack to the fork sheared off. Unfortunately, we were in a desert, out of mobile reception and 150km from any decent township. The temporary solution was off-loading the front panniers as much as possible (difficult given said water and food requirements) and using some very heavy duty cable ties to hold things together (thanks Dave).

Upon reaching a patch of mobile reception we got in touch with our bike consultants on call – Huw and the guys from Commuter Cycles Brunswick (these guys are legends!!!) and put in a request for some advice.
In the meantime we began heading out on a 200km stretch of road that we knew was quite difficult only to discover it consisted of long stretches 10-15cm deep fine sand interspersed with corrugations. After pushing our bikes the good part of 15km we camped and reassessed. Pushing bikes for 200km was not going to be possible, especially given we had catered for 50km days involving passing a town large enough to get food and water every day. The next day we did what we hate doing. We double backed. Back down the 15km of sandy road and onwards to a very large town (22 000 pop) 80km away. Yesterday we reached Ulaangom and our first town with running water in 1000km.
Back in Brunswick it seems Huw and the wonder guys from Commuter have been doing a mock rack rearrangement to see how to solve our problem (feels just like those NASA movies where the ship has a problem and Houston replicates the materials on the space craft to come to a mechanical solution for the astronauts). Huw’s just emailed through some pics outlining the rack rearrangement we’ll have to carry out. Time to view the pictures and get fixin.
Tomorrow we plan to start the 250km final trek to Olgii where our Mongolian voyage ends. That will involve a 2600m pass (we’re currently at 1000m), a bundle load of rocky roads, two beautiful lakeside camps and a hefty load of water and food.
To Olgii!

Cycling Summary
Tosontsengel to Stealth Camp (5km from Telmen Nuur) 56km
Stealth Camp (5km from Telmen Nuur) to Nomrog 50km
Nomrog to Stealth Camp (18km from Tudtevey) 72km
Stealth Camp (18km from Tudtevey) to Stealth Camp (23km from Songino on Rocky Mountain Side) 63km
Stealth Camp (23km from Songino on Rocky Mountain Side) to Barren Desert Stealth Camp (2km before large river crossing) 63km
We were able to fill up on water at the river and avoided a 30km detour to Ondorhanguy
Barren Desert Stealth Camp (2km before large river crossing) to Barren Desert II Stealth Camp 63km
Barren Desert II Stealth Camp to lakeside at Har Temes 76km
Har Temes to Another Hyargas Nuur lakeside spot 23km
Hyargas Nuur to 15km south Naranbulag 40km
-this was the 15km of sandy roads
15km past Naranbulag to Highland Steppe Stealth Camp (35km north of Naranbulag) 50km
Highland Steppe Stealth Camp to Ulaangom 58km

Forkin hell


Scott said...


Massivly impressed with your efforts. Hope you sort the forks out.

We are currently cycle touring in Europe (1,500km done) but our efforts now seem a bit soft.

Good Luck with it all.

Gavo and Beck

Begzsuren said...

Dear Andrew and Ali,

I see, you feel Mongolian everything! And you are giving me a wish to feel myself.

Thank you for your wonderful time to explore our Mongolia.

My family successfully puzzled the 500 pieces of the World, like this, you showed us Mongolian 1000km area.

Good wishes,
your MONGOLIAN family

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