Monday, December 22, 2008

“Bike 4 a cause 2008”

Traveling from Germany to China by Land - Crossing Mongolia by Bike

BugoyBikers are planning there next trip. Biking through Mongolia for a cause – a Philipino cause. The idea is to bike trough Mongolia and raise money for the Cebu based Bike4U Bike Foundation by selling all the kilometers they are gonna to cycle (estimated 1200 km).

The idea is to travel from Germany to Beijing without flying. Highlights of the trip will be:
• TransSiberian Railway from Moskow, Russia to Irkuzk, Russia
• crossing Mongolia by Bike (around 1200 km).

Mongolia – land of the nomads
This expedition will start in Germany, in the hometown of “BugoyBiker” Jens Funk. Jens will travel all the way to the border of Russia/Mongolia without flying. Using the famous TransSiberianExpress and a ferry will bring him via Luebeck (Germany) – St. Pertersburg (Russia) – Moskow (Russia) to Irkusk (Russia).
In Irkusk (Russia) Jens will get off the train and starts his biking journey. Passing Lake Baikal (deepest Lake of the world) will bring him to the Mongolian border (around 200 km).
Jens will cross whole Mongolia by bike. Estimated travel time will be 3-4 weeks for a stretch of 1200 km. Reaching the Chinese border Jens will continue with the TransSiberian Express to Beijing. Jens will take care of all his expenses during the trip.

Bike 4 a cause
Jens will sell all his kilometers he cycles via the internet. The expected amount of money to be raised for the Cebu based bike foundation will be around 60000PHP.

Estimated Travel Itinerary:

1. Frankfurt (Germany) – Luebeck (Germany) 1 day Train
2. Luebeck - St. Petersburg (Russia) 8 days Ferry
St Petersburg (Russia) – Moskow (Russia) 8 days local train
3. Moskow (Russia) – Irkusk (Russia) 6 days TransSiberianExpress
4. Irkusk (Russia )– Mongolian border 6 days Bicycle
Crossing Mongolia 24 days Bicycle
5. Border (Mongolia/China) – Bejing 8 days TransSiberianExpress

Description of the journey

The challenge of the trip will be crossing Mongolia. Even though there will be no serious mountains to cross (like in my Pakistan-China Expedition) the remoteness of Mongolia will be the challenge. Besides the capital Ulan Bataar, which lies exactly in the middle of Mongolia there will be no mayor towns for food and accommodation. That means both stretches of 600 km (from the Russian/Mongolian border to UlanBataar and from UlanBataar to the Mongolian/Chinese Border) Jens will have to bring all his food, water, spare parts for the bike and all his belongings on his bike and find his way through Mongolia. The roads are in quite bad condition so that it will be a challenge to do all that by bike. Before all that, Jens will travel via the world famous Trans-Siberian Express from Moscow to Irkutsk. This 6-7 day train ride through Siberia is expected to be another highlight on the trip. This stretch he might use for relaxing his legs and get ready for his expedition to cross Mongolia, the land of the nomads .

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


day cycle
where km total km day up total> up day down total down day remarks

1 Nauskhi-Kyatha(Russia) 37 37 480 480 390 390 12 km/h

2 Kyatha-Camp1 104 67 766 286 666 276 16.7 km/h

3 Camp1-Darkhan 190 86 1281 515 1307 641 14.8 km/h

4 Darkhan-Camp2

5 Camp2-Monastary

6 Monastary-Camp3

7 Camp3-Camp4

8 Camp4-Camp5

9 Camp5-Camp6

10 Camp6-Ulan Baatar 721 77 ?? ? ?? -- km/h

7 rest days - organizing chinese visa 71 ?? ? ?? -- 12 sep

11 Ulan Baatar-Terelj 779 58 ?? ? ?? -- Di 9.sep

2 rest days - horse riding 71 ?? ? ?? -- 12 sep

12 Terelj-Camp7 850 71 ?? ? ?? -- 12 sep

13 Camp7-Camp8 944 94 ?? ? ?? -- 13 sep

14 Camp8-Cojr 1024 80 ?? ? ?? -- 14 Sep

15 Cojr-Camp9 1080 56 ?? ? ?? -- 15 Sep

16 Camp9-Camp10 (Govi Ugtaal) 1120 40 ?? ? ?? -- 16 Sep

17 Camp10 (Govi Ugtaal)-Ih Gazaaryn Chuluu 1167 47 ?? ? ?? -- 17 Sep

18 around Ih Gazaaryn Chuluu 1193 26 ?? ? ?? -- 18 Sep

19 Ih Gazaaryn Chuluu (Camp 11) Bayanjargalan (Camp 12) 1258 65 ?? ? ?? -- 19 Sep

20 Bayanjargalan (Camp 12) - Ondorshil (Camp 13) 1333 75 ?? ? ?? -- 20 Sep

21 Ondorshil (Camp 13) - Camp14 1395 62 ?? ? ?? -- 21 Sep

22 Camp14 - Camp15 1446 51 ?? ? ?? -- 22 Sep

23 Camp15 - Sainshand 1511 65 ?? ? ?? -- 23 Sep

2 rest days ?? ? ?? -- 24/25 Sep

24 Sainshand-Camp16 1533 22 ?? ? ?? -- 26 Sep

26 Camp16-Canp17 1600 67 ?? ? ?? -- 27 Sep

27 Camp17-Canp18 1644 44 ?? ? ?? -- 28 Sep

28 Camp18-Canp19 1704 60 ?? ? ?? -- 29 Sep

29 Camp19-Zamyn Uud 1779 74 ?? ? ?? -- 30 Sep

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Zamyn Uud - Beijing

1 - 5 Oct
Zamyn Uud - Beijing
We were packing our bikes, when a Mongolian approached us with beer. We told him, that we don't drink in the morning coz we want to cycle to China. He started laughing and told us the border is closed for 3 days because of Chinese Holiday. ...and he was right. So, we had a 9am beer with this guy and the rest of the day we tried to figure out, how and when we would be able to cross the border.
Finally we could hop on to a train the following day ( a tourist train going to Beijing. But we were only allowed to ride to Erlian, the chinese border town. The ride is only 10 km but wegot stuck in the train for 7hours. That is how long the procedure takes the chines to adjust the train gauge width and to proceed the documents. We reached Erlina, China at 1 am in the morning, had something to eat and checked into a hotel. The next day we took a mini van to Beijing.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Going South

26 Sep
Getting lost Sainshand - Camp 16
We started early, withdrew some money and refilled our stockes and pumped air in the tires at a petrol station (useless as we will find out shortly after) .... we were cycling around sainshand for about 10km to find the main road ... then we thought we found it and continued cycling ... after another 5 km the road got narrower but it was still a road ...we saw an abandoned house and decided to have our stop there ... once we reached the house we realized our tires were full of small thorns ...out of a plant which grows in the sand...after our soup we checked our tires .... all flat ... so we started repairing and exchanching tires ... back on the road we couyld harldy cycle coz of the thorns ... if we pushed our bikes they could not get deep inside .... after another few km suddenly the road stopped ... we continued in a dried river bed ....but the deep sand made it almost impossible to get forward... at around 6pm we decided to camp beside the river bed ...exhaused from the day and still seeing Sainshand from far doesn't make us happy ... we only made 9 km line of site today ... luckily we were checking ourt the surroundings and found the "high way" the worst thing of this day was we didnt brought enough water and supplies coz we expected to be in the next small village before the evening .... so always bring your food ...

27 Sep
Camp 16 - Orgon - Camp17
We woke up and pushed our bikes to the road was an easy cycling on good road ... at km 54 we reached Orgon and stopped at a supermarket. there is no restaurant here so the ppl in the supermarket gave us cooked water and we had our cofe and soup and some chocolate bars ... we continued cycling... brought out of the city by some kids who wanted to join us a bit. we cycled for another 10 km ... and 1 car passed us ...the first of today. Best cycling is between 4 and 6 because of the great sunlight ....
We also realize it is getting colder ...the wind , when it blows is really cold and it is time to leave mongolia ...the winter is approaching
Road conditions rolling and good roads

28 Sep
Camp 17 - Erdene - Camp18
we started at 9 ...and planned to be in Erdene around noon time restock our food and have something to eat .... and then continue further to Zamyn Uud .... The road was ok easy cycling was guaranteed .... we passed a camel herd and besides that again nothing ... then the last 12 km we had to change a bit the direction and realized the wind ...who was turning into headwind now ... we had to climb a bit and with the wind we made around 6 kms per hour ... so the stretch to Erdene got longer and longer ...finally we reached Erdene and it was like reaching a gost town ...the wind and the sand where blowing and nobody on the streets ... it looked scarry and unreal. Finally we found a supermarket and had an ice and some cold drinks .... after checking aroudn we found a restaurant and the made us really nicxe food ... neat filled pancakes ...GREAT ... we were so full and tired and realized it was already 4.30. We decided to continue a bit more knowing, till Zamyn Udd there will be no place to refill stocks. We bought water and soup and chcololate bars ....but beer beer to find ...we checked out all supermarkets but no beer ...strange coz the 25 was ove r... the i askd a woman: Where can we buy shan airag (beer) and she waived with her key and opened her supermarket .... so fullty stocked we cycled out of town and camped inbetween some nice small stone formations. We pitched our tent and started to have some cloud nine, haribo, mars bars , beer and mandarines which I got from a passing car and bonfire ...great life :)
Road conditions rolling and good but rough roads

29 Sep
Camp 18 - Camp 19
We started in the morning and enjoyd the nice and easy cycling for 19 km. There we reached the "main road" going to Zamyn Uud. After a break at a ger and climbing up a small hill ...we had to pass a valley ...the dust valley. The road was so sandy and there are some chinese trucks passing by ...and everytime a truck passeds have to cover yourself for at least 2 min not eat all the dust. After we climed the 2nd hill was around 4-5 km rolling .... we decided to camp inbetween some hills to avoid to be seen by the road. There we had the biggest and nicest bonfire of the trip ... I guess I carried another 10km of fire wood :)
Road conditions rolling and good but rough roads

30 Sep
Camp 19 - Zamyn Uud
The 1st 20 km went fast and smooth .... we stopped at a ger and had a soup cofe and a water melon ...we continued and passed a camel herd ...then we saw it Zanyn Uud. We had a last breajk and started cycling the last 25 km .... The 1st 15 out of that 25 km were easy cycling and I started recall the whole 5 weeks in that awesome cycling country ... I never cycled in such a great "outdoor country".The last 10 km to Zamyn Uud ... we had serious sand ...that means we had to push the bikes once in a while ... Once we reached Zamyn Uud ...we cycled the last 3 km to the bortder on paved road ...what a feeling .... then we reached the border ...the guy told us it is closed now (even though he still let trucks in) and he explained us we could not cross by bike ... so we went back and check in into an hotel .... dreaming of beeing in China tomorrow ...but this was a dream ....

Road conditions 40 km rolling then more down then up last 10 km deep sand

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sainshand (Mongolia)

24 Sep
Chill out day We are so tired from biking, that we decided to have 2 rest days here. Today we didn't do anything except eating, drinking and Internet ...and of course washing our cloth.

25 Sep
Important day The 25 in Mongolia is a important day. You should always keep that day in mind while travelling here. Today we went to the kharmaryn khiid monastery. This was the nicest monastery we have visited here. No tourists, really familiar and in a perfect setting in the desert. We rented a cap anhd had a great driver who showed us around. Once back, we ordered some food and beer BUT today is the day .... the 25 of every month there is no beer available in whole Mongolia. - good to know :)

Road conditions to the monastery. It is around 50 km south of Sainshand. All flat, rough road, mostly wash board ... with very nice scenery. There is also a hotel at the monastery to stay overnight.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Gobi Desert - Part IV

(21. Sep.-23 Sep)
160 km nothing
After we woke up, we had a coffee and offered one to a old lady who was passing by our tents while collecting horse shit (hard job - ask me) for making fire. We cycled back to Ondorshil to the supermarket and bought food and water. We knew the next 160km till Sainshand there was nothing to expect except of nature, steppe , sun and sky ... but no supermarket food or what so ever.

We both loaded 11 liters of water besides the coke, juices, chocolate bars, soups and candies.
The bikes weight now more thyan 70 kg .... but it feels good to know you are prepared for such a trip. We left Ondorshil and I still could not believe that we will not see a town, saupermarjet or just a place to get some food for the next 3 days.
The 1st 20km went smooth and easy. You often have that while cycling, 10 km are passing by like nothing anmd the next 10 km you seem to need hours. We had our stop after 20km and had some soup and coffee. The next 20km also went fast but the wind became a bit stronger. We found shelter at a wooden hut - most probably the only one onm the way.

The next 10 km felt like cycling on a home trainer. Same scenery ... sandy and wash board road and wind from the side. We felt like not moving ... on the other side it was still amazing to see the landscape beeing the same for such a long time. The next 10 km the sun came out and the landscape changed. I felt like cycling in an african steppe with all the bushes. We stopped at around 60km and hided behind our bikes from the strong wind.
We pitched our tents - which was not easy with the wind - and made some food.

22. Sept.
Hardcoreis the only way to describe the 2nd day. We had serious wind the whole night and when we woke up the wind was still freezing cold. We had our breakfast and started cycling again. We had our 1st stop after 10km. Deep sand and wash board rad made it hard to get into the rythmj. After 5km we had our next break. Same conditions and we got tired from cycling. We both knew we need a break from cycling but we wanted to make it to Sainshand.
After that break I hit myself with the pedal on my leg ... not the best cycling day. After 7km we stopped again ... waiting for a miracle to happen.

The shy ger
After km 30 the road got better. We continued cycling, passing by camel herds and the sun started to shine again. After 50km we decided to stop at a ger (the only one on the way).
The owners seemed to be very shy and didnt offered us anything ... so far.
We prepared our food and listened to the weeping camels. With all the wood we collected on our way we started a bonfire and suddenly the owners appeared and gave us some butter milk candies. Those were by far the most horrible onces I ever tasted :( ... for my philippino crowd ....don't worry I will bring some of them home ... and once you tasted them you know what i am talking about :)

23. Sep.
...and if you think it can not be worse ... be prepared. Hardcore 2was waiting for us. We woke up it was still cold. We had our coffee and realized Erika had a flat. After repairing it we started cycling. Seep sand and wash board road would be the conditions for today and we got more and more tired. The only thing that kept us going was the knowledge of Sainshand ...where a shower, food and cold drinks would wait for us. We saw Sainshand 15km before we reached it ...but this was most probably the longest 15 km I ever cycled. Finally we made it, had some serious food and found a nice hotel. I don't know if the showers are open again but I am sure after we finished our shower they had sto seriously clean it for the next days.
In the lobby we met a spanish guy, Diego who is cycling with his friend since 6 month ...thgey are so tiored they hired a taxi in Ulan Baatar who is carrying their luggage whiler they are cycling without.
They hearded about us on the street. Kids where telling them in Cojr that there are 2 cyclist passed by a few days ago.
So we

Road conditions
The 160km from Ondorshil to Sainshand is quite hard. A lot off sand and wash board roadsa make the cycling a serious ride. The fact that there is no shelter or anything to rest or get shade doesn't make it easier. At least it is not very hilly :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gobi Desert - Part III

19. Sep.The highlight regarding scenery was waiting fro us today. We started after our breakfast and had to fight with serous road conditions ... deep sand, wash board road and sun ... .
Even if the Gobi was an open steppe the last days .... it was even more open today. Not one mountain or hill could be seen on the horizon and we just saw sky sky sky and nothing else.
It seems like i am repeating myself ... but that is how it was .... It is hard to describe if you see nothing the whole day but sky and steppe and you feel you are part of it. I have never experienced that and I am just overwhelmed.
After 65 km we reached Bayanjargalan. We stopped again at a supermarket and bought what we need for the next day. Then we looked for a restaurant ... but there was none.
We found somebody who cooked for us some mutton dumplings ... after that we went out of town and pitched our tent.

20. Sep.
Rush hour
We started in the morning our way to Ondorshil. It seems this morning we started to early and came into the rush hour. We saw 2 trucks and a motor bike in the 1st 1 1/2h ... quite busy in the desert.
After passing by a workers ger camp where we had a stop , we continued on smooth road and were happy to almost have cycled 40km at around 1 pm.

Dog bite
We saw a ger and decided to stop. The dog welcomed us nicely .... like most of the dogs here ... was waving with his tail ... and an old couple came out of the ger. We asked if we could have some shelter from the sun and sit eside their ger to have a break. They were smiling and agreed. So I parked my bike and made some steps towards the ger .... it seems that the dog of the house saw it as an attack ... coz 2 sec later we was already at my ancle ... luckily the old lady reacted fast and got him and kept him away from me.
But one tooth found its way into my flesh ....
It seems like the old couple felt gilty, coz after that incident they offered us a lot of freshly made yoghurt.

Where the f... is Ondorshil From here we started cycling again on a serious road. Deep sand and washboard ... made our trip a hell o of an easy cycling day. We just wanted to reach Ondorshil ...but after every hill ...we saw the next one coming ... but its wasn't OndorsHIL
We were totally done for the day and finally saw a motor bike ... the guy told us 5 more km to go ... and it seems it was the longest 5 km in my live.
Finally we reached Ondorshil, bought again food in the supermarket and looked for a place to pitch our tent.
It was already dark when we pitched our tent ... totally done for today.

Road conditions
The way from Ih Gazaryn Chuluu to Bayanjargalan is quite hard. Expect the rough road to be like a wash board ... and if not than it is deep sand. The 1st 35km are more up than down ... than more down than up.
From Bayanjargalan to Ondorshil
1st 40km are easy cycling ... than deep sand and wash board till the end.