Cycling in Iran – Crossing the Desert from Mashad to Yazd – Information for Cyclists and Route Profile

IMG_3730_stitchHaving read on the Travelling Two’s website about their journey across the desert to get from Yazd to Mashad we decided to do the same but in the opposite direction.

As we cycled, we decided to collect route information and have made the following two guides for any cyclists who wish to attempt this journey. It’s 950km long and takes about 10-12 days. It’s a real adventure but is easily possible with a bit of planning and information:>

Cycling from Turkmenistan to Iran – Crossing the border from Mary to Mashad. Full route information

Here’s another guide you can download and print out. If there are mistakes or anyone knows where the alternative road from Haus Hans to Saraghs starts (or if it’s any good) please let us know.

Cycling from Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan – Bukhara to Turkmenabat. All Route Information

Cycling in Uzbekistan – Route Information - Samarkhand to Bukhara (275 km)

Here is a complete guide for cycling from Samarkand to Bukhara, it is formatted for easy printing and can be downloaded from Scribd for your own use if you want it electronically. It has distances, camping, food and directions for the whole 275 km.

The route is quite straightforward and drops from 710m to 350m in the first 90km, then remains pretty flat for the rest of the ride. It never feels very difficult and while the road surface isn’t always great, it is generally pretty good. Every time it gets bad it seems as though it gets resurfaced.

We managed to ride from Samarkhand to Bukhara in 2 days, averaging about 22km/hr but we did have a gentle wind pushing us along. If the wind is in the wrong direction there is no escape.

Camping is easy once you realise that the Uzbeks are super friendly but will generally leave you alone. Drunk O’clock is about 2.30 as lots of people driving across the country have a bottle of vodka with their lunch. The roads are so wide and empty that this is no issue although groups of men in cars sometimes get a bit frisky.

The nicest time is around 1-2 hrs before sunset when all the families are sitting outside their houses along the road and this would also be a good time to ask if you could camp on a families land. We slept in fields with shepherds or just by the road in the trees with no problems.