27 September 2016 | By Marieke |
Pierre is just back from his journey through Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan with his MTB and KIT L80 bike trailer.
“Praise to the iron horse.
It dealt brilliantly with the road and made the journey all the more enjoyable. Minor servicing was enough to keep the beast going.
I saw several people who had problems, broken steel frame and broken paniers. Also, the unpaved sections were a lot smoother on my ride, especially downhills. It didn’t look enjoyable riding without suspensions. And I was much faster in rough terrains. I had a peace of mind knowing that my rig would deal with the bumps and holes and that my powerful disc brakes would not dangerously fade during long descents, as I saw riders with calipers brake struggling to slow down during long heavy braking sections.
I didn’t see anyone else with a bike trailer, and the other tourers were quite interested in my setup.
I would not change for a regular touring bike with panniers for this kind of journey.
Those who did not have problems had relatively new and expensive touring bike (they can be really expensive).”
I have now reached Khorog, the biggest town in the Pamir. I have followed the valley of the Panj river for a few hundred km. On my right side was Afghanistan and what was merely more than a footpath along the river as the asphalted road I used was on the Tajik side. What a contrast. Afghan villages are beautiful and the landscape is breathtaking. There are natural springs which are a blessing, finding fresh cold water now fulfills me with joy.
I have slowed down a bit, actually no, I just ride less km per day. I don’t want to arrive tired when the climbing and altitude will get serious.
I see a lot of local people, grown ups, just waiting, sitting on their heels at the roadside, seemingly waiting for time to pass. There are a lot of children, stopping you with “hello” and “bye bye” without distinction, and recently they wanted high five, even when you are suffering like a beast in an ever so steep climb, or flying downhill. No distinction.
However, from around age 7 I would say, the kids run the business in the smallest villages. They are in charge of the food stalls, dealing with foreigners, laundry, collecting wood, shepherds, you name it. Of course adults also work, but I see a lot of child labor. It does not look terrible, and they still play, but they kind of help a lot. From what I can see of the Afghan side, there are also lots of kids, but those I see are usually bathing in the river. I saw a few times what were probably big schools for the children of the area. The Afghan wear traditional clothes. Sometimes it feels like you could touch the other side.
There is a Saturday market here in Khorog, in a no man’s land managed by customs of both countries where locals from both side can come and exchange stuff. Quite interesting. The Afghans I saw were very kind and open-minded.”
Read about Pierre’s adventures on his blog : click here.
Aevon bike trailers do not just carry your stuff around, they also help to create contact anywhere !