Follow along for Douglas’s world-record attempt to ride a single speed bicycle around the world!
*STAGE III: CENTRAL ASIA!*
Guinness World Record, self-supported, single-speed circumnavigation
Total Distance: 13,234 km (Stage III, 2,886 km)
Total Cycling Days: 77 days (Stage III, 17 days)
Longest Day: 241 km (Stage III: Kazakhstan)
Daily Average: 172km per day
Total % Complete: 46%
Total Elevation: 53,564m
Total MSF Donations: US$3,340
Hottest Day: 25°C/78°F
Coldest Day: 4°C/39F°
Rain Days: 3
Number of flats: 1
Number of lost/broken parts: 1 rack, 1 water bottle, 1 power bank, 1 action camera
Number of falls: 0!
Biggest Natural Challenge: wind
Biggest Logistical Challenge: water
Longest cycling day: 15:51:21
Number of days over 200km: 6
Number of nights camping: 6
Strangest food: horse meat!
Number of eggs eaten: 68
Best part of Kazakhstan: the people, the food, and nature
Favorite Food: pierogies Manti
Most beautiful: the blue skies and the Eurasian steppe
While STAGE III: CENTRAL ASIA was the shortest, and only included one country (Kazakhstan), it was the most pleasurable. Nothing in particular stands out in comparison to the previous two Stages. It was just the perfect combination of cool Fall weather, little elevation, and long empty roads. Except for the wind and a stretch of bumpy road this was the easiest and most peaceful ride yet. There were challenges of course, including, finding food and water over such long, empty distances. The wind, like in the Nullarbor, Australia was also brutal at times. Otherwise, the food was healthy and delicious, the weather perfect for cycling, landscape spectacular, and the people genuinely kind (once they had warmed to you!). There is a sweetness to the people of Kazakhstan that genuinely touched my heart.
As mentioned previous, the wind was the most challenging part of this Stage. These wide, open flatlands allow the wind to roll across the terrain, gaining speed, and hitting you with 30kp/h gusts! It also doesn’t help that I’m going east to west in this world record attempt. Nevertheless I was able to break 200km per day six times, including, my longest single-day ride (241km).
Securing enough water during the large empty stretches was also a challenge—until I realized that I could ask truckers on the side of the road if they would share some water with me. They gladly did and it reinforced my idea that the open roads are for two kindred spirits: truckers and bikers.
Lastly, I travel light so the cold at night was a little bit of an issue but nothing I couldn’t handle. But I could only imagine what cycling in the winter would be like here! Everything else was great and I couldn’t be happier with how this Stage went.
Now, I will move on from this shortest Stage to the longest Stage of this world record attempt: Africa. My ride will take me across 2/3rd of the continent (Northeast-Southwest) from Nairobi, Kenya to Cape Town, South Africa. Please continue to follow me on Instagram or Facebook (www.linktr.ee/charitybicycle) and consider a donations to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (https://events.doctorswithoutborders.org/…/charitybicycle).
Special thanks to all the people who stopped me on the side of the road to give me food and water.