OK, on with the story. We'd been in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, for a couple of days getting some bikes lined up. It's a pretty small city but the streets are pretty congested with cars which makes me wonder why more people don't ride bikes around the city. Our friends live in the building beside the big tower.
We load the bikes and get ready to depart the city. It ends up our buddy could't join us because his passport was at the Chinese embassy to get a visa. As it turns out, him not coming would be a good thing although we missed his company.
We rode out of the city on tarmac for about 100km. There is very little tarmac in Mongolia.
Soon we were on to dirt routes which was the type of riding we would do for the majority of the route.
We were getting our first taste of the Steppe.
We took a quick break and the first local pulls up to check us out. He speaks no english. Nobody does. We note that his bike is made by the same company as ours, Shineray. We think this is a good sign although his bike is completely beat.
We start to see wheat fields along the way.
The roads are more just routes that people have driven on enough to wear in a two track.
It was now late in the day and we decided to find a place to camp. This is easy because you can camp anywhere you want. The land outside of the cities and villages is not owned by anyone throughout Mongolia as we understand it.
We start laying out our stuff.
Not a bad campsite but nothing outrageous. Just a comfortable place to enjoy the Steppe.
A couple of Mongols passing by on a Chinese bike.
About this time the mosquitos start getting out of hand.
I have to "eat crow" and admit that having a tent along ain't too bad! Some minimalist I am. I crawl in, lie down and sip a little Vodka while looking at the sky through the tent screen. Pretty damn good!!!