Mongolia: Marc Michel

Mongolia – Endurance Test for People and Equipment

As preparation for a long and unsupported trip to the wilderness, we travelled with our heavily loaded bikes in the western part of Mongolia, a place with wide empty landscapes, some rough mountains and bumpy gravel roads. As we knew that we would need to carry a lot of food and equipment on our future unsupported trip in the wilderness, we decided to carry much more weight through Mongolia than necessary. This was an excellent fitness preparation for us and an endurance test for our equipment, like the new front carrier Grand Expedition Front.

We used satellite images to plan and create our route back home on the laptop. Initially, we were hoping to find valleys without any car tracks, but soon we realized that most of the valleys that looked passable had some kind of tracks going through them. Nevertheless, we were confident that our planned route would avoid most of the traffic and good roads. We came across many different kinds of road qualities. Sometimes, the tracks were steep so that we had to push our bikes uphill together. Sometimes, we could cycle fast on smooth dry mud tracks. On other occasions, the tracks were very rocky so that we had to push the bikes downhill. We had to cross several rivers and one time, we even had to push the bike through a rocky riverbed. Besides these demanding roads, we also cycled on the paved main roads to enter towns.

We had some extremely beautiful experiences in Mongolia. One morning, we woke up as we heard some noise. We opened the tent and we saw a singing man riding his horse far away. On his arm: an eagle! He must have been one of the very few eagle hunters that still exist in Mongolia. It was such a beautiful mixture of his voice in the general silence of the area and the light morning breeze. This was a very real and genuine experience for us.

During our three weeks in Mongolia, we got confident that we are strong enough for our upcoming trip to the wilderness. But our bikes suffered a bit in this rough terrain. One day, Marc realized that his front carrier was moving a bit more than it should. When we checked his fork, we were shocked: The whole thread was ripped out of his fork. Fortunately, Marc was carrying a mounting set for forks without eyelets. Together, we placed the mounting set in the right position and like that we created again a thread to attach the front carrier. With this repair, we could continue our journey. This emergency fix worked flawlessly for several weeks until we found a place where a
professional could weld in the broken out thread again. The front carrier could withstand the abuse. Therefore we can only recommend the front carrier Grand Expedition Front if you are looking for a strong and durable front rack. Moreover, it can be very helpful to carry the mounting set for forks without eyelets with you if you are travelling in a remote and demanding environment.