Cycling Through The Gobi

by Dheiu Mading

Hi my name is Dheiu Mading,

My friend and I are riding bicycles around the world!

We want to visit Mongolia in late April early May and we were wondering if you could impart some wisdom to us!

We will be riding from Beijing to South Mongolia, we plan to camp and cycle! Is this feasible?

We have winter gear and all the relevant equipment! All we need to know from you is the availability of food from the isolated places etc.......

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Advice For Gobi Cyclists
by: Andy

Hello Dheiu,

You have to be dedicated to do what you're doing - not many real adventurers left.

You don't say if you will be crossing the border into Mongolia or staying inside the Chinese border in Inner Mongolia (which is sometimes called South Mongolia).

First of all, if you’re crossing the Mongolia-China border you must be in a vehicle - and a bicycle doesn't count.

When you cross the border food and other supplies are available. But you'll want to make sure you are cycling in the right direction - or you may not get to the next small town in time to restock.

Cyclists on this route generally follow the train line.

I would love to hear how you get on - if you return to my contact page you could upload a short account of your trip and even a couple of photos. Every story that we publish generates a donation to a Mongolian children's charity.

Best of luck!

by: Dheiu

Hi Andy,

Thanks for your reply highly appreciated that!

Well, my friend (Daniel) and I (Dheiu) will be crossing the border from China to Mongolia (from Erlian to Zamyn-Uud) then from there we will cycle towards the capital of Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar)!

We would like you to give us some more advice: How far will we have to ride from Zamyn-Uud to the next little town where we can restock and so forth until we reach the capital!

We will be arriving mid April to Zamyn-Uud. Then we'll spend 3 weeks in Mongolia being HEROES, that's if all goes to plan.................

Also if we follow the train line, are there little towns located along the train line???

Also what is the road like from Zamyn-Uud to Ulaanbaatar and along the train line???

Is there special equipment or extra preparation that we will need!

NB we have really good bikes (Surly and a Salsa Fargo), and Ortlieb panniers, and water purification systems, and good quality tents and cooking equipment!!!!!

WE dont want to end up in a situation where there is no food or water and I'm forced to eat my friend................ HA HA HA HA!

Thanks very much in advance! We just finished cycling through India from Chennai to Mumbai, did some 2200km and had a really good time!!! We are looking forwards to Mongolia and we will definitely write an article and post it to you to put on your website with Photos and the works..........

Your sincerely,
Dheiu Mading

Local Laws
by: Andy

Hello Dheiu,

Good to hear that you are still en route!

Here are some answers to your questions, extra tips, and a couple of reminders…

- Remember, you must cross the border inside a vehicle, and not just on one :)

- At this time of the year you may get hit by sandstorms. Make sure your equipment is well protected from sand and grit – it get’s everywhere! A face mask may be useful at times for the same reason.

-You will not come across many rivers or lakes, so buy as much water as you think you’ll need to reach your next supply point.

-There are no bicycle repair shops in the Gobi – bring whatever spare parts you need

-Eating your friend is illegal under Mongolian law ;)

-The most dangerous part of your journey will definitely be in UB – Genghis Khan’s DNA reasserts itself when a Mongolian gets behind a wheel.

-Don’t leave your bike unattended. In some places property rules run along the lines of "finders keepers, losers weepers"

As for distances between cities and the state of the road check out

Don’t rely on the road they mention being available! Click here to read more about Mongolian roads.

You can also use this link to discover the distance between Mongolian cities.

I think that covers your questions.

I look forward to hearing of your success!

All the best,

by: Dheiu

Hi Andy,

It's Dheiu here, we made it to Ulaanbaatar, we cycled only 310km of the Gobi from Zamiin Uud past Sainshand and then we hitchhiked the rest of the way due to time constraints...

Anyways if you’re free over the next couple of days we would like to have a beer or two with you and thank you for the info you gave us, it surely saved our skins!!!

Kind regards,


A Celebratory Beer
by: Andy

And so we met…

Gobi Cyclists

Dhieu and Daniel had a lot of great stories to tell, including how they found the remains of a cow and rearranged it to look like a human skeleton; tried to follow the custom of just entering a ger without knocking, only to disturb a man and wife at a sensitive moment (the man chased them later… to offer them the customary hospitality); and how one stern faced tough guy stared at Daniel and then reached for his throat (or so Daniel thought) only to stroke his beard in wonder.

They are now safely on their way towards various Stans and Iran.

Good luck guys!


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