Kyrgyzstan: Two Week Countdown to World-First MTB Adventure.

August 28, 2015 in Tours by cipcipTrip

On 7 September 2016, an expedition team of mountain bike (MTB) riders begins its world-first attempt to cross Kyrgyzstan’s Talas mountains, led by adventure travel company Secret Compass.

Amateur MTB fan Tracey Croke will become the first woman to cross the Talas mountains on two wheels. She said, “Secret Compass expeditions need their own term – I call it ‘explorism’. They allow normal people like me to make history on my annual leave!”

The Talas mountains are part of Central Asia’s Tien Shan range and are found in a very wild and isolated region, almost cut off from the rest of Kyrgyzstan.

“We might find the occasional dirt road and there’ll be challenging river crossings,” said Secret Compass expedition leader Patrick Barrow. “Some sections will be steep and technical, with animal-carved single-track to enjoy. There’ll also be panoramic views of 4,500m peaks all around.”

Highlights of the Kyrgyzstan MTB expedition

· First MTB team to attempt a Talas mountains traverse
· Rugged, snow-capped scenery with challenging 3,500m passes
· Meet shepherds in scattered settlements en route
· Truly exploratory riding with few established trails and no MTB infrastructure
· 7 -19 Sept 2015, £2,499pp inclusive (except international flights)

Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass, said, “As an expedition company our ethos is to push the boundaries of exploration in rafts, on foot and on mountain bikes. We were the first to organise mountain biking in Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor and sought a new team challenge for 2015.”

Barrow added, “This MTB expedition will suit all-mountain riders who aren’t afraid to push themselves, sleep under the stars and pitch in around camp. I’m blown away by the route’s wildness; it’s going to be an epic world-first. Any locals we meet will think we’re crazy!”

“Despite comprehensive planning the team will meet challenges along the way. Our expeditions aren’t tours; they’re dynamic and often change on the ground. Although we’re a company, this is what allows our commercial trips to offer real adventure and the unknown,” said Bodkin.

Former expedition teammate, Mark Soares, said, “The potential for discovery and adventure on Secret Compass expeditions is hard to fathom…as if from some epic in literature. If I hadn’t experienced it with my own eyes, I might not have believed it.”

With its military background, expedition company Secret Compass is renowned for offering expeditions and adventure travel to countries eschewed by most operators due to their remoteness, post-conflict reputations or inaccessibility.

In 2015 – 2016 Secret Compass expedition and adventure travel destinations include Afghanistan, Armenia, Burma, Ethiopia, Iran, Israel, Kurdistan, Madagascar, Panama, Siberia and Sinai. Activities include mixed-terrain trekking, pack-rafting, minimalist desert traverses and mountain-bike and horseback riding.

The Talas Traverse MTB expedition is open to anyone with a good level of fitness and riding ability, keen to explore a remote and wild region in the company of like-minded individuals. Applications close end August 2016. To apply, visit