The Back of Beyond was first put into print by Sir Walter Scott and is also what the Never-never region of desert in Australia is called. Mongolia is certainly the Back of Beyond with more than half of its population living in Ulaanbataar the capital. Outside UB as it is known, is populated by the occasional village with multi coloured roofs, nomadic camps and above all livestock, sheep, cattle horses and dogs.
Selenge river
Selenge river

 

Extreme Bike Tours run out of UB to the sparsely populated Northwest region. After leaving the city and turning off the road we rarely see the bitumen again. This is a tour in the wilds, following tracks, crossing rivers often riding through meadows of wild flowers or forests of silver birch and pine heading towards Lake Khövsgöl in the north a huge blue lake of fresh water surrounded by mountains.

While predominantly Aussies with a few Americans and Brits thrown in for good measure, both our tours this year test everyones ability to handle the mighty Royal Enfield off road with only one knobbly on the back. We carry everything with us, in four support vehicles, including the formidable Forgon a Russian military vehicle carrying spares, tents, the golden throne (toilet),and food. Stocking up on the way on fresh meat from the nomads and copious amounts of beer and vodka to consume around the fire under the vast night sky.

This year we lost a couple of bikes to the river where the depth proved too much horses rather than iron horses may have faired better. Craig sustained an injury on the first tour from a collision in the sand, his best mate running him over only to crack his own ribs later. The weather on the second outing forcing a last minute rerouting. All in a month’s work in Mongolia!!

Wash away your hangover with a river crossing or brave the water like the Americans and go for a swim in the beautifully clean rivers. The locals are very protective of their water sources but obviously not that protective!

We are lucky enough to have a photographer on both tours. Julian came with us for the first time and Ian , on the second tour, a serial offender. We have many of Ian’s photos already on our website. I think you will agree that they have both captured the country brilliantly.

George if Carlsburg did prizes then you would have one for dropping the bike the most, amazingly sometimes you were not even on it but hats off you did bounce back every time.

A country with no fences and only natural boundaries all the way through means you can ride where you like. Often the grass is your friend but sometimes that doesn’t help either stick to the path right John!! The sand well that’s a different story check out the picture of one of our Sri Lanka crew dug in waiting for a push!

The Mongolian crew hard as nails wrestling and arm wrestling in their spare time. Rescuing bikes through the night and Jenya our leader reading the nomadic tracks in the hope that we run the same tour every year.

Two great groups of people up for the challenge make this a year to remember and we look forward to doing in all again next year.

Ben (Team Extreme)

For more info on upcoming tours click here: Mongolia Motorcycle Tours

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