Photographer: Ekaterina Kurova
Translator: Ekaterina Kurova
Irina Yakunina biked 300 km through Khakassia. During four days our reporter has seen an ancient fortress Sahatin and Oshkol rock art site, she has descended into Archeology cave, visited the house of gold industry entrepreneur Ivanitsky and seen a natural-historic monument – mountain rage Sunduki.
“This is a risk to take at least once in a lifetime. It’s much cooler to travel by bike than, for instance, by car. It feels like you are a nomad riding through the steppe. Of course, I had to put the pedal to the metal when going up the hills, but going down compensated my efforts by the speed, wind and drive. Throughout the way I was accompanied by dense spicy aroma of absinthe wormwood that is so distinctive for steppes. Predatory birds were slowly hovering in the air in search for ground squirrels that were whisking here and there. Sometimes I saw a herd of horses or a flock of sheep.
A first cycle travelling might seem to be not that easy, that’s why before a multi-day expedition it’s better to practice as much as possible. In our trip we had two accompanying vehicles that carried most of the load. It was a great perk for the beginners – they could rest and recuperate in a car for half a day. Beginners get tired easily. Head wind is also very power-consuming.
We didn’t have strict time limit, but we always tried to set our camp during daylight hours. On average we covered about 70-80 km per day.
In a word, cycling is not only romantic and physically rewarding; it also gives you an acute perception of your surroundings. Aerobic training makes you fit and persistent, while a good team keeps you in the right mood. That is why in the steppe I felt as free as ever”.