It took four days longer than planned, but I’m happy to say that the #BikepackingArmenia fundraising ride is complete – and what a ride!
Over 17 days of pedalling, we covered nearly 800km of dirt and gravel trails with over 16,000m of climbing as we traversed the portion of the Lesser Caucasus mountains that dominate the Republic of Armenia. This was, by a good stretch, the toughest ride I’ve ever tackled, for reasons I’ll doubtless explore in a forthcoming blog post. For now, however, I’m going to enjoy the post-expedition bliss of not having to go anywhere, not having to make any decisions, having a fridge, having a washing machine, having a coffee maker… you know the kind of thing!
I’d like to issue a huge thank-you to the 58 supporters who have, at the time of writing, donated a whopping $3,459 to the charity fundraising campaign attached to this ride. It’s still shy of the $10,000 we’re aiming to raise by the end of this year, but there’s plenty of time to make a donation to see the Transcaucasian Trail across Armenia fully waymarked by the end of next year. For the details of what we’re raising money for, and how your donation will make a difference, click here to visit the campaign page.
Several readers have asked if the route details will be made available. The short answer is yes – my plan has always been to publish an extensive write-up of this, the Armenian stage of a future Transcaucasian Trail bikepacking route to mirror the thru-hike. As with the hiking trail, I plan to expand it in the future to cover Georgia and Azerbaijan, as far as time and resources allow. These things take time! (If you’re too impatient to wait, check out the Bikepacking.com route across Armenia, which overlaps with ours in several places.)
Finally, an idea has been brewing among the team which – if it comes off – will be welcome news for anyone who wants to ride this challenging but spectacular route in 2020 and would like some company along the way. Stay tuned for more on that… but for now, over and out!