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Cycling in Almaty, Kazakhstan

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Cycling in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Old 02-03-08, 09:21 AM
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Cycling in Almaty, Kazakhstan

I have accepted a position in Almaty, Kazakhstan and was curious what the cycling scene is like there. I know Kaz. has a ton of riders in the pro peloton and is apparently a cycling mad country even with the Vino and Kash doping scandals.

Are there regular rides and races for amateurs?

Should i bring a bike or can i buy one there? I have found that several big manufacturers have distributors in Almaty (Giant, Kona, a few others). I would prefer to by one there.

What is the best type of riding/racing to do there? I have raced road and cyclocross for the past few years. I have heard road riding there is pretty dangerous with crappy roads and sketchy drivers. I have no problem giving up road riding but really want to be able to race or ride cross for fun. Is there a cross scene in Almaty? What about mountain biking? I have heard the trails around Almaty are epic. Riding up into the Tian Shan mountains seems like it would be fun. Are there any races around there. I really want to race at least one type because racing is generally the one thing that gets me really motivated to train and is just a blast.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-03-08, 12:26 PM
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I can't tell you about conditions now, but 10 years ago I never saw a bike in Almaty itself in three trips out there, for about a week apiece. It's scorching hot in summer, and bitter cold in winter and the drivers were pretty mad. But they've had a decade of oil money since I was there, so maybe they fixed some of the potholes.
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