Cycling 12,000 miles from Lisbon to Shanghai
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  • Miles cycled: 1,025
  • Feet climbed: 28,376
  • Cycling days: 24
  • Non-cycling days: 12

Rating (1-10) and comments:

  • Road – condition: 5
    (Generally, main roads were good but we hit a lot of wet weather and virtually all roads seem to attract filth and mud. Smaller roads and roads in towns are often abysmal, little more than dirt tracks with massive potholes, which combined with the wet weather we had, made them almost unrideable at times.)
  • Road – shoulders and cycle lanes: 7
    (Some of the main roads had really good stretches with decent paved shoulders and there was often at least hard packed dirt shoulders)
  • Road signage: 6
    (Pretty poor particularly in towns and cities. It was often hard work to navigate out again.)
  • Drivers: 7
    (Back to the land of friendly beeps from drivers as they go pass)
  • Campsites – Availability: 0
  • Campsites – Facilities/Value: n/a
    (Didn’t find any campsites)
  • Hotels: 9
    (Excellent value for money. Some were very basic but at least clean. Renting apartments recommended in Kiev but don’t go through FlatLux.)
  • Shops: 8
    (Always little mini markets found in even the smallest towns)
  • Food: 9
    (Lots of great soups and stews. Very cheap.)
  • People: 9
    (Folk everywhere were super friendly and helpful despite the language barrier. Anytime that we stopped to look at the map, someone would come up to ask if we needed help.)
  • Cost: 9
  • Scenery: 7
    (Autumnal colours were lovely. Other times of the year, maybe not… lots of agricultural country)
  • Cultural interest: 6

Overall: 7.5

General tips:

  • October is great, lovely autumnal colours. November, for us anyway, was wet, cold and miserable.
  • Rent an apartment in Kiev – hotels are stupidly expensive. Just don’t go through FlatLux agency.
  • The mini road atlas from the WOG service stations was excellent but don’t rely 100% on there being hotels where indicated on the map. It was generally correct, but we were caught out a couple of times.
  • Kiev was a good place to sort out Kazakh and Uzbek visas. Kazakh visa was done overnight and Uzbek visa was done on the spot (we had LOIs).