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The Silk Road Cargo Race with Allan Shaw

Aboard a cargo bike, Allan Shaw crossed the finish line of the Silk Road Mountain Race - becoming the first person to attempt and complete such a feat after 12 days, 14 hours, and 30 minutes on the saddle. 

With the Karoo 2 as his guide, Allan and his trusted titanium stead conquered Kyrgyzstan’s challenging mountain passes and insane hike-a-bike sections - covering 1,899 kilometers with 30,000 meters of climbing.

His emotional finish attested to the incredible effort he put in to complete this awe-inspiring challenge:

“In the end, it was one of the harder days of the race. Aside from my injuries, I had multiple rain storms pass over me, the trail slowly climbed up an endless valley for some 60 kilometers before reaching the final pass, Kok Ayrik, a 16-kilometer trail into the mountains strewn with landslides. It was almost entirely unrideable, and it was a huge effort to make it up. I knew I was moving at a snail’s pace, but I also knew I was going to make it at this point. The burning fire of determination in my gut kept me putting one foot in front of the other.”

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“As I neared the top, I spotted the media team car waiting to capture the moment, and I was hit with the realization that I had done it. I had made it. I had succeeded in the mission I’d obsessed over for years. I was overcome with a huge wave of emotions at the summit, and frankly, I cried like a baby. I was so happy, so relieved, and oh so tired.”

Find the rest of Allan’s heartfelt written reflection on the experience and a gallery of analog and digital photos from Nils Laenger at Bikepacking.com.

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