So I got really inspired to adventure earlier in the year, and signed up for the Mongolia Bike Challenge on relative impulse after thinking about vast and beautiful landscapes, scant population, deep historic significance.
Then... the racer package document arrived in my email, and I actually took a detailed read. Now I didn't expect a walk in the park, but now I have the fear of Ghengis in me to train up over the next month or so. Let me post some interesting summaries from the book:
Page 1: A long and challenging race, ..., but more than anything, it will be a very strenuous physical trial and a test of psychological endurance which will try every racer.
Distance (km) Climbing (m) Max time
Stage 1 126 2,900 10
Stage 2 126 2,240 10
Stage 3 148 2,000 10
Stage 4 175 2,540 14
Stage 5 45 1,000 4
Stage 6 167 1,730 12
Stage 7 86 1,486 7
Those numbers make my whole body hurt - already. The book also says about stage 3 "the stage finishes with a tough 28 kilometers climb to the finish line", which I'm sure I'll be feeling everywhere in my body as I hop in the saddle for the monumental stage 4.
The "what to bring" section has a notable section on weather. "Rain or snow of minor or major intensity is also possible [at the time of year of the race]", and the gear required is: winter cap, winter gloves, warm socks, winter base layer, rain jackets, rain pants, winter bibs, rain shoe covers, back pack, 8 bottles marked with your number, survival kit, sleeping mat and a -10C sleeping bag.
Like, the yurts don't have heat??
A great, impulsive, adventurous idea has eventually has met the reality that appears it will deliver quite a trial and adventure.