Tired of highways
The last two days we were basically driving on busy roads or on the highway’s emergency lane. This was fast, but not really that exciting and not the reason why I went to Iran on a trekking tour. Today, we decided to go through the back country instead. On Google maps, the road towards north was not connected, so we consulted the satellite view and saw that there are some tracks. It was around 35 km that were unknown if they were actually suitable for our bikes. But we took our chances in order to not having to drive on the highway again.
Driving on a dirt road
The first 20 km went perfect as there was a paved road until the end of a valley with almost no traffic. This is also where the street officially ends on Google Maps. After that, there was first a quite good non-paved road, which then turned into a steep climbing dirt track which was really challenging to ascend with my bike that weighs around 150 kg. I was glad that I had a good transmission thanks to my Pinion gearbox. The ascent in total since the beginning was around 600m.
The surprise then came on top of the pass: there was deep mud. I tried to ride through it, but got stuck immediately and the whole mudguard was immediately filled with mud and the wheels refused to rotate. As a consequence I had to remove my wheels and scratch out the dirt by hand. After that, I have been more careful where I was driving, but still, it happened to me twice again because the rain from the past few days softened the dirt road a lot.
Beautiful and remote high plateau
After the 35 km we then continued on a better non-paved road for about 15 km, which then converted into a nice paved road with almost no traffic. This part of the trip was really wonderful, first because we had quite strong tailwind, and second because the high plateau on 2400m was just stunning and very remote. Especially in the first 20 km, there was no sign of civilization.
Arriving in Aspas
The steep ascent from the morning however cost a lot of energy. The last 20 km to Aspas got tougher and tougher, even though we were still accompanied by the gentle tail wind. When we arrived in the village, we first went to a small bistro to get a cold coke. And there we also met our hosts for tonight. They invited us to dinner, and with us the whole family. We were around 20 people sitting on the floor and eating. It was an awesome atmosphere and another brilliant example of Iranian hospitality.
Max elevation: 2396 m
Min elevation: 1840 m
Total climbing: 884 m
Total descent: -641 m
Total time: 08:27:43