Leading a group of 15 riders from across the world, GlobeBuster’s Ace to Ace Expedition, from London’s iconic Ace Cafe to the grand opening of the new Ace Cafe in Beijing has now successfully completed the isolated, sometimes inaccessible, high altitude Pamir Highway.
Led by double Guinness World Record holder Kevin Sanders, on a 1200cc Triumph Explorer GlobeBuster Special Edition adventure bike, the group has spent eight days crossing Iran, followed by the ancient Silk Road deep into Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, before joining the Pamir Highway. In preparation for the Pamir Highway, Kevin swapped from TKC 70 to the more aggressive TKC 80 tyres, better suited to the muddy, rutted dirt road pictured above.
The road gets it’s name from the sparsely populated Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan, and includes the Ak-Baital Pass which peaks at 4,655 metres above sea level. This makes it the second highest altitude international highway in the world. However, altitude is not the only problem which faced Kevin and the group – the primarily dirt route is severely damaged in places thanks to a mixture of erosion, earthquakes and avalanches. The TKC 80 is built to cope with the toughest terrain in the world, but one thing it can’t protect you from is that fact that it’s also a volatile part of the world that still suffers from the aftermath of civil war some 20 years ago, as well as being a primary route for drug smuggling from Afghanistan into Russia and Europe.
Pioneering adventure experts GlobeBusters have been alone in bringing riders there for the past six years, using their well-established networks of local contacts and guides to ensure that everyone is taken care of. “It’s got more than its fair share of challenges, but the Pamir Highway & Wakhan Valley has to rank as one of one of the world’s greatest adventure rides” says Sanders. “It reaches almost 5,000m, runs the Tajik-Afghanistan border, and in some places feels nothing more than a goat track”.
“The other year landslides cut off our route out of the valley, meaning back-tracking and detours, so it’s great to have been able to ride it, in its entirety, this time round. The views of the magnificent Hindu Kush are breathtaking and it’s a major highlight of the expedition”
The next stage of GlobeBuster’s journey will see them travel into Kyrgyzstan, before entering northern China and crossing into Tibet, past Mount Everest to Lhasa. They are due to reach Beijing this July, when it will become home to one of a growing number of officially-licensed Ace premises.
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