Category Archives: Roads

Dust of Kyrgyzstan

When we met our guide, he told us on the first day “Kyrgyzstan is quite a dusty place right now. We didn’t have rain for months” We looked around and yes, the cars in the city were a bit dusty but not that much.

The first day we got out of town and on the dirt roads, we understood. Just look at the picture below. It’s not a big truck or the Land Cruiser creating the dust cloud. It’s just a bike.

It's just incredible, how much dust one single motorbike can create!
It’s just incredible, how much dust one single motorbike can create!

Dust was simply everywhere. On the visor of the helmet, camera lenses, cloths, in the mouth, nose, and by the end of the day all over our faces. There simply isn’t a way avoiding it. God was I glad to have decided to take the Olympus EM-5 with a zoom lens with me and not a system where I would have been forced to swap lenses!

But I also discovered that dust is perfect at hiding grey hair. I mean, I haven’t looked this young in years! And aren’t my eyebrows pretty!

Dust, just ideal to cover grey hair
Dust, just ideal to cover grey hair

When covering the road in a 5 cm thick layer, dust however is hell, specially when driving downhill, much worse than sand as it makes you loose grip very easily. A slight bend with the road, banking to the wrong side can be enough to make you kiss the ground, as I learned on the last day of the trip.

And of course it fills the bike’s air filter, reducing the horse power of the YamahaXT even more (it only has about 40 to start with). I was the first one running into the problem and as the problem only occured around 3000m above sea level we were not sure whether I have a problem with the carburator or the filter. And so we removed the filter completly and I had the honor to lead the pack up the pass. Weeeee!!!! 🙂

This pretty much made clear where the problem was. Every other day, we removed the filter and washed it with gazoline and later Diesel, which was actually the better solution (but takes longer for the filter to dry and then built in again).

Lovely routine - cleaning the air filter
Lovely routine – cleaning the air filter

Biggest advantage of the dust you ask? The clogged nose, when you have to visit a toilet 🙂