What an undertaking to ride 3000 km through mountain passes, deserts, different countries and many, many ethnic groups all on bicycle. What a wide range of gear was necessary: cold weather gear for high in the mountains, desert gear for weather so hot that tires wouldn’t patch properly if they punctured. Brady started the trip with a couple of Brits, one turned 58 on the trip, but only stayed with them for three weeks. He preferred go solo. The trip was not so much a cycling excursion but a “cultural odyssey.” I love his description of the food he ate and how he would order from menus he couldn’t read. “I was counting on a strong immune system to get me through the dubious food and water I ate and drank.” There was always the possibility of experiencing bouts of diarrhea in places with less than modern toilet facilities. One amusing description was of the author using a squat toilet on a moon lit night but the way it was constructed once you were inside it was pitch black. The silk road was also the road that the world’s religions traveled. “Buddhist monks travelled through the Indus Valley over the border into China. The eventual clash between the Buddhist faith and Islam, introduced by the Mongols, led to the desecration of Buddhist artwork.”
Trail is well researched and a fantastic travel story. Well worth the read.