In short it has been cold. So cold that most of us have regularly worn two Icebreakers, BMW rubberised undergarment as well as these BMW jackets & trou we all have, each with their gortex liners. Every now and then it will fine up and we have to strip back but that has been the standard set of clothing.
And at night in some of the hotels we have frequented (you get what you pay for and we pay very little) we opt for our Faırydown sleeping bags rather than the standard issue sheet and a blanket. Heating and hot water are not overly common in many of these hotels so its a bit like camping under a roof.
The roads have by far and away so far been sealed. But as we opt for minor roads where we can they are also very rough – it is quite rare not to have the sides of the tarseal eroded and crumbled away which makes for fun riding when you meet 4 wheeled vehicles hugging the entre. Bikes have to ride the rough – ALWAYS. I’ve ridden much worse roads in India and the Andes though and we expect roading to deteriorate once we leave Iran.
Speed – we tend to ride at about 80-100km because we are rubber-knecking a lot of the time taking in the sights. This can frustrate the locals who often make a point of passing us with minimal space to spare. But in the main the drivers are very good and once you adapt to their way of doing things biking is quite safe.
This group is probably the best I’ve ridden with because each rides within their own level of competence and to be a month into a tour without any involuntary dismounts is a feat I’ve never seen a group do before. It is a tribute to their skill and maturity as riders that this has been accomplished. Also I suspect the sheer length of the road ahead makes each of us pretty wary of making a mistake.