Cycling in Kazakhstan.

Pelotome –
around Kazakhstan on a bicycle.

~ Across Asia on a Bicycle, Thomas Gaskell Allen, Jr. & William Lewis Sachtleben (1894).

My Life and Times

by Jerome K. Jerome

From £4,75

May 1892 – Published in 1894.

Across Asia on a Bicycle.

“The journey of two American students from Constantinople to Peking” is a beautifully illustrated book “made up of a series of sketches describing the most interesting part of a bicycle journey around the world,” in which the two young riders set off the day after graduating from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, in June 1890 and, over the next three years, “covered 15,044 miles on the wheel, the longest continuous land journey ever made around the world.”

Cycling through what was then Russian Turkestan, from Tashkent (Uzbekistan) to Shymkent in modern day Kazakhstan, they made their way through Aulie-Ata (now Taraz), to Pishpek (Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan) and Lake Issyk-Kul, before returning to Kazakhstan on “an unbeaten track over the Ala Tau mountains” to Verny (Almaty), where the y continues alongside the Ile river to Turgen, Zharkent, and crossing into China at “the large white Russian fort” at Khorgas, “bristling on the bank of the river of that name, which, by the treaty of 1881, is now the boundary-line of the Celestial empire.”

  • by Thomas Gaskell Allen, Jr. and William Lewis Sachtleben.
  • Published by The Century Co., London.


“Our average rate was about seven miles an hour, although the roads were sometimes so soft with dust or sand as to necessitate the laying of straw for a foundation.

There was scarcely an hour in the day when we were not accompanied by from one to twenty Kirghiz horsemen, galloping behind us with cries of ‘Yakshee !’ (‘Good!’)

They were especially curious to see how we crossed the roadside streams.

Standing on the bank, they would watch intently every move as we stripped and waded through with bicycles and clothing on our shoulders.

Then they would challenge us to a race, and, if the road permitted, we would endeavor to reveal some of the possibilities of the ‘devil’s carts.’”

~ Across Asia on a Bicycle, Thomas Gaskell Allen, Jr. & William Lewis Sachtleben (1894).

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