Wednesday, July 31, 2013

2013 Mongol Derby: Participants have Arrived in Ulaanbaatar

July 31 2013

Participants for the 2013 1000-km Mongol Derby have arrived in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and will begin their race training August 1-3. The race begins August 4th across the Mongolian Steppe, and will last approximately 10 days.

USA Rider Devan Horn has posted updates from Ulaanbaatar:

July 31:
Mongol Day 2: Naran Tul and Bus Rides!

My second and last free day in the capitol started with a trip to Naran Tul, the local black market. This market is so large, it regularly hosts 60k people and sells everything you could possibly imagine. I spent hours there, occasionally meeting up with a couple of riders, and promptly getting lost in the rows of stalls. In the afternoon, I amused myself with more walking of the city, and riding the different busses. Bus fair is about 10 cents American, and a great way to learn and meet people. This evening, about ten of us met for drinks at the Ramada’s bar. The first day of Derby Training starts tomorrow! I find Ulaan Bator fascinating and exciting…but I am more than ready to start riding!!!

July 30
Day 1: The flight and the capitol!

My flight from Houston to Beijing was awesome, mostly because I got 3 seats in a row empty, so I shamelessly slept the whole way. I got held up in the Beijing Airport because I had to wait for the ticketing office to open, and then because security wanted to check my entire derby kit piece by piece (I assume to make sure I didn’t forget anything!). I could write a novel about Ulaanbator. Think 80’s industrial city, surrounded by a slum where every other house is actually a felt tent! Horses, cows, dogs, and birds weave through traffic and people even in the city’s heart. The dogs are smart-they look both ways before crossing the street and know that I am soft hearted/carrying beef jerky. I don’t think there are any traffic laws here at all. I hiked for about 4 hours today exploring the city and people watching. The food pretty much sucks-I’m going to have to stop sharing my jerky with the feral dogs!

July 28
Well, I'm sitting in the Houston Airport, about to say goodbye to US soil for the 3rd time this year. My parents and Scott drove me to the airport and turned me loose. I raised a little hell trying to get packed today-may or may not have committing a 3rd degree felony. I guess its a good thing I'm going to Mongolia! Great way to start my trip! I'm so freaking excited!!!

For updates on the Mongol Derby, see

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