It’s largely because of the last four years of work on the Transcaucasian Trail in Armenia that the route we’re riding has been made possible.
As with so many things, this project began accidentally, starting with a yes/no Facebook poll and quickly snowballing into a full-blown expedition.
But it seems to me that this is a problem that has been solved many times before. Through this short and sweet expedition (which I have, for the convenience of Instagram and Facebook users, christened doing is declaring my intentions.
I intend to pro-actively broaden the Transcaucasian Trail vision to accommodate the growing popularity of bikepacking and mountain-biking through the brand we’ve built – while at the same time recognising the differing needs and perspectives of the two-wheeled trail user.
As a starting point, while we’ll be attempting to stick as closely as we can to the route of the proposed hiking trail, we’ll be diverting onto more bike-friendly routes where necessary (much credit to Logan at for scouting many of these re-routes and incorporating them into the site’s own trans-Armenia route).
If all goes well, what we’ll end up with is a bikepacking variant of the Transcaucasian Trail route across Armenia – a route we can then refine, develop, expand into Georgia and Azerbaijan, and publish as the ‘official’ mountain-biking counterpart to the long-distance Transcaucasian Trail hiking route.
Once the international hiking community has established the Caucasus as the next big thing (again, this is already happening), other industries will line up to diversify the region’s offer.
Mountain biking will naturally be one of the first.
In 72 hours’ time, I’ll be doing something I’ve never done before: embarking on a charity fundraising cycle challenge.
Yes, I’ll be riding for a cause, raising money by means of a bike trip – in spite of much previously published cynicism. To bikepack the length of Armenia, off-road, by a new and (mostly) untested route. The Transcaucasian Trail, of course – an ambitious and largely voluntary trail-building effort, of which I am one of the original founders.