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A JOURNEY BEYOND – Istanbul to Teheran by Marc Maurer

A JOURNEY BEYOND – Istanbul to Teheran by Marc Maurer

The word ‘epic’ is often overused, but when it comes from our friend Marc Maurer, who last year rode from Cologne to the Black Sea and decided rather than to fly home, he’d just turn around and ride back…we had to pay attention.

A JOURNEY BEYOND is Marc’s journey fully justified as ‘epic’ he left mid of May 2015 headed for Istanbul, Turkey, and the Caucasus mountains. His journey was a total of 4000km, passing through culturally rich regions of Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and finally Iran. Along the way, he visited many stunning locations across the Caucasus, keep your eyes on this channel for future photos and video clips.

Marc was traveling alone for the most part but occasionally met up with friends for certain stretches of the journey. His daily companion was our prototype ‘Beyond’, a bike built and designed to be capable of virtually any adventure you have in mind. On-road or off it, the Beyond uses a geometry that ensures a stable and solid feeling no matter how loaded the bike is.

A JOURNEY BEYOND – Istanbul to Teheran by Marc Maurer


After leaving Cappadocia and passing the Black Sea coast Marc and his “Beyond” bike now entered Georgia. He just cycled to Ushguli, the highest permanently inhabited place in Europe (2100m), crossed the Zagar pass (2623m, 7°) and could only manage about 30-40km a day (even including downhill) due to real bad tracks, heavy rain, snow, landslides and lots of river crossings.

A JOURNEY BEYOND – Istanbul to Teheran by Marc Maurer


With a maximum of 44°C, the semi-desert region on the border of Georgia and Azerbaijan stretched me to the limit. It wasn’t only because of the exhausting weather, I also took the wrong road and ended up in a military zone. A passing-by patrol asked me to leave the area since I had no permission to pass through. Unfortunately, I was already far too deep in this area to turn back, so I decided to hide for a while and then proceeded on this route. I ended up with 2,5 l of water for 1,5 days, continued riding and managed to cover 60km of the dusty road without ANY water.

A JOURNEY BEYOND – Istanbul to Teheran by Marc Maurer


Armenia is a blast with its beautiful nature and nasty mountains! The Armenian is unbelievable friendly, curious and interested people… waving, shouting, hooting all day long – it is just brilliant! So one day I made a quick stop to refill my water bottles. At the stop, there were these mean-looking soldiers refilling the water tanks of their trucks. After some chit-chat, they warmed up and we drank beer together (they even challenged me to drink a beer in one go) and we had a great time together, with lots of joking around – all at eleven o’clock in the morning, right before a mountain climb towards the Iranian border.

A JOURNEY BEYOND – Istanbul to Teheran by Marc Maurer

Iran, what a country! The weeks cycling in this incredible country showed how such a false impression the media can give. In Iran, EVERBODY was waving along the way and wanted to shake your hand and take a picture with you. They just generally want to welcome you to the country. Random people invite you to stay at their house and to be their guests – almost every day, and on most days, several times!


Read the whole story at Bombtrack Bicycle Co.

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