July 06, 2021

Get Your "Mad Max" on in Russia's "Silk Way" Rally


Get Your "Mad Max" on in Russia's "Silk Way" Rally
A buggy that will travel the 2021 "Silk Way" Rally | Screenshot from Izvestiya's video reporting

A trip for rugged vehicles of many types and stripes, Russia’s “Silk Way” Rally began on July 1 in Omsk.

The course, inaugurated in 2009 as an initiative between the presidents of Russia, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan, provides daredevil drivers the opportunity to push their limits across wild geography and inhospitable regions. Participants take cars, trucks, motorcycles, and Special Service Vehicles. In Izvestiya's reporting from this year’s start, one truck looks like it would even be fit to take its operators to the dump...

The race lasts ten days and spans approximately 3.5 thousand kilometers (approximately 2,175 miles). The cars cross a variety of terrains through Siberia into Mongolia along the Great Silk Road  once traversed by merchant caravans. These include mountains, forests, and fields. One of the toughest passes for the 2021 season is through the desert. The territory here is nearly all plains, which complicates navigation – somewhat like a journey at sea.

Driver Pavel Lebedev explained that participants generally travel off-road at 80/90 kilometers (50/55 miles) per hour, which comprises most of the route. “It is quite difficult both physically, because the temperature in the car can be up to 50-60 degrees [Celsius; about 120-140 Fahrenheit], especially when it is as hot as it is now in Omsk, and similarly it is difficult psychologically.”

Lebedev’s estimate may be somewhat of an exaggeration, as it has been estimated that the human body can only survive in such temperatures with “the help of a pool of water and a powerful fan,” but it testifies to the extremes of the racecourse.

But don’t let hairy descriptions of the “Silk Way” rally discourage you. If you have the ambition, sign up. This year’s participants come from nearly 40 countries to test their mettle on some of Russia’s most brutal landscapes.

 

You Might Also Like

The Little Classic That Could
  • April 01, 2021

The Little Classic That Could

The Fighting Classic Club (Боевая классика) is an informal group of teens who love old Zhigulis. They purchase the aged (often non-functioning) cars for kopeks, restore them, souping them up in their lilliputian garages, and then improvise nighttime races and rallies through city streets, in shopping complex parking lots, or on frozen lakes just outside the city.
Tips for Russian Train Travel
  • July 30, 2019

Tips for Russian Train Travel

There may be no better way to understand Russia than spending a few days chugging across the country by train. Here are our tips for how to make the most of it.
A Race With a Heart (of a Dog)
  • March 18, 2019

A Race With a Heart (of a Dog)

Every year, people from all over the world convene in a small snowy town in northern Russia for the friendliest and fluffiest of sports events – started by an Orthodox nun in a wheelchair who had an idea... and a dog.
Russia Goes Running
  • June 04, 2021

Russia Goes Running

Russia hosted the world's largest synchronized footrace at the end of May.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

The Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955