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.
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.
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.
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

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.
Okudzhava Bilingual

Okudzhava Bilingual

Poems, songs and autobiographical sketches by Bulat Okudzhava, the king of the Russian bards. 
Turgenev Bilingual

Turgenev Bilingual

A sampling of Ivan Turgenev's masterful short stories, plays, novellas and novels. Bilingual, with English and accented Russian texts running side by side on adjoining pages.
Chekhov Bilingual

Chekhov Bilingual

Some of Chekhov's most beloved stories, with English and accented Russian on facing pages throughout. 
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
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. 
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
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.  

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.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955