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

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.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
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.  
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.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
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.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.

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