Day in a life of a solo cyclist: Telavi to Tbilisi


I will be sharing about my journey from Telavi to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.

Day 268 – Telavi to Tbilisi: Off to Tbilisi, capital of Georgia

Tuesday 14 August 2018, 99km (62 miles)

My route from Telavi to Tbilisi

Today, I cycled from Telavi to Tbilisi.

I started my day bright and early after a good breakfast. I like to start my day early to beat the heat and traffic. I packed my belongings into my panniers, loaded up my bike and left Aijime Hostel at 7am.

From Telavi, I rode through the Gombori Pass which, according to Maps. Me (a mobile application that provides offline maps) is a 24km climb to the 974 meters high pass, and then another 75km downhill ride to Tbilisi. It was a hard and long ride for me but I was relieved when the weatherman announced that it wouldn’t be raining today.

My fully loaded bike in front of Aijime Hostel in Telavi.

The gradual climb started right after the town and gradually got steeper as I approached Gombori Pass. The weatherman was not accurate – it drizzled a little bit but it didn’t deter me from cycling on. I actually cycle better when the weather is cooler.

My route took me through lots of beautiful forests. My only complaint was that the road was narrow and had a little shoulder for cyclists. I had to be mindful of vehicles coming from behind, so having a rear mirror really helped.

The lush and shady forest made cycling enjoyable but a tough climb of over 900 meters was waiting for me ahead!

As the ride was tough, I took many rest stops. Three kilometres before reaching the pass, I stopped for lunch and rested for an hour to allow the food to be digested.

My lunch – Ostri (spicy beef stew, a popular dish in Georgia) with puri (bread).
A steep incline before reaching the top of Gombori Pass.

One of the challenges I experienced on this ride was being chased by big and wild dogs. I had to get off my bicycle and scare them away by raising my voice. Upon reaching the top of the pass, I met another dog. But this dog was tame and belonged to one of the locals.

After successfully reaching the top of the pass, I prepared myself for the downhill ride from there into Tbilisi. It was a pleasant ride, but my bicycle brakes weren’t in their best condition (I already had plans to replace them in Tbilisi) so I had to be very careful.

The last 15km entering Tbilisi was all downhill and I finally arrived at Kingdom Saba Guesthouse at 7pm. The whole journey took me 12 hours, with half a day spent struggling to get up the pass. I was happy I made it. It was a really great ride!

I entered Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia before sunset.

I spent a week in Tbilisi exploring the town and experiencing the local culture and food.

Every time I am off the road, I will charge my electronic devices, backup my photos, do my laundry, clean and fix my bicycle. I will also update my journal, communicate with my family and plan for my next ride. My week in Tbilisi saw me doing the same thing.

I replaced the brakes of my bicycle in preparation for the road ahead.
During a free 3-hour walking tour around Tbilisi, our guide showed us the churchkhlea, a national Georgian candy.
Bird’s eye view of Tbilisi.

A bike tourer’s lifestyle is not a bed of roses, but for those who love adventure, this kind of tour is a dream come true. For me, I have an added incentive. I’m also cycling for a cause – to raise funds for World Vision Malaysia’s Education Fund that seeks to address barriers to education and improve the quality of education for impoverished children. Your generosity and support towards my cause will greatly encourage me as I ride on.

I sincerely hope you will consider donating to the cause at my personal fundraising page today:

Boosting Literacy with Reading Clubs

“My friends and I hope to have more good reading materials because we want to improve our reading. In the future, I want to be a teacher to help others.” (Sreynoch, 14) 
Children listening attentively to Pooja, a reading club facilitator, as she reads to them during story time. The children will draw or write about something they have learned from the reading club.

World Vision seeks to improve children’s literacy through the formation of reading clubs. These clubs give children access to books and encourage learning through fun games and interactive sessions.

About The Author







Peter Yoong, a cycling enthusiast currently on a two-year solo cycling tour around the world. As part of his trip, he will be raising funds to give vulnerable children access to education through World Vision Malaysia’s Education Fund.

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