Day 106 – Through Anzob (Anzab) Tunnel on a bicycle (English Summary)

Distance / 距離: 80km
Time / 時間: 07:30 – 22:00
Ascent / 上り: 1465m
Descent / 下り: 1165m
Distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 3920kmEnglish Summary: Somebody shoot me. I seem to have this reflex action that atracts me to dangerous places. Or perhaps I am not alone in this. If you had the choice between a 3300m snowy pass, or a 5km unlit, half completed, flooded, under construction tunnel under the Tajikistan mountains, which would you choose? I chose the Anzob tunnel, and it was awesome. Take a look at the pics below (video coming soon). Absolute madness. I had to sign a disclaimer at the entrance that waived the construction company of any responsibility should I be injured due to rock fall. And get this. This Anzab Tunnel was officially opened by the President of Tajikistan a month ago. Freaking madness I tell you. At one point I was cycling through knee deep water. You should have seen the expressions on the faces of the workers as I came out the other end of the tunnel. If you are in the area, you have to do it. Just don’t forget your helmet (think of it as caving).



Road approaching Anzob Tunnel,  Tajikistan



Is this tunnel really open? Anzob Tunnel, Tajikistan




The 'open' Anzob Tunnel, Tajikistan




The 'open' Anzob Tunnel, Tajikistan


The 'open' Anzob Tunnel, Tajikistan




The regular plethora of cameras in my face - near the Anzob Tunnel, Tajikistan







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23 thoughts on “Day 106 – Through Anzob (Anzab) Tunnel on a bicycle (English Summary)

  • Uncle Peter

    There seem to be mud guards on your bike. There should be too much water flicked up onto your clothes. Do your lights mount onto your helmet? or attach on to the frame of the bike? You should be able to knock out 5 km a lot quicker than going over a 3300 metre pass. It all seems perfectly reasonable to me.

  • Achim

    Hi Rob, tunnel-rides?! I did kind of this in Shikoku, narrow one way tunnels, not 5km long, but HINO-Trucks were chasing me and trying to run me over. Creepy atmosphere in crazy tunnels whith roaring diesels.

    If you go to Schwalbe in Germany, its the Ralf Bohle Company in Reichshof, about 20km near Cologne, so its on your way. Lets have a drink in Cologne after a visit of the famous dome. Stay warm, fit and healthy.

    Ciao Achim

    PS: Did the Baku Bicycle Club in Azerbaijan contact you? Have fun.

  • carl w.

    This tunnel is finished? Holy Ding Dong I'd hate to see a job they call half done. Surprised they never asked you to get a pick-axe and give them a hand.

  • Mum

    seems to me that you've had plenty of high passes already and no tunnels so not a crazy choice at all. I presume that even though the tunnel is opened it is not actually used yet?

  • Rich


    You're awesome. Love your choices;) My longest tunnel was a bit over a kilometer long in Kashmir, India (Jawarhar tunnel, if I remember the name correctly). Keep up the good spirits and have fun;)

    From a fellow cyclist now resting in a backpacker's paradise of Thamel in Kathmandu;)

    PS: Finally, I can read your blog. I had some problems, on & off, accessing your website from China. No idea if it was local firewall, the 'Great Firewall of China" or just computers I was using. BTW, I cycled the Saga – Kathmandu stretch with Nicolai, Danish cyclist you met in Osh. Isn't funny;)))???

  • okaasan


    nande nihongo no houni naino?

    naniha tomoare, buji ni

    tonneru tuuka omedetou!

    tanoshisou ne.

    ikanimo adobenchaa tte kanji.

    Rob no sentaku ha seikai datta ne.

  • Chris J

    Rob, I remember that you had an inflatable boat in your room in Beppu. I bet that came in really handy in that tunnel. You, ah, did remember to pack that boat into your gear right…? Afterall, you never know when you might run into another half-finished, half-flooded tunnel in the mountains of central Asia… 😉

  • Ailsa

    Hi Rob, just caught up on all your news, sitting in the library using the computer and getting looks from people everytime i end up laughing out loud. Glad your well and keeping going, also how i will never again complain about cycling in london:)!

  • Aunty Les

    Well, I guess it's a change to go under a mountain rather than over it! I presume that's what the tunnel is for. Only, you don't get such stunning photos this way.

  • Aunty Les

    I've just looked at the photo gallery. That river is a very beautifil colour. I notice there were some trees around, for a change, as well. Interesting notice – I presume before you enter the tunnel? That notice surely warns you that all is not well ahead!

  • matt

    hey rob,

    when your riding your recucumbant bike through knee deep water, it must me a huge challenge considering your knees are the same height as your neck…

    you should get a snorkle for your bike man!

  • malcolm

    Dude. quit while yo're ahead…… you might hurt yourself. also – my sister thinks it might be dangerous – you cycling alone through that part of the world. so if there are any "dangers" – well I guess she told you so. the dudes in your photos look yemeni. I guess you're getting to people with arabian influence. I'm in my last week of work now – then I retire.

  • Murdo

    Hey man,

    Absolutely priceless! Keep it up man, we are loving your adventures and just think, if you ever do publish your book you already have at least 50 customers!!!! One thing I am impressed with is your ability not only to get your thoughts down as well as you do in English, but to manage to update the Japanese page so well too. Just sitting on my arse doing nothing and it is still tricky writing the old nihongo man. Full credit to you mate!

  • Rob Thomson Post author

    Achim, was the Baku Bicycle Club your doing also? Yes they indeed did contact me, and one of the memebers is helping out by receiving some winter gear I am having sent from Japan.

  • Achim

    That's right, my networking experiment:-)

    Good to hear that those guys of the Baku Bicycle Club over there in Azerbaijan are helping you. I bet they will be excited to seeing you and hearing all of your stories.

    Stay warm, fit and healthy.


  • Rob Thomson Post author

    Mum, that's the amazing thing! The tunnel is being used on a very regular basis. When I was going through, at least 15 cars went through.

  • Rob Thomson Post author

    Matt, all my cycling at high altitudes in the last month or so has increased my lung capacity to the point that I hardly had to come up for air at all…