Art teacher Sarah Poynter has just returned to her home in Marple after taking a bike-assisted adventure across Mongolia.
Sarah, 25, sustained a broken rib in a fall on the second day, braved sandstorms, got stuck in desert clay bogs and almost drowned when a flooded river swamped her Jeep. She risked capture by hordes of Mongolian bandits who would have killed her for her clothes and bike and she narrowly avoided being stung by a deadly scorpion lurking in her tent. But Sarah says that she wouldn’t have missed the trip for the world.
“I think the final straw in the desert was when I found a deadly scorpion in my tent and I just wanted to come home. But it was the trip of a lifetime and I am glad I went,” she said.
She took on the worst the inhospitable Gobi desert had to throw at her and came out smiling as she crossed the Hangayn Nuruu mountains with a group of Italian extreme cyclists.
“To be honest, they had four Land Rovers and a cappuccino machine so I didn’t think they were that extreme. I enjoyed the coffee anyway,” she said.
The Italian team got their comeuppance when they lost a vehicle in the torrents of a flooded river.
Sarah, in her last term at the Royal College of Art, in London had to undertake the epic journey alone in July after her travel companion pulled out at the last minute. She bravely decided to go it alone.
Her worst moment came on Day Two of her odyssey when she fell and cracked a rib: “The pain was indescribable. I was going to meet the Red Cross in Mongolia so I knew I would be fine once I found them. That made almost drowning in a Jeep when it got swamped by a river a doddle. It took 15 men eight hours to get it out.”
Sarah was backed by Marin, who supplied the Palisades Trail bike that she rode. Marin’s product manager Andy Jeffries said, “Sarah has given us a useful insight into how the bikes perform in extreme conditions. Aside from a few broken spokes the bike took it all in its stride. I’m just glad she got back safe and the scorpions didn’t get her!”
Sarah raised several hundred pounds in sponsorship to hand over to the Red Cross to continue their work in the desolate region. And she became so attached to her bike she bought it from Marin the moment she set foot back in Manchester. The trick with buying used bikes is knowing where they’ve been…