Cycling in Mongolia means cycling out in the Steppe, with nothing man-made to see for much of the day, just mountains, forests, rivers and the wide wide open plains.
The ground was never level other than one morning as we approached a small town where we cycled on a road for a couple of hours. Otherwise we tackled grass, grit tracks, forest floors, a marsh and the regular washboard ground surface. By the end of the first day everything except my hair hurt! The inside of my arms hurt the most from being rattled around and holding onto the bike. This is normal apparently, but I had no idea they would hurt more than my bum!!!
Towards the end of the second day I skidded on gravel and came off the bike, hurting my hip but thankfully was able to keep going. Several others fell off at various times, the worst being Phil who hit a hole in the ground in the first hour, tumbled over his handlebars and knocked himself out. It was a bit scary as he had hurt his shoulder and cut his arms and legs, along with some concussion. He was carted off to hospital, told nothing was broken, and the next day he was back on the bike having taken some pain killers. He was a total trooper.