A fantastic ride over the 'roof of the world' (Bam-i-Duna) as the Pamir is called by the locals.
Deep valleys, wide plains, fascinating mountains, something of the best you can cycle.
Best is june-september. Warm during daytime and not too cold at night.
Shopping facilities in Khorog (good), Murghab (limited) and Sary Tash (limited). Otherwise very little!
There are homestays in many little places (in private houses or yurts) organised by ACTED like Bulunkul, Alichur, Murghab, Karakul (about 5$ for accommodation, 5$ for 3 meals). Deserves to be supported! Camping always possible.
The Pamir Highway itself is mostly paved. Only just over the passes there are some unpaved parts. All side trips are very rough roads (sand, washboard). The climbs are usually long and steep only for the very last part. The most difficult part of the Pamir Highway is getting there at all... (see below)
Comming from Dushanbe there are two possible roads that lead to Kalaikhum:
1.) Khaburabot pass (3252m):
The first 20km after Dushanbe are a very good road. The next 140km to the foot of the pass there is only little pavement and it is a demanding up and down. The climb to the pass is at first rough but get better. The downhill on the other side to Kalaikhum is good (paved from 2000m).
2.) via Kulyab: (not cycled myself)
The road from Dushanbe to Kulyab is supposed to be quite good. From there you follow the Paynj river to Kalaikhum. This part is currently under construction.
Kalaikhum to Khorog
Here you will follow the Paynj river. Mostly paved and quite ok road. Note: the are still landmines along this route!
Plenty of possibilities to make side trips. The road on all these side trips is always very rough.
Road from Jelondy with loaded touring bike not cycable (steep, loose surface)
Bulunkul and Yashil Kul
22km from the turn off. Nice approach through canyon. OK road, 2 beautiful lakes, homestay in Bulunkul
Khargush pass (4344m)
23km from the turn off. Very bad road. Halfway there is a beautiful salt lake (Chokur Kul). Atop great views of the Wakhan range (Kosh-e Pamir 6320m).
Whakan valley (not cycled myself)
325km Khorog - Pamir Highway. From Khorog to Ishkashim over Khargush pass (see obove). Said to be rewarding (views into the Hindukush).
Shor Kul, Rang Kul
23km from turn off. Two nice lakes and views of Mustagh Ata (7546m) in China. Road halfway ok, halfway washboard. But mosquito plague!
Sary Moghul, Achik Tash, BC Pik Lenin (not cycled myself)
Side trip from Sary Tash. About 30km to Sary Moghul, another 30km to the BC. Good views of Pik Lenin.