Through Russia - from Siberia to Black sea
Hi to all
My name is Paul Wild, i'm from Russia (Siberia), 24 years old. Now i work and live in Holland.
In 2011 i made a long trip: Siberia - Abkhazia - Ukraine - Siberia.
13000 km, 34 days, only me, my bike and the Road.
I just finished the translation to english, but i'm not really good in it.
May be it will be interesting for someone, may be even useful.
“Since New Year I knew that this summer I'm going far away by myself.”
Those are the first words of the trip report from Novosibirsk to Black Sea written by an outrageous girl named Nastya. I've read it at least 15 times even before when I didn't ride motorcycle. I don't know why, but my head got messed up: I knew what I wanted and how to get it. For two years I've been saving up for my first scoot, and look: I'm an owner of gorgeous Yamaha XV400 Virago. I drove my first season without a license, got to 8000 km. Next season I got serious, when it was opening I already had my license. Took my first long trip to Black Sea. (log: http://wodmc.org/articles/217-s-novo...rnoe-more.html). This season ended at about 25 000 km. By that time, I realized what kind of vehicle I really want. I've been looking for my Super-Magna for almost a year. Throughout Russia: Petersburg, Nahodka, Vladivostok... in the end found it in the garage 1.5 mile away from my home. Sold Virago and purchased Super Magna V45.
This is a legendary motorcycle, that has been produced for only 2 years. Mine is from 1988. The heart of the motorcycle is the derated sport engine V4. At the time of purchase mileage was near 65 thousand. I was not confused by that or the age. Love is blind. To be honest, I've read all of the Sinus's trip reports, so he is partly guilty for my warm feelings towards that motorcycle.
Winter examination of the engine showed, that it never had been examined before ever. Throughout the winter I spend so much time repairing a gas-circulating system, that now I can define every one of the 16 valves by their sound. My little personal touch to this gorgeous bike – additional lighting by 2 55 Wt headlights. Alas, as much as they illuminate oncoming lane, roadside and the stars above... they do not illuminate the road. Also I managed to do a power source for a player, fuel filter and a lighter. Before the start I had bald Dunlop tires, fresh 150 cylinder at the back, 7100 oil.
Me and Magna are contemporaries. I also was born in 1988, though I don't have any mileage over Japan. I love all kinds of extreme, adventures, night, music and everything new.
And, of course, the ladies. All inclusive would be the best.
As I live my life I tend to follow a few rules: combined from Gena Shatov's and myself.
2. The one who's lonely is brave.
3. The one who's a chicken – dies.
5. If you have a doubt about something, then do it.
6. Lose all what is excessive.
That's about it.
I really much enjoy swimming, which's been determining my routes for the past couple of years. I chose The Black Sea just 'cause it was pretty cheap and nice. Because of my work difficulties, a long trip was up in the air. All in all, I had the choice of three: go to Vladivostok and earn a lot of money, Go through a polar circle and earn a lot of money. Or a single trip all the way South, where I could SPEND a lot of money. That was an easy choice.
As always, a nice nap before a trip is a fantasy. Three hours, and off you go.
At least the weather was nice. Sun was shining and driving was nice.
Although, during the first 200 km I had some problems. For the beginning, a bearing got loose. I didn't know whether it was from the hub or the steering. You can't go on a long trip like that... on the other hand, if I'd get back in Novosibirsk to repair it, it's a mystery when I will get back on the road. Decided to go 80 kmh and keep a safe distance from cars, because a steering wheel acted all shaky. By the second hour I managed to calm myself down, saying that it can't be the hub bearing, it's just spreaders got a little loose. So I started to go 100 kmh, and then a favorite 120.
But not for long. After another overtaking (there was a lot of trucks), I got busted by traffic police. They escorted me to a car, I said that I can not be deprived of my license, because I had at least 5000 km ahead (and it's only one way), also told them about the bearing. The guys thought I was nuts. I bought them 2 ice creams, they taxed me with 100 ruble fine and I kept on going.
Then somebody tried to con me. Standard situation: the car is on emergency signal, 2 nice looking guys in a suit. As I was stopping, I asked what's wrong.
One of them comes up to me and start speaking english alongside with unarticulated russain about something like they're not from around, they got no gas, they got no russian rubles, only dollars and blah-blah-blah. Then he puts in my hand a fake-gold class ring and says something like “give us some rubles” I look at the ring with a straight face...
- How much?
- Five thousand (shows 5 fingers)
- Don't have that much.
- How much you got?
- 100 rubles.
Then on perfect russian I heard him say: Goddammit! Then he took the class ring, turned around and went back to the car. I went by. After a mile I saw a similar guys on the opposite lane.
And then I got in big troubles with gasoline. Didn't fuel up where I needed and end up near Barabinsk with no gas. I thought to myself: “Piece of cake! I'll stop a car, ask for some gas and voila”. By God I was wrong! During my hour and a half tribal dance on the lane with an empty can I stopped 5 cars. That's it!! And even they could not help at all! The country of frightened morons! You see a biker on the road, almost shaved, almost clean pants, help him out, what's the big deal?! Myself, even in an alien country at night on the deserted road when I saw 2 huge dudes on an emergency signal, I stopped and asked what's up... and in Sochi I spent half an hour to pump some gas in some Taxi driver bottle.
Anyway, one of the drivers told me that gas station was 2 only 2 km away, so I figured I can easy push it to it, despite that sun was scorching and I had no water. It was 8 km...
On the gas station, tired as hell, I put the scoot on the footpeg, it folds in, scoot starting to fall, I grab it, then the helmet started to slide from the steering wheel, I clench with my teeth. And as I was staying in this elaborate position, trying to hold the helmet and not let go of the bike, I realized, that some folks were looking at me for some time. Nobody helped.
Nevertheless, I drove 600 km until Omsk, not racing to fast, and calming down the crazy steering wheel.
"Cause I found a way to steal the sun from the sky"
Shinedown - "Fly from the inside"
Arriving in Omsk, I got stopped at the post. There I met an american on 1200 GS. This rascal went from Tokyo to Italy (through Vladivostok)!!... he was on the road for 6 weeks. Shared contacts, I invited him to stay in Omsk and chat, but he had a tight schedule, hotel and stuff. So we said goodbye.
My total day mileage was 680 km. Everything was ok, tightened up a steering, also I made a charger for my mp3 player – always wanted a gadget like that.
Thnx again to Stepa and the guys for the help and staying in the workshop! Shower, repair, evening drive through Omsk... What else to want?
At 9.00 AM started to move towards Chelyabinsk. Planned to go as much as 1100 and get to Zlatoust by night, where my friend Sharipich was already waiting for me. Went beyond Kazakhstan through Ishim.
The road there wasn't repaired, probably as an example to the others, like: Look! And you've been nagging about YOUR roads?! To hell with them. Comparing to Virago, on which I've been driving last time, Magna is a couch on wheels. So, the road was easy. And after Ishim all the more good road to Kurgan.
Then it got worse. Coming to Kurgan, I saw some traffic police. One of them was clearly aiming to stop me. I drop the speed, turn on the turn sign and then... a vicious insect represantative of Kurgan animal kingdom slams at me. Right in the eye (I love to drive with open helmet). Not only the collision was at 100 kmh, but that son of a bitch bit me! Heated up brain explodes with an array of angry metaphors and the mask, my face doubled up in was so angry, as I caught a glimpse of a policeman allowing me to pass me through. Twisted with pain and hatred towards everything that flies and buzzes, I drive through.
For 5 km I laughed at that. Then it got serious. Eyesight started to see spots, and my teeth and head started to ache. I was forced to stop for 15 minutes, until the pain went away. I find it unlikely, that Kurgan has some badly poisonous insects, but with my luck (it’s very wilful), it could have been a wasp, that took a spider from a biology class, and flied home to eat it. But along the way she met my cheek and both the spider and the wasp bit me! Giving that some thought, I decided that this was really improbable, so I took some analginum, closed the helmet and drove further.
"Fate is kicking down the door, but I don't live there anymore"
Sonic Syndicate - "My Own Life"
I was in Zlatoust when it got dark. 1100 km with the finish spot on Ural was tough, so I easily could sleep here, couple a meters away from the road.
But evil Sharipich took me to his house, fed me and drunked me. Traditional kitchen talk and a nice slumber. Splendid. Thnx Anton! Good luck with your Virago!
Start was grim. Unidentified noise from an engine (couldn't figure out what it was), bad weather, thock fog – it was all pretty upsetting. The thought, that I would be able to get somewhere seemed doubtful. But I was determined to go as far as I can. Screw the noise and the weather, I'm going west!
http://s.wild.users.photofile.ru/pho...4c0aede898d3c3Ural has some nasty roads. Some places are being repaired, but mostly it's a very very dreadful concrete. On top of that, very active traffic, thanks to all the trucks and permanent solid line. All this makes Ural a pretty dangerous route. One time, when a solid line became noncontinuous, I turned on a distance light and went on overtaking vehicles. And then some jerk right in front of me goes on overtaking without turning the turn lights. I hit the brakes, honking the honk, blinking the headlights savagely. This freak gasses on and continue to pass by, I follow him. And then a truck comes out the turn. The moron hit the brakes, I brake both wheels (screeeech!), and luckily manage not to hit his bumper. He goes back to his lane, like nothing happened. That was a last straw! I let pass a truck and catch up with him. First kick – cracked a glass. Second kick – broke his driving mirror. He recoils to a curb, I speed up and drive by. Some truck driver acknowledged my actions with a thumb up.
“Drifting to the void with no soul, smoke the freedom with your ashes"
Mygrain - "Final Frontier"
After 5 km, I stopped at a gas station, waiting for that ***** for 10 minutes. He didn't show up. After a 100 km I stopped to take a lovely view on a Sim village. That's when I saw a familiar GS.
It turned out that american (Howell Gibbens) decided to wait for me in Chelyabinsk for a day, in order to travel in a pair, which he said to me in e-mail. Having no internet, I didn't get it, but if we met, why not? So, we drove together. Near Ufa, once again I was 0 on gas, but Howell helped out with his spare (note to myself, get a spare gas). In a cafe, where we stopped to eat, we started a chat (I'm a fluent speaker), and I found out that Howell works in Hollywood as a sound engineer, and he just finished a new film “Captain America: The First Avenger” and the director of this movie is his friend and the owner of this GS - Joe Johnston (Idalgo, Jurassic Park 3 etc). So after “Avenger” Howell decided to freshen up and took a trip through Russia. So it was a pretty interesting encounter.
We drove 'till Samara. Roads there are awful. And once again, too many trucks. As I was driving with an opened helmet (it was hot) with Howell driving behind me, dust and sand from the trucks tires gets in my mouth. And I thought: If I spit it out, what if I'd get it on Howell... then what his opinion on russian people would be? So I kept on swallowing dust. Under Samara, we parted. He went to his hotel, then through Voronezh to Ukraine. I needed to go south.
I didn't go to Samara, stayed in a village, where I spent almost all my childhood. Total mileage by a day - about 800 km.
Perhaps, there are only 2 people in this world who know the meaning of these photos to me.
I'm freqeuently asked: why do I drive like that alone on a motorcycle? I can't answer clearly. Sure, the car is safer and more convenient. Despite all the talk, bikers are not trying to stand out from the world. On the contrary, they are much closer to it, comparing to anyone else. They are not hiding behind a tinted glass and warm roofs. The world is right here. Stretch a leg and you can feel the scratchy pavement, warmed up by the sun, sliding after you mile by mile. Stretch an arm and you can feel wind in your hands. Solo rain drops, getting under your coat like little spies or furious rainfall flow, washing off all the weariness, erasing your trails, and giving you a whole new world. Silent night, lighted up by a playful moon. Your usual life disappears. Everything is divided on the things you need, and the things you left there – behind. And in front of you is a road and nothing else. You see life in a different way. Different people, different goals, everything is different. And until you see it with your own eyes, until you feel it with your own body... you'll never get it, not a chance.
And life can be really various. Village I arrived in demonstrated it. And not for a first time, you know. No job, no money, Youngsters don't even drink. Why, if you have to pay for it? On the contrary, marihuana, which grows almost everywhere. You can smoke your brains out and life is bright again.
My friend (when we were 6 happiness was measured by caught lizards and lobsters) now is high every day, he does not study, has no work, can't go to troops (Echoes of wild childhood). As we were walking in the night, he mumbled that he is fine. He doesn't need anything. Sometimes, he goes fishing. You can store weed for winter. That's his life: torturing his mother, happy about his life, not changing anything in his life.
But someone does better. Both my friends (also grew up together) are really beautiful and smart girls, graduated from school. Now, they're trying to get a degree in Bezenchuk, a settlement nearby. They're both working, one in the post office, one – serving beer. Salary – about 4000 rubles (130 dollars) per month. 1500 from that goes to rent a 1-room flat, I think it goes without saying that it ain't no suite. But what you gonna do? To escape from a village to Samara, for starters, you need money. To get money, you need to go to a city. Ain't nothing you can do about it. You can steal, only there is nothing left to steal. Agriculture is gone, the cattle slowly dies out. Because you need money to feed it, but there is no money. And this is European part of Russia. Go East, and you'll see worse, much, much worse... talk about a versatile country.
That was my unhappy thoughts when I drove to Volgograd in the morning, August 18th. Another 1100 km went by fast (had to go to Samara and back in the morning + 200 km). Started to get a hang of the road (ABOUT TIME!)
Really, solo long-trip on a bike is like meditation. As someone properly said, first you think wise thoughts. But they run out after about 200 km, then unwise thoughts come out. Then even they run out. You start to sing. After you make yourself hoarse, you start to breathe on the panel, and write something silly with your tongue. Anything what come to mind. Then you are completely bored. And then you arrive in a meditative state. It's like Kracauer said:
“…By and by your attention becomes so intensely focused that you no longer notice the raw knuckles, the cramping thighs, the strain of maintaining nonstop concentration. A trancelike state settles over your efforts; the climb becomes a clear-eyed dream. Hours slide by like minutes. The accumulated clutter of day-to¬day existence — the lapses of conscience, the unpaid bills, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison of your genes—all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from your thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose and by the seriousness of the task at hand…”
Each passing kilometer gets you closer to your goal and, if you understand it, you keep going on.
“Risk my soul, test my life for my bread. Sped my time lost in space. Am I dead?"
Steel Dragon - "We all die young"
I remember one moment on the road. I drive and one car ahead started to act freaky. I see the lane turning left ahead. I put my leg on the brake, in case the driver chooses to brake and turn left. Yet he accelerates, I do the same. And then this douche changes his decision, turnes on turn lights and slows down. And I realize, that I'm screwed. I can't get past him from the right, because some truck already there. Slowing down will do no good. As the car starts to turn, I already see the spot on the driver's door that will hit my wheel. Nothing flashed before my eyes. Just one sad thought: “That's it, folks. End of the road. And it's my fault! Classic. Then someone will read the article something like violation of the speed limit, biker lost contol blah-blah-blah. That's a pity.” And then I heard a melancholic voice of a guy, laying on a couch and staring at the celling: “Well, try to go past him left.” Don’t know what'll happen, but it worth a try. I sit back to my seat (already started to stand in case of my heroic flight), accelerate... and go past a car, going through an oncoming lane, at the distance of an inch away from his bumper. All this happened in split second. Then I was driving normally for like 20 seconds, then it hit me. Adrenaline went through the roof, pulse raised, muscles (that turned to stone) started to ache. After a second I became all sweaty. Sweared at myself next 50 km… BTW, This bit of the road through Samara and Saratov districts is the WORST road I've ever seen in the west part of Russia. And it goes for about 300 km. I decided that this is the last time I went through this route. Nice pavement starts right after a bridge through Volga river and ends on Volgograd district.
That evening I drove nowhere again.
"A lonely road сrossed another cold state line" Avenged Sevenfold - "Dear God"
I planned to arrive in Volgograd, but where to stay remained a total mystery. I had no map, not to mention GPS. I don't think I'll have GPS ever on my bike. That goes for a clock as well. That evening was the first time I used a help-list I got from Sinus forum. One phone call, and already some stranger gives me directions to a place, where local bikers'd meet me.
After a short ride through night town, I arrived at a meeting place. And after 10 minutes I got off my bike at the Volgograd Bike Post. I didn't have a time to take off the helmet, when my left hand was holding a beer, and my right hand was holding a plate full of pelmeni. What can I say? Instead of staying through the night and going away I stayed for a day in this wonderful joint.
“I want to play a game” (c)
The owner there is THE MAN – Yurich, riding 805 American Suzuki Intruder. He has been holding this post for three years, also has his own bar, and plans to open a bike parlor in the near future. Neat, huh? He is one heck of a moto-adventurer and a mechanic.
Right on, Yurich! Thnx again!
The other guys were pretty juicy as well. Met Alex the Fuhrer, which drove 80.000 km on his own repaired BMW.
He digs archeology and history, loves to dig out old bombs, human bones and spare parts for his bike from Volgograd ground, knows everything about The Battle Of Stalingrad and explosion engine, listens to Manowar and a fan of long-trips. We even wanted to go to Krasondar that night (I even promised that I'm ready for a long-trip at the 90 kmh speed), but at the last moment we thought: screw it, let's hang out here for another night.
Can you recognize this film?
Anyway, in the morning of the 20th of August I drove to the sea. I planned to drive in Krasnodar and then based on a situation. I chose a shortcut through Salsk instead of a federal lane (the one I got lost the last time). I think this is a magical place... because I got lost! AGAIN! All in all, I drove in Krasnodar in the night. It was 150 km till the sea on a perfect pavement. They went by instantly and voila! I'm at the shore!
I still got some powers left in me, sooo... why not visit Abkhazia? (Despite my promise to myself that I'll never ride on this serpentine road at night). So I ate a snickers bar and an energy drink (first meal in a day so far) and drove on this road. Well, everything was normal. Loads of trucks, no passing by, average speed 20 kmh. After 1100 km that was unacceptable to me. So I simply stood on an oncoming lane and drove on it. My bad. Police was sharp, and I'm at the curb. They shoot my heroic motions. Then a trade started. First price – 12.000 rubles. I only laughed, saying that I only got a 1000, so file a report if you want. They started to write. In the end, we agreed that they will drive me to the nearest ATM, where I'll give them 3000 rubles. Shameful, but I really needed my license.
It turned out, that I was just at the bad place on the bad time. They got the lane covered. Money suction was like a transporter. For the past 40 km I counted 5 cars with the flashers. They track violators on purpose (everybody violates duuh), and take money. I drove the remaining bit like a law-abiding citizen just in case. I arrived at the border at night. There they found a bag of green tea, afterwards they made a full-on search of my stuff. They hadn't found anything suspicious (I hid all suspicious well) and let me go. BTW, every type of mandatory insurance is now off – now you can visit Abkhazia for free. And at 4 AM I'm at Pitzunda.
That’s it. One week and 5 thousands kilometers. I’m finally on the shore. I’m glad.
Dont Stop Now...
Good stuff Amigo! :nod Reads like an epic with a passion pursued and an end that comes much too soon :tb (I mean that in a good way) Maybe it's early and I'm halfway through the first cup but thanks for the inspiration :bow , what a great way to start my day. :thumb
G-Wing, thanks! But,
About the "end that comes much too soon". It's only the beginning.
Here are the other parts.
By the way - i'm sorry, if my english isn't so good - i ust finished the translation from Russian.
In Abkhazia I settled in a hotel (former musical school), which was based on the territory of a 1000 years old temple. Very interesting place. The temple itself on reconstruction now so there's mayhem and repair.
The main sight in this temple is an organ inside. Acoustics of an empty temple turned the sound of an organ into something physically present. Later that evening, I managed to sneak inside while some guy was practicing under the surveillance of two german tutors. I sat in half-destructed hall, the clearest sound surrounded me from all directions and night summer sky was seen through broken windows. Nice.
Honestly, arriving in Abkhazia, I decided that I won't be riding anymore motorcycle this season, send it home via train, as myself. Yet, next day I was already spinning around the bike, drooling. Then, the next day I snapped. On the Road again! (c)
This time the route was back to Russia through the fine city of Sochi. “City of spa” - as it says on the billboard. Not the first I wanted to correct it: City of Traffic Jam. There's an orbital road around the city. (Especially, at night... mmmm. Beautiful road. It's highly above the ground, powerfully lit and lots of tunnels. With a bit of imagination it might seem as you're not on Earth because the views are awesome, like Star Wars). Anyway, there is one road through Sochi and cars are there all the time. You can only get by on scooters in this city. And why not? No license, nothing to lose. Arriving at the center of Sochi, I tried to tail those scooter-fellows. Useless. Moving among cars, inches away from mirrors and doors, those dudes got away from me. I decided not to went through the oncoming lane, so I was there for a while.
I hadn't got plans, so I posted a thread on the MAGNA-riders forum (I needed a garage and tools to fix my ride. Turns out 5 thousand worth of fix didn't going to last) and went to local base of Emergencies Ministry. Spent a night there.
Next morning I already had phoned Dima Laks from a forum. He lives in Macesta, so I drove there. He met me on the way, we rolled to the garage, where I parked my bike. Before I even managed to say “thanks”, 10 minutes later I already was showering, my clothes were washing as well, and 20 minutes from that I ate delicious food, made by his gorgeous wife Natasha. Thanks guys, seriously.
Not to leave it hanging, we approved together the repair plan of my bike and started right away.
Found problems is electric, knocked down and ailed steering column, pumped clutch and brake, changed oil and antifreeze.
With Dima’s help we completely serviced my bike. One day I even saw up the oil filter. I was trying to find out – is there any borings. Everything was ok. Only then I realized that it’s really possible – to return home.
But one time my bike taunted me. I was going to Adler – I had to buy a new filter and oil. I just had dissected cylinder head covers and adjusted valves. So I drove carefully trying to hear any wrong sounds from engine. And suddenly I hear monstrous grinding sound, I watch on the panel board – the engine is off, I watch on the engine – all the right side is covered in oil… I stopped on the roadside and realizeed, that the engine has swallowed valves with oil-removing rinds, and it’s totally dead. First of all, I decided not to panic. (For what? The worst thing already happened) and started to inspect the bike. And little by little I understood, that the source of noise was a truck, that just outran me, the engine stopped just because of the gas ran out and the oil on the ride side trickled down from the little chink under the head cover’s gasket. I switched on the reserve and Magna turned on like nothing just happened. I calmly drove to the shop and changed the oil in garage.
http://s.wild.users.photofile.ru/pho...5b9d9fda708260All this time guys were really sweet to me. Dima even skipped work for 2 days to help me with my troubles. And Natasha's cooking... I was close to the point of skipping Ukraine trip and stay there for a week. Buuuut, my stead was tramping the ground, and road's uncertainty lured me!
On my last day, in the morning I wanted to give my Magna and myself a Test-Drive. I wanted to a nice creek. They explained to me how to get there: go back to the route, drive for a while, then turn on Host and then calmly travel on the pavement until the final destination. I, naturally, mixed it up and drove right from Macesta.
http://s.wild.users.photofile.ru/pho...5b9d9fda708260Crossing another river, I realized that I mybe took the wrong turn. At least I saw some nice places.
I learned from the few locals, that there is a mountain road to the creek. I drove in search of it, and, naturally (again!), took the wrong turn. Instead I drove somewhere a bit remote. For 40 minutes I climbed some dissapearing road, jumping the stones like Tarzan, when I met some guys.
A little bit confused, they explained to me that that road was ends with a dead-end where there is a camp of geologists, they were examining some caves. And here I am with a chopper. Whatcha gonna do? I had to go back. It turned out that descending with a bike is far more hard and dangerous then ascending. Dropped the bike like 3 times.
But it wasn’t the worst thing that could happen. On the one of steep turn I saw something red down in the forest. I stopped. Someone drove on Izh-5 Planet and just dived down.
I turn off my bike. Nobody around. For a while. I started climbing down. I hadn't found a dead body with a broken neck, which my imagination instantly sketched. Didn't find the keys to the bike either. I guess, he's ok. Ok.
All in all, I wandered for 5 hours... but it was worth it! I found that bloody creek! (or something like that). I parked Magna on the toll parking (without money, of course) and went swimming.
Sadly, I didn't got my camera at the moment, but I swam to some waterfalls. Nice body massage. Then I wandered some more and returned to Dima. I had to pack my stuff and head to Novorossiisk: Night Wolves were going to perform a large fest, I wanted to go. Not that I really wanted to be at that fest, rather wanted to listen to Aria.
I hadn't arrived at Novorossiisk because of the storm. It was too hard to drive, when the wind shifted my bike on 1 meter aside.
In the end, I spent night on the shore camping. Bad idea! I couldn't even eat properly. The food in 5 minutes had become 1 part food, 1 part sand. Then I tried to put up a tent. Once again, BAD IDEA. Once I put the first pole, here I am: chasing the flying tent to the water. I hardly caught it. Screw the tent! Ultimately, I just got into a sleeping bag, leaving a tiny gap to breathe. In the morning, the half of the beach traveled through that gap into my bag.
Anyway, I was in Novorossiisk after noon.
Large amount of bikers moving out of the city made me wonder. I arrive at the field and yup: the fest was postponed because of the Nord-Ost for 2 days. Maybe more, depending on the state of the storm. It took me a lot of effort to know this. Organizers weren't really audible.
A took a peek at the field (tent camp place): about 10 motorcycles and 20 people, struggling to put up a tent. I saw 2 bikes. Drove to them. We met, and 15 minutes later we were already driving to find something to eat. Roma on the fresh Transalp 2009 and Yura with his wife Ksenia (married week ago) on Fazer. Both bikers were from Moscow, but they met here.
http://s.wild.users.photofile.ru/pho...5b9d9fda708260In search of a cheap food we accidentally came across some restaurant (tissues at the table, waiters and stuff like that). We were trying to leave, knowing that this kind of place isn't fit to our budget, when a kind voice of the wonderful manager stopped us. She was very nice, said that she won't let hard and equipped bikers like ourselves to go out hungry, especially since we were guests in town. And when she heard that I drove here from Novosibirsk... long story short, we got served 4 full-blown restaurant meals for a mere sum of 200 rubles per person (at least 600 rubles according to menu prices).
Roma, me and some old mad. He said, that he drove here from Stavropol on his bicycle. (Its sth about 400 km)
Then, following Yura's advice, we drove to Abrau-Durseau lake. Thing were getting interesting!
A very beautiful lake only 15 kilometers away from Novorossiisk. Then we parted: Yura had to go to Moscow, and me with Roma decided to wait for the fest... which turned out to be lame (lol). “Everybody treated the fest seriously, except the staff.” Instead of bikers fest it was a luxurious show for local fellows. Still, a fine show. It took place on the board of the battleship “Kutuzov”, which was harbored in the port.
Lights, fires, bad-managed sound, fireworks, Ariya, which played 3 songs – all that mashed up in some kind of lame action with no plot whatsoever. Not to mention thousands of people, full lack of free space and water to buy and cops, which led the crowd through the entrance with a metal detector one person at a time... naturally, it caused horrible lines.
But the beauty of this city was not the fest... absolutely random, but instead of two days in Novorossiisk, I spent a week there. I won't break into details, let's just say I found, what I was looking for a too long time. And I didn't want to go anywhere.
First two days before the fest I had been living in a rent house with Yura. He drove to the fest from Volgograd. I remember the night before the fest. Everybody was asleep, and I laid down and thought to myself: this is nice, I'm good and healthy, the bike is outside ready to drive me wherever I want and that life is beautiful, if you sort it out properly. That's when the phone rang. Probably, nothing is more scary in this world, than this kind of phone calls. Yura answered. Couple of thick lines... few days ago, when I was at Yura's, big and up-beat Sasha arrived in the evening. We chatted for about 20 minutes. Tea, small-talk... nice guy. Then he said something like: “It's kinda hot, I'm gonna go for a ride!” and he drove away on his RF-motorcycle. And now we got a call and a message: Sasha died. Frontal collision with a car. Funeral was in two days.
And here's you: lying on the bed, bike is still outside, but all you can think about is a car you miraculously managed to avoid and you're surprised you're still alive. And Sasha's not. Every normal person can not grasp the true meaning of death in his life. Actual death is too scary to believe in. Only it never asks what are your beliefs. It just takes everything you have. And it's not obvious how many times you need to be pointed out, that the same CAN happen to you (and if you ride a bike chances are even more likely), before you will appreciate what you have in life, understand and acknowledge this LIFE, that everybody claims to hate occasionally. Talk about hypocrisy, eh?
Anyway, after the fest I moved to live in a charming juniper grove. The bike, the rag, the sleeping bag. Nothing more, nothing less.
Something caught up to me, virus or acclimatization, it was bad. When I got to the place, I only managed to crawl into the bag, wearing everything I got and wrapped myself in a tent (somebody stole one of my poles, so installing it was notan option). In the end, I spent a day lying in a bag, crazy with fever, eating only pills, drinking water…
In the middle of a night I heard a ruckus. Someone had crawled to me and was licking my toes on hand. My sleepy “hey, kitty kitty kitty“ had no effect. It was still licking my toes. I turned my head... and my eyes met another pair of eyes, hedgehog eyes. He looked at me, grunted a few times and went to do his hedgehog business into the forest. Cute, then again, it all may had been my delusion from the fever. Anyway, I like animals. I believe it's mutual.
Next evening I got better.
This week I proved myself that Novorossisk is a very beautiful town, especially at night. I drove it all around, we even climbed the mountain with Roma, which had a great panorama of Gelendzhick. I wouldn't climb on my own accord, but Roma got to me, saying it's too scary. Imagine, the guy doing 180 kmh on the road, but afraid to ropeway a mountain. I had to see his face there!
In my 22 years, the main thing I gained is self-confidence. I strongly know what I can and what I can not do. I can trust myself. Well, ok. Trust in yourself? Try trusting the world...
A sat beside a man, that spent 10 years for breaking into people's homes, hijacking cars and stealing from a meat factory. I said goodbye to him (he gave me a memorable lighter), left the bag and went to WC. Basically, there was nothing worthwhile in a bag – chargers, screwdrivers, junk. I had nothing to lose actually. 5 minutes later, I got back, Arthur was gone, the bag was in its place... I started a bike, circled around in case I see him (wanted to add 100 for a beer), but he was nowhere to be found. So I drove away.
Sadly, but true. Sometimes, hobos that you know for a couple of hours are more trustworthy than somebody, you considered a good friend.
One beautiful day, sadly, I realized that I can’t stay any longer in Novorossiysk. Either I will be crushed by some truck or I'll stay here to live. I wasn’t ready to any of these layouts. So, full tank, full throttle, lock and load, onward to Ukraine.
There are only 150 km between Novorossiysk and “Caucasus”, port where is the ferry to Kerch.
On the way I stumbled across the Azov sea
Here I am – driving these 150 km and trying to understand: what exactly I’m trying to find there? Moreover, absolutely no one expected me, and what I was going to do there – I didn’t even imagine. Unable to find any reasonable argument, already arriving at the port (which is a dead end), I decided “To hell with Ukraine, I'm going back to Novorossiysk!”. Looking for gas, I asked where’s the nearest gas station. It’s 50 kilometers back. I’m already on the reserve - enough only for 30 km. While I was driving up to the port, I went around about 30 cars (Bikers in fact do not stand in queues). So I knew that returning to the queue and asking those people for gasoline wasn’t a bright idea. But it turned out there’s a gasoline on the other side - just 7 kilometers from the port.
Ticket costs 460 rubles (bike and myself), I had only 200. , Who cares? There is an ATM. I shove a card in it - “there is no connection with the bank”. Will it restore or not - unknown, but the day before there was no connection with the bank all day. I ask - where the nearest ATM – near the gas station at 50 miles behind. C'est La Vie.
No gas, no money. Phone’s battery is almost dead (before the start I equipped my bike with a lighter and bought a special phone’s charger. The lighter came off at Sochie’s serpentines and the charger was lost). There was nothing to do – I went to ask for money. Couple refusals in the cash desk, the same on the street. And then I stumbled on a beautiful girl with wonderful gray eyes and explained to her that I’m from Novosibirsk and I’m heading nowhere, but even this nowhere I just can’t reach because I’m out of cash. As a result, Tanya (it’s her name) lent me 300 rubles and said her phone number to put the debt there later. Tanya, you're a lifesaver!
And then, after an hour, here we are – me and Magna are sailing on a ferry to unfamiliar Ukraine that is drawing to a close , with 20 kilometers worth of fuel in the tank, and only 45 rubles (1,5$) in pockets.
It was admirably. I have long learned to separate my mind in such situations. One puzzled part is trying to find a way out of the problem, and the second part, sitting comfortably, watching and eagerly waiting for the scene: what will happen next. I am an observer of my own life.
In the end, I arrived in the Ukraine, and left the border zone without examination of baggage. I was surprised that I even was let out of Russia, because of my several unpaid fines. And I know people who were not passed for that reason, but I was lucky. All docks, of course, must be in order. As a result, the whole border crossing (excluding time spent in search of money) - a couple of hours. However, if you drive a car and get into the wrong time – you can spend more than a day standing in queue. The sail on the ferry takes only half of a hour.
After 7 miles I was refueled, and after another 10 draw out money from the card. Life is definitely was getting better. What am I going to do next? Ah, nothing to do? It’s cool. Problems should be solved gradually. Oh, no problem? 5 minutes, Turkish! It’s all still ahead.
In Kerch, I decided: "Forward!". Feodosiya was only 100 km away, I rode it easily. Roads of this region disappointed me - they are worse than Russian! When the sunset painted the sky, I realized that it’s time to think about where to spend a night. To go into the woods and sleep in a sleeping bag wasn’t what I really wanted, so I left it as a worst scenario. In the meantime, I just decided to stay in a cafe, and let it all come together by itself. It was very strange. 10 percents of my mind was intense, thinking about what I should to do with myself, and another 90 percents calmly drank green tea, watched and waited - what will happen next. Guess what? It actually all came together by itself!
While I was eating in a cafe in a village, one guy came to me (his name was Misha) and when I told him that I'm really from Novosibirsk, he invited me to visit his three stories high house on “that hill” where he lives with his family, where I’ll be able to drink a glass of wine, chat and sleep. He is not a biker, but he has a lot of two-wheel friends. We exchanged our phone numbers and he went to a shore. Problem solved! Moreover, 15 minutes later, I got on the phone the president of local MC (his name was Yura) and he offered me to stay in one of his hotels. I hadn’t washed for a long time and all of my clothes weren’t exactly clear, so I decided to accept his proposal (It was the first and the last time I stayed in a hotel for a night). Yura met me at the entrance of the city on his (with roaring music) Honda GoldWing and accompanied me to the hotel. I open the door in my room – I can't believe my eyes. And ALL this is for 50 grivnas (6 dollars)?
In that moment my life was seen as a fun quest-game, where you get task one by one, and all you need – just move your arm with computer mouse, take a look around and you’ll see a hint, that leads you to the next checkpoint. So far that's how things rolled for me. Comfortable room, shower with hot water, delicious beer (3 times cheaper than us), secured garage for a Magna. Nice.
The next morning, after I drank a cup of coffee with girls from neighbor room (They invited me! And rejecting a morning coffee is a crime!!), I moved to a central city beach. It is an amusing place. Directly across the beach area are railway tracks. The smell was appropriate - as a train station. And the people in swimsuits steps over the rails. Beautiful.
I quickly thought up of a legend that I come from Novosibirsk only for visiting this plant, where my grandpa had been working for 20 years and blah-blah-blah, and went to the side entrance. But the formidable security officer didn’t agree to let me pass on the territory. Even after the pretty story of Novosibirsk and a grandfather. Even in exchange for a cold brew and warm vodka. But! When I was about to leave - he winked at me and pointed at the toes - where i can leave the bike and sneak into the territory. So I did! Before the storm fence with barbed wire, I put a helmet and a bag under a bush, camouflaged the whole thing and climbed in.
But I walked there not for long. “Stop! Who’re you? Where’re you from?” I turned my head and saw another soldier with a gun (I was hoping that in the sunday there would not be anybody...) That’s all, folks - I thought. This is the end. That’s a real pinch. It is really frustrating when you’re poked by a gun ... I had to portray the confusion and complete submission and retell the story about Novosibirsk, about my grandfather, and the fence, I just had climbed all accidental, like it wasn’t even a fence, was that a fence? I didn't even notice! Kind of lame for a fence, barbed wire wasn't all that barbed either, you should visit Siberia if you want to see a REAL fence. Yep.
As a result - i hadn’t been shot. Hadn’t been taken to the police station too. I honestly apologize, then once again apologized and, to my relief, I went back and again climbed over the fence, with the tacit approval of the soldier. It was funny, when i landed on the other side. A couple went by, about 45. And here I am - jumping from the fence - with gloves and motorcycle armor. "And you're probably an American spy-diver" - they ask. "Yes" - I answer, come to the bushes that grow in a pair of feet, push the grass, pull the helmet with a bag, turn to them and blurt out - "Do NOT tell the soldiers." And under the gaze of two pairs of staring eyes I deployed and descended toward the motorcycle.
The road to the plant
Deciding not to take such risks anymore, I started returning back on the track, but then caught a glimpse of a beautiful hill, which offers a good view of the sea. To climb there - not a problem. But I decided that I have to show Magna all beauty of the view. One minute of thought - and here we are with the bike trying to get on the grass on the hill. In principle, we would have to climb up. But the returning would be a suicide. The grass was slippery - just pinch the front brake to hard - and you are somersaulting with the bike down. So I had to leave Magna on the slope and climb up alone. The view was rather very nice. Half of a hour I was sitting on the ledge of rock and dangling my feet over a rather deep precipice.
I know that in such moments people often meditate about very deep and clever things, they begin to engage in soul-searching and thinking about the meaning of life. To be honest – my thoughts weren't exactly that deep. In my head I were getting questions like, “Why i didn’t know, that the new album of Sonic Syndicate was so gorgeous?” and the main one “Why? Why 42??”
But as I was going down, I had a pinch moment. Somehow i dragged and veered my bike, but after I managed to crash down. And it was rather unfortunate, because I fell in the direction of the slope. As the result - i was lying upside down, pressed by my bike. It was so heavy, that i almost heard the crunch of my leg. I wasn’t able not to lift it, not to get out under 250 kg hulk. Well at least my leg hasn’t got under the collector – that would be really sad... I had to yell a little. Some people heard me and helped to get out. The leg was almost intact, I just limped for about a week.
By the way, from that day on, whenever I see a mountain, my head goes like “Uh-huh, No way I'm going up there, nooo, sir!”. But hands still turns the wheel, despite brain's panic attacks.
After the Cape of Ordzhonikidze I drove in the Sudak’s direction, so I got on the road that runs along the southern coast of the Crimea.
For 2 days I got to the point, I remember back in the days when riding along the coast for a tour bus, I saw the inscription "Caution Landslide" and pressed my nose to the window glass, trying to see this very landslides, which still have not been killed or catched by anyone for the zoo. This place - Foros, the southernmost point of the Crimea. I have driven along the entire coast of the Black Sea from Abkhazia to the Crimea and I’ve never seen such a remarkable sea.
AI Petri still not conquered by me
In the end the luck smiled at me - I found a place on the shore (20 miles west of Foros), where there were no people at all. I had to sweat a lot getting down to a very tricky paths, but It was worth it. Clean water, a lot of flora and fauna on the bottom, dolphins in the distance. The sun and fresh air. Real nice.
As for the roads - it’s very, VERY bad in Ukraine. Worse than ours! This is especially noticeable in the serpentine. You drive there - amazing views of nature surrounded the road, but its bed doesn’t allow to relax absolutely. The waves of asphalt sometimes just teared away the wheels of my bike from the road. laying the bike on turns was impossible! I found out those very different things, like tachometer, rear wheel and the heart - there's one thing in common between them. They jump up at the same time.
In the next turn I slipped again. Laying the bike down was useless. I level it, click two gears down and clamp both of brakes. That’s not enough and i fall in a ditch. I hadn’t fall myself and I hadn’t crash the bike - still i can’t understand - how? I succeeded to stop in a couple of meters from the concrete slabs which were bump stops. In the end, I decided that I'm going 30 miles per hour, but stay alive. But even that was rather difficult. It began to rain and the bike became uncontrollable. Too many pressure on the brakes handle - and here you are - trying to catch a 250kg piglet going sideways. A full bowl of adrenaline. And all this despite a fresh Dunlop. In short, those are bad roads. Baaaad.
One of my places of sleep
Returning from Foros, I drove off a bit north and drove through Simferopol. This road is a little bit longer, but there is no serpentine! So if time is short - I advise to go there. The road returns to Feodosia, where is only 100 kilometers to the ferry.
Ukraine is a country of climatic contrasts (climatic zones there are changing every hundred kilometers. Land Kerch-Feodosia - is no different from the Omsk region, in Alushta it's warmer, but at Yalta already pure tropics).
When i had come to the station, i toured the line of 100 cars (For understanding - the ferry can contain about 25 cars and it leaves station every 3 hours) and buried in the disaffected border guard - he was very displeased by my impudence. I, by-turn, without passing positions, tried to explain to him that there’s no sense to stand in a queue of cars on the bike, because there’s always space for a motorcycle, even on the busiest ferry. Especially for little and light one, like mine. The argument that the guard grumbled in response, puzzled me a bit - “There’s no space. FOR YOU there’s no space on that ferry” I started to quarrel, but another guards told me I will butt in - and this shift wouldn't let me pass on the ferry and then I'll have to wait for the morning, when the shift change. In general, there is very corrupt system. There's always number of places for ordinary mortals, but also a places for those "who has given more." And all this were happening almost open in front of me, just before my eyes. I could get on the ferry too, if I gave some money. Fat chance! I moved the bike for a couple of meters away and lay down on it. I had to wait for 4 hours.
After a couple of hours, when all my body had gone numb, I went to buy a ticket. Lacked 20 hryvnia (How could it be?? I had counted all my money before and was sure that it will be enough! I should not have bought that snickers...). But! It does not matter - there is an ATM near! And it’s working! I insert the card, check the balance and ask him to give me 100 hryvna. "3 minutes, Turkish" - report automatic and ... becomes silent. The first minute I tried not to worry at all. Second, third, sixth.. - my temper started to fail me. I had 150 grivnas (20 dollars). All i had - cellular with 10 grivnas (2 calls). And everything else were on my card - firmly buried inside the perfidious machine! I tried to find out - who is responsible for the ATM, but it did not work! “Well, stands and stands. Well, doesn’t work? That’s ok, that happens. Oh, didn’t return the card… Yes, that’s a trouble. Big trouble.. Well, good luck to you.”
Ukraine didn't let me home. But in the end, after 10 minutes of waiting, the flow of curses and a couple of kicks, with crunch and rattle ATM spat up the card back with remark like “Couldn't do it, sonny”. I grab the card, kick the monster for the third time, and retire.
Another Help came from a guy - Sasha from Nizhniy Novgorod. We met at the customs, talking about motorcycles. After hearing my sad story about the Novosibirsk and ATM - he gave me some money, and after stood a treat by the dinner in the cafe. Well, I did not have any opportunities to refuse. The snickers was the only meal of the day. Alex came with his family. His wife and ankle biter had 90 days rest in the Crimea - so that night it was necessary to leave the country and cross the border again for further relax. Sasha wasn’t allowed to leave Russia on the ferry (because of some fines), so he rounded the Azov-sea, and crossed the Ukraine border in a minivan lying under an inflatable mattress. Hardcore tourist, that guy!
So, ferry eventually was delayed, again, someone did not have enough space ... The scandal, cries, threats. As a result, I sailed to Russia only in the second hour of the night.
At 3:00 am fully clothed I headed to Novorossiysk. Some terrible contrast. This morning I swam in the sea and sunbathed under the sun. And now, after some 15 hours and 300 miles, I’m faced by 10 degree, pulling on all the clothes i prepared for overcoming the Ural-Siberian region. The road went through some valleys, where there was a lot of water, plus, probably, most recently, a shower of rain. In short, it was cold, wet and nasty. And the fish stink. Russia, I missed.
Once again i stopped for pulling on another lay of clothing, I shut down the engine. Tried to start, Magna - zero reaction. Had no choice - in the middle of a swamp (I even hadn’t see anything around because of heavy fog), at 4 o'clock in the morning I turned on a flashlight, took off the stuff, took out a field set of tools and started looking for the problem. All this time something wandered in the bush around me, sighed and snorted. Well, at least the problem was trivial (disconnected "ground"), but in a nontrivial place (the result of tuning my electrical system). After a nervous half of an hour Magna encouraging growled again.
Approximately half of the fifth I was in the Novorossiysk. Bored in the familiar forest, dived in a sleeping bag and a minute later a subscriber was not in service for the outside world The next day in this city were the best for the too long time.
Delayed in the morning, only at 12 o’clock I drove in the direction of Moscow. My good friends waited me there. Almost immediately after leaving Novorossiysk a good asphalt started. It goes up to the Rostov. Only some parts are repaired, but for us with Magna it wasn’t a problem at all. I Realized that trying to get to the Moscow in one day didn't make any sense ( there was a crazy idea to perform an Iron Butt, but, due to the fact that I drove out too late, I decided to postpone the operation). After sitting in the cafe, I browsed through the help-list, made a call, and here I was already expected by the local bikers. At the entrance I was greeted by Sergei Skin of the club's Fire-Motors ( FIRE MOTORS ). The guys just met a couple on Transalpe from Yekaterinburg, they were returning from the Crimea too. Together we came to the country cottage of a wonderful pair - the Belka and the Kaktus. Food, tea, coffee, evening talks, and then sleeeeep. Thank you guys!
The next morning I was put on the road to Moscow. I had planned to be in the capital in the evening. Sadly, I left the headphones at the guys somewhere. It was rather sad — not only it costs more than the player itself, but I've spent a lot of time, updating the playlist on it.
Rostov to Moscow is a beautiful road. I was pleased with two and sometimes three lanes with great asphalt, where I put down the pointer of speedometer (which is about 200 kmph. Not bad for a 23 year old chopper!), and a little upset by the toll stations in the Lipetsk region - they didn’t let me go without money. Of course, sometimes there was traffic jams, stretched for 10-15 miles. It was cold, and I warmed myself near the staying trucks.
After Lipetsk weather began to deteriorate completely. First, it was only drizzling rain, and then increased to a downpour.
It might seem a bit strange, but I like to ride in the rain. The motorcycle, engine, gearbox - all of it works differently. Asphalt, the nature around, the trudging trucks - all perceived from another angle. Mile by mile, you find yourself in some sort of meditative prostration. The pointer of speedometer stucked at 130, the oncoming cars toiling along so slowly that you have enough time to take a look at the drivers and hear the sound of valves in the engines, to sense the smell of cigarettes they smoke or perfume of girls that slip beside. I was doped by it.
“Flying toward the heart of the night, tearing it’s velvety wings by the roar of the powerful engine, dipping in it deeper and deeper and feeling how it surrounds you all, stronger by a minute. The rain drops slowly running down on the visor, and the scraps of scattered by the powerful engine miles disappear in the mirrors. Illumination of panel board, as the only reminder that you're still alive. And there’re still a hundreds of helpless kilometres of unknown road just in front of you, which haven’t surrendered to you yet. But you know — they will. There are no wrong roads in this world . Only one road of all stands out - the road to home. But how one will react to it - it is his own business.”
In the end, from Lipetsk to Moscow, I drove under the downpour. And I got to it rather interesting. 30 kilometers from the Lipetsk, I caught up with a very low and very gray cloud - it was like you can just lift up your hand and grab it.
And it was evident that in the left and right about a kilometer away the rain falls like a wall. Above me - not a drop. I could not miss the chance and not to make a picture of a posing beauty. A couple of photos, and now my face gusted by a wind with raindrops. Understanding the hint, I quickly take off the camera down into the bag, turn on the engine, The first, second, third transmission, glance in the mirror. Parts of rain united behind me and hit the ground at the very spot where I was a few seconds ago. Thanks cloud, you let me through.
But after 50 kilometres, I got to the ceaseless rain. It stopped only near Ufa, 2 days later.
It was about 400 kilometres to Moscow. Average speed fell in the evening… And the bike had got such a test the first time. It happens sometimes, when you do not want to even remember about the stretch. That is exactly how I felt. Very hard physically. In the end just to stop the bike and to detach yourself from the saddle was a real achievement by itself. I was wet entirely. Magna suffered too. About a hundred kilometers from Moscow, I lost the ignition and the bike just stalled in the moving . At the same time the emergency lights turned on (That was really strange because my bike hasn’t got the emergency light at all! ). Stuggered, I evaded the Moscow's furious cars and drove to the roadside and took off the helmet. It turned out that the alarm broke down. It interrupted the ignition like "Save me, thiefs! Steal!". In 10 minutes I fixed it and drove on. History repeated itself exactly after 50 kilometres.
I stopped on the last gas station before Moscow and somehow revived my hands, i tried to call my friend - Zhech. Phone was flooded by water (in a special waterproof pocket), so it refused to work properly. Another 10 minutes of shamanic dances together with the flow of curses - and now I get the pointer where and how to ride.
After 30 kilometers I get on the Moscow ring road. The fact that I was in Moscow, explained itself to me very quickly. Almost immediately some freak in a jeep cuts me in a road. Before, I would not stand such disrespect, and this guy would have stayed without a rear view mirror. But that time I couldn’t even push the beeps button. Only reduced the speed. After another 5 minutes at the speed of 100 km per hour the door of car, driving a few metres from me, opened. I saw a half of a body, that bended to the asphalt on all that speed and started, excuse me, to puke.
I reduced the speed more and tried to keep the maximum distance from any car. After the exit from the ring road, I realize that something is wrong. Reducing the engine speed I understood that only half of the engine works. Magna remembered the chopper’s roots, and decided to become a true V-Twin. Coils or wires were flooded by water. Even the sound had changed - each engine stroke - like a nail driven into an ear. At high rpm the pistons came to life, but somehow lazy. In the end, I drove to the meeting place, and leaned on a motorcycle. All I could do - just wait. Hadn’t any strength at all. The final stage was 1,100 kilometers, more than half, I drove in the powerful rain. The temperature was about 10-15 degrees. It’s not a pleasant combination on the road.
After i was found and saved by Zhech. (That time, we knew each other only from the website of Russian Magna owners). After 15 minutes Magna stood in the garage, things were spread on dryer and i was warming myself in a bath. Gorrrrgeous! At such moments, you realize that all this miles wasn’t in vain.
After - a very late dinner. Talks, gift Crimean brandy. Despite the fatigue, I fell asleep only in 4 am... Zhech woke up after 2 hours to go to the job (iron man!) and I stayed at home. In the midday I realized that all my clothes is still wet, so I'm here at least for tomorrow. In the middle of the day I got bored and choose the driest clothes, pulled it and went for a walk around Moscow. I went to the first bus station and got in the first bus i saw. Then on its final station i sat on the subway and went to ride on the stations. A couple of hours after i called to Roma ( he had just finished his work) and an hour later we rode on his truck. The cultural program, consisted of a great dinner, walking on a rainy Moscow’s night and visiting the observation square was completed.
For some reasons, instead of one night, I was in Moscow for three days. Well, I just could not leave this wonderful people, that met me so nice - Zhenya and Lerka.
Walks in a Moscow on motorcycles, the most delicious home pizza in my life, movies, lying on sleeping bags on the floor with a beer and shrimp, great music and evening talks. And the endless rain... Great. Thank you, Friends!
Actually, Moscow is a very amusing city. But how does people live there is a mystery. Ring road is always jammed, traffic jam is ridiculous (even on the bike it is heavy), indifferent people (I first spotted it when I tried to ask for directions). Everybody is very hasty and closed. Girls with headphones and sunglasses at a bus stop looked like they will bite if you address to them. Beer selling ladies (100 rubles for a liter), after discovering that I'm from Siberia, suggested me to go back there. But the funniest part – all Moscow citizens while talking about other Moscow citizens address to them as THEM. Not US. THEM. It's THEM who stops at the traffic jam, it's THEM who dies at their jobs, it's THEM who eat at Macdonalds. I don't know if I'd want to live in a place like that, but I'd gladly explore closely...
At 9 am at some date I drove out of Moscow.
Gloomy sky hardly stopped the rain. I very much wanted to drive across Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Tumen (north path goes back to Ishim), but that way was almost 1000 km longer, and the time was not on my side. So I decided to go through Novgorod, Kazan and Ufa.
Leaving the ring road, I met Grisha, guy with a 400 CB. He drove along, he was coming back from work and decided to ride along for 30 km. The rain grew stronger.
Lots of cars, bad sight, slippery asphalt. Lucky for me, I spotted the action. Someone was crossing the road. Three cars ahead of me there was a jeep which hit the brakes. The body had done everything by itself. 2 transmissions down, both brakes, arms heading the bike between the car and the road blocker. Grisha had not reacted in time. The car ahead of him hit the brakes. Grisha tries to dodge to the right and hit the car from the back, CRASH. Grisha flies, the bike slides through the road. I stop the bike, run up to him, he gets up. The speed was low, but still – watching your biker-friend fly from the bike is one hell of a site. He got lucky. Limping, but alive. The car driver was ok, he called the ambulance and the police. Right at that time somebody watched us for too long and hits a pedestrian on the opposite lane. Quite a situation. After half an hour the police had arrived. Grisha of course was one to blame, so they drove him away, while I stayed to guard the bike and the stuff.
The wait lasted for 3 hours. Grisha then appeared and another hour of waiting for his friend on a truck to transport the bike.
All in all, at about 1-2 pm I finally leave Moscow. The plan to reach Ufa in one day is ruined. Well, I'll just see how it goes. Full tank, full gas and once again miles are passing by.
And, once again, rain, rain, rain...
At some gas station I browsed the help-list. One call and I'm expected in Kazan. The rest is trivial – to get there. Safe. And that was not easy. The road to Kazan was very devious. The pieces with great asphalt suddenly turned into roads, with no asphalt at all, a gravel road. The lines were hardly visible. It was impossible to see the road properly. It got really ugly in the evening. Twice I almost crashed, after I'd stop and sit near the bike. For hundreds of miles there were no acquaintances. The worst road, gloomy forest and, of course, rain. It seemed like forever.
Recent crashes didn't help as well. Finally I got it together, sat myself on the bike and drove on. It's amazing how the sound of the working engine affects on a man! Miles are passing by and that means that the goal is closer. That's the way drove: tensely and trying not to crash.
I arrive Kazan at midnigh. It's funny. Despite more than a million population, the city is completely deserted at night. Even downtown! No cars, no people. The roads are awful, by the way. In downtown you could easily spot a pit which could place the front wheel with room to spare.
In some kind of complete indifference I saw a traffic police car, near the traffic lights on the left lane. I drove to it through the double solid line. I didn't care at all by that time. If they'd revoked my license, I'd be glad. Anyway, I was ready for anything. But not for the thing I saw after! I caught up with the police car... and the policeman waved to me when he saw me. Smiling! I nearly crashed my bike.
It turned out that to get to Ruslan (he was the one who supposed to meet me), I had to cross entire town using quite an untrivial trajectory. I searched for somebody who could tell some directions. It seems I looked very tired, because the couple I met not only guided me through entire city, but also treated me with a coffee and some fries. I was to exhausted to refuse. Then almost instantly Ruslan'd found me and we went to his home. Shower, dinner, kitchen-talk. At momens like this you realize that you are alive. Seeing how basically a stranger treats as an old friend, feeds me, provides me with a place to sleep and then sees me off – that's really encouraging! Thanks, Ruslan and thanks to everyone who can easily change plans for those in need.
The next day. Back on the Road.
First I saw the sun near Ufa. I always had drove right ib the heart of the rain, yet I saw clear sky in the rear view mirrors.
It seemed like the rain was mocking me. Or maybe he looked for a companion. I started to get used to it.
Magna's beautiful smile
I arrived in Zlatoust to Scharipich slightly conscious. Rain, heavy fog (no emergency lights, had to turn on turn signals and drive at 30 kmh), enormous amont of trucks. One wrong move and you're flying from a highway. Sad, but at least you can lay down... it's impossible to describe. You have to feel it! You have to feel your jaw clenching, your teeth aching from tension, the water streaming down your back in places usually warm and comfy. The feeling of water shooting from tires of trucks, while you try ti catch a road and the bike. Hard stuff.
Amazingly, I got to Sharipich where I slept till noon. Ahead of me there was a 1100 km ride to Omsk. The next day, I left Zlatoust on a sunny day, funny.
My friend - Sharipich
BUT... after 20 km the rain struck again so hard, that cars stopped and drove off the road. I pushed on.
I was saved by a raincoat, that Sharipich gave to me and winter boots that Roma gave to me in Moscow. After Chelyabinsk I noticed that the sound of the engine has changed. I stopped on the roadside and heard a roaring from the left side of the engine. Well, a clamp became week or some hole burned down – I thought. I dismounted the bike and started to examine the muffler. And slooowly I realized – there are to little mufflers - only three instead of four!
Astonished, I drove back. Good thing I found the loose part and tied to my backpack.
Then again kilometers, rain, pits. Turns out Russia in the rain on the road smells like rotten fish and algae.
After Kurgan, I had to lose some retards trying to play tag. Lucky for me, their garbage-car couldn't do more than 160. But Magna with blown off buffer couldn't do more than 180.
Before Ishim, I realized, that I will not reach Omsk at that pace. I decided to go, while I can and then sleep in some forest. In Ishim I drank a bowl of energy drink, and 300 km eligntened by a full moon passed quickly.
Because I didn't expect to reach Omsk, I had no place to sleep. I could rush to Novosibirsk and finish IB, but I decided to sleep for a few hours. And do some repair tasks in the morning.
At first, I doze off on the bike near Stepa's workshop. But the wind was chilly. I had to relocate inside a flashy building and wait for a sunset to warm me.
Next morning, Stepa had been released from a hospital with a new metal rod in a clavicle, so I decided to go to Novosibirsk.
Arriving almost at Novosibirsk, electronics started to fail. I had no money, the card couldn't connect to the bank, I had ripped the shoe covers and lost a cloth for a visor (fifth one for the last 1000 km!). From Abkhazia I had been driving with a torn 100 rubles. Good thing I didn't throw it away. I found it, duck-taped it, collected the change from my boots, pockets and bags and refueled.
Too tired.. The last gas-station. Drive under the compulsory sign, turn through the double solid lane. Two policeman, trying to stop me. Too tired. Fell the devastation. Turn off the light, full throttle.
Around 10 pm I was in Novosibirsk. The end.
34 days, 13.000 km, 3 countries and 1 sea. A great experience, lots of new friends and a stupefying feeling of freedom. It's very addictive. When the usual life goes away, when you're free from a mobile and a coffee-maker. When you don't know where you will sleep at night. When you wake up because of the cold and wait for the sunrise to warm you. When you have nothing to do and you just chat with a security guard of the wine field for hour and a hald, sitting on the steps of some village. When you entrust yourself to the world and eagerly watching – what lies ahead. When you can’t wait to live this day and you know that it will be a burning trace in your memory forever.
That's when you're alive.
«The core of mans' spirit comes from new experiences» (с)
Great ride report, you tell a very interesting story.
Great ride report. Love the pics! Good job on the translation. Much better that I could do. Keep em coming.
Great story. It has to be true. You can't make up one like this !!!!!!!!!!!
Glad you found this site. I hope you'll pull up a stool, sit down, and stay awhile. If you do, you'll find yourself in the company of many like minded souls.:freaky
Cool RR thanks for shairing
Fantastic ride report!! Thank you so much for posting and translating it! :clap:clap:clap
Dude! This is an AWESOME ride report!
I want to move to Russia, and live a simple life there and go riding with you! It sounds fantastic :freaky :clap
Dude, hang onto those Honda handlebars. Do not hang from bridges. We need these reports. :clap
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