Originally Posted by AlpineGuerrilla
Fuel coverage was my main concern when planning this trip, having no idea what to expect. I found this site
listing all gas station, but not only directly along M18. If I remember correctly, the farthest stretch without any gas station (or other facility for that matter) along M18 was around 220km after Medvezhyegorsk (Медвежьегорск). No idea though what is the case away from the M18.
One last suggestion: if you want to eat good and cheap Shashlik in Monchegorsk, here's a good place: http://g.co/maps/s5mfa
There is an amazing ride report on here of some guys riding almost non-existent dirt tracks around Murmansk and Kola peninsula. Can't seem to find it right now, but it's worth a read.
Thanks dude. I think, on balance, since this will be my first bike trip outside of the UK and Ireland I'll probably go up through Finland. I love the idea of going through Russia but the additional paperwork (visa, insurance, etc) and the fact I'd be travelling solo with literally zero mechanical knowledge (including changing tyres - think I'm gonna learn that before I head off!) going through Russia would be a step too far for me at the moment! Your trip, and the other ride reports you mentioned, have me waaaay interested though - so it's on the list for future trips. As it stands though I have enough on my plate finding out about wild camping across Eastern Europe!