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.
Me and Zhech
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)