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Old 11-14-2012, 12:43 AM   #571
Colebatch OP
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Day 24 - The Water Hazard Day

When planning this route, it was inevitable that there would be water hazards. I recalled some of the Ural Mountain river crossings I came up against when with the Russians in 2010, and thought that while some of those crossings were too deep then (it was early May then) they might well be crossable in mid June when we were there, when all the snowmelt was well and truly out of the climatic system and temperatures would be higher. So I made sure we had a lot of crossings on the route. A lot of them came up today.

We left our very nice hotel in Mednogorsk, and headed north, out of town .... Barely half an hour out of Mednogorsk, the water crossings began ... nice and easy at first. The first crossing was in the 2010 ride ... back then it looked like this:



Now, over a month later in the year, with 5 weeks more warm weather to recover from the harsh Ural winters, it was much more green and lush ... Here's Terry blasting through.



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Old 11-14-2012, 01:39 AM   #572
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Open this thread like a book to read a few more pages everyday and wish it will never end
Thanks for sharing all this
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:53 AM   #573
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Firstly - LOVING the report!!!!

Lighting....

did you do much riding in the dark?

do you notice a difference (better or worse) with the vertical stacking of your hid50 units versus the side-by-side of the beige bike?

are they both bi-xenon units?

ever consider the need for extra lighting? ie LED etc?

cheers for your thoughts

Shane
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:18 AM   #574
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Hills

That flat stuff is fine, but I'm looking forward to some up and down.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:22 AM   #575
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This is one of the most amazing adventures I have ever seen! More please!!!
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:22 AM   #576
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggie View Post
Firstly - LOVING the report!!!!

Lighting....

did you do much riding in the dark?

do you notice a difference (better or worse) with the vertical stacking of your hid50 units versus the side-by-side of the beige bike?

are they both bi-xenon units?

ever consider the need for extra lighting? ie LED etc?

cheers for your thoughts

Shane
The vertical stacking doesnt change the amount of light put out ... the only disadvantage of it is that on dipped beam the cutoff is higher for the top light than the bottom light. Whereas for side by side lights they are at the same level. A minor irritation for a lighting perfectionist like me, but no difference in the amount of light hitting the ground.

They are both bixenon units.

I typically rode with one on during the day for visibility, and on the occasions that we strayed into night, I rode with both on. There was maybe one day in 10 that we were a bit late and rode into the evening.

Did I consider extra lighting? yes ... I wanted to have a good LED light (flood beam) system for two reasons ... one so that I could use it as daytime running lights so I could leave my HIDs off during the day, and secondly so that I had lights to put a tent up without idling the engine ... this is what I have in mind ... they are 15 watts rather than the 35w of each HID light, and a flood beam would be ideal for putting tents up with and being seen with during the day ... while the HIDs are still the primary tools for illuminating the road when its dark.

http://www.adventure-spec.com/defaul...led-light.html

One of these will fit nicely into my oil cooler space on the front fairing. Winter project.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:31 AM   #577
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Gotta love the look of the bikes (and the gals ), keep up the good work
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:08 AM   #578
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Day 24 - part 2

We continued into the hills





Passing a broken down Lada sedan on the way



A kilometre later, another Lada ... and like the other one, full of people. Where were they all going? This guy wasnt broken down, but he was holding us up. I took a quick detour to get around him:





And reached the next little stream:



And charged in

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Old 11-14-2012, 09:44 AM   #579
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Day 24 - Ural Mtns - Part 3

We were now in broken forest, on double track







It was a bit rutted ... nothing bad, but somewhat funkier and the super smooth tracks we had on the steppe





The landscape was familiar to me ... but it took me a while to pin down where we were in my head from 2010 ....



When I was here in 2010 it had been all burnt out ... and looked like this:





We continued up over the ridge ... which now looked like this:



Two years ago, when the fires had cleared the area, it looked like this:

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Old 11-14-2012, 10:04 AM   #580
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Fantastic.... Thank you Walter!!

I'm curious about the Steppe.... rough guess as to how much is farmed? grazed? still in natural state?

I hope you don't mind a question of a more personal nature. Are you of partial Mongolian descent? You obviously have an affinity for the area, and there's something about your eyes....
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:17 AM   #581
TRZ Charlie
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Quote:
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"When you encounter drunken ladies, it's always wise to play hard to get; it strengthens their resolve"

Holding out for an hour?!! Good move!
Never worked for me...but then nothing did..
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #582
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvscrvs View Post
Fantastic.... Thank you Walter!!

I'm curious about the Steppe.... rough guess as to how much is farmed? grazed? still in natural state?

I hope you don't mind a question of a more personal nature. Are you of partial Mongolian descent? You obviously have an affinity for the area, and there's something about your eyes....
Not much of the steppe seems to be grazing land - maybe cause the winters are so harsh for grazing animals to survive. It tends to be either farmed - mainly for grains - or is semi empty,

As for me, I have all sorts of crap in me ... but none of it Mongolian. (My interest there stems from an interest in history.) So ethnically I belong nowhere. But culturally very much European.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:19 PM   #583
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Day 24 - Part 4 - The Sakmara River

Looking down form the ridge, we saw the Sakmara River valley. We would now be crossing the river countless times for the rest of the day.

The track down didnt look it had a lot of use. It was washed out:



Overgrown:



But still clearly recognisable:







And led to what appeared to be an abandoned village:



I remembered this village from 2010. One thing surprised me in 2010 .... out of a village of 20-30 houses, all seemed to be abandoned but one. The last house on the right. As we rode thru this abandoned town there it was. The last house on the right STILL had a neatly kept garden and trimmed lawn. The rest of the village was overgrown with weeds and grass.

After the last house, the Sakmara river appeared:


It was impossible to cross at this point in 2010 ... water too high, too fast and too murky. Now it was crystal clear, appeared not more than two feet deep along the fording path, and current was mild.




We decided to risk it ... just charge in without walking it:









Then it was Terry's turn:





It all went well. We felt comfortable with the Sakmara ... which as good since we would be criss crossing it all day.

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:32 PM   #584
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Loving the RR

My kind of RR this, thanks. Plenty of pictures and great writing.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:48 PM   #585
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Day 24 - Part 5

We had a couple miles of forest trails to deal with on the western bank of the Sakmara









Before the land began to open up again





And we reached the river for a second time:



While Terry tended to play the test dummy for any muddy or boggy sections, for river crossings, I was the one who charged in "conkers deep" (balls first I believe is US equivalent) to be the test dummy, as I had more experience route picking across rivers.







Two crossings in a row ... no walking it first ... no drama .... I must be using up all my luck.

Then it was Terry's Turn: The best route is rarely straight across. The best line for crossing rivers is usually to go a yard or so on the calm side (upstream) of where smoother water is breaking and getting rougher ... which is exactly the route Terry is taking here. If you look back to the previous crossing, Terry was downstream of the break and caught deeper water than me and bigger rocks.





We continued on our merry way.

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