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Old 01-16-2013, 09:25 PM   #2716
Joined: Mar 2010
Oddometer: 52
Originally Posted by PirateSeaCaptain View Post
The whole family folowed us out of town and showed us where we should drive to get back to Tayshet. The goodbye was very emotional. Nikita bursted into tears and headed for the car. It was all strange. We had only been with these great people for a few hours, but still it felt as though they were lifelong friends. Now back in Norway we are working on a plan to help Nikita get the education he deserves.

Prutser letting the Mongolian kid ride his bike really got to me. I thought that was such a wonderful thing for him to do. And now this with Nikita... This RR has really raised the bar, and not just because you guys are kicking ass on the trail. It's these little acts of kindness that sometimes mean the world to people.

Keep it coming, we're all addicted.
I was negotiating a response to Prutsers' act of kindness when a mis-stroke wiped out the attempt. Untimely perhaps, but fortunate at the same time as it probably saved my Wally World expenditure from a moisture induced short.

Amidst the epic grandeur of this RR, what has moved me the most is the giving and hospitality of those that you came across. Not that is an anomaly by any means, it just seems that outside of our Western Civilization, those with less are more appreciative, happier and willing to share what little they have. My wife is from Eastern Europe, beautiful in body and soul and she has the same giving nature and departure from our Western ways. Something some days I struggle with, but she keeps me in check. I am a Westernized Finn, but a cheap bastard by nature. This adventure in many ways reinforces my faith in humanity and hope everyone takes a piece of this into their lives.

" Now back in Norway we are working on a plan to help Nikita get the education he deserves."
This is very commendable, please make a PayPal option so that I can contribute.

"Nikita bursted into tears and headed for the car." This must have been a very moving experience at the time, as it certainly was for me when I read it. For the life of me, I cannot explain why but for some reason the first thing that came to my mind is this boy needs a ride. Let's make him a future ADV'r? I don't think it would take much to outfit him with a starter set-up.

The way I'm looking at this is that since this RR started, I've spent more time pre and post work keeping pace with a RR that reads as a novel, but entices the imagination to imitate a Silver Screen production. So I might as well donate my worthless cable payment to a more worthy cause. To see Nikita rippin in a pic seems priceless.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:33 PM   #2717
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
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Amazing stories

This is like Hollywood stuff, only it's real life!!

Some one should try to make a TV series out of it, would appeal to movie buffs and National Geographic watchers alike.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:45 AM   #2718
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wet feet

Originally Posted by levain View Post
I keep thinking of snow gaiters easy on/off. Roll up small. Would only help with waterproof boots..

Ive used some off their stuff paddling and its really great !
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:22 AM   #2719
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Day 68.The epic day

The guys got up early as Nina had agreed to give them an early breakfast before they left to grab their flights.
We haven't talked about Nina (our host) at all and maybe need to make amends here.
She is a little quiet lady who looks after her Mum( Mum must be 85-ish) makes knockout breakfasts with piles of homemade pancakes, and bread and jams. MMM-mmm. if you're in Irkutsk she a must to look up-but book early
They guys left and the house got a little emptier.

I wanted to go down and start loading the bike but Mad Dog was still loose in the yard and hadn't yet eaten his daily tourist. Not wishing to be dog-breakfast I asked Nina to imprison him wherever he slept and she went down to put him away.

I went down to the back door and very carefully had a peep dog..I stepped out of the door dog. I went out into the yard( but left the door open) dog. feckin'thing...none of us had actually seen it but there was no doubt who 's the boss.
I loaded the bike and Terry came down to say goodbye. We'd ridden thousands of miles together and I'd loved his company and sense of fun. WE had a laugh together and embraced, he wished me luck and I eased the bike out into Irkutsk and the start of my most incident packed day of the trip.
We'd worked out the Moscow was 5000+ km away so it was an easy calc. !0 days at 500+ Kms a day, and if i wanted to build any time in for breakdowns, repairs or any sightseeing I'd need to snag 1-200Kms a day extra. Sorted.
Let's boogie.

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Old 01-17-2013, 03:36 AM   #2720
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there should be a hall of fame section on the forum, with this RR placed there
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:53 AM   #2721
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Not forgettingVictor, Ninas husband, who helped in my bike repairs .Really great bloke.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:56 AM   #2722
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Originally Posted by bigdon View Post
Thanks P, B, and Rod.
Really enjoyed you guys part of the Report.
Let's do it again!
+1 .
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No man is as good as he ought to be, and few men are as bad as they seem.. (from a early 1900s post card found in Perry, Missouri..)
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:10 AM   #2723
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It was probably just after 9 I got away and the GPS was set for Krasnoyarsk. I went into Irkutsk and started to pick my way through the little streets. The GPS seemed to be taking me a strange way, but what the knows best. I gassed trhe bike up at an opportune station and moved off again...we were now going through very strange little streets and i started to doubt the GPS....then we went through a building site getting bemused looks from the scaffolders and brickies...and into a wood on a dirt track. Now I'm seriously concerend. even more so when I keep heading towrds the sun. South east-I want to go Northwest. WTF?

I pulled over and started looking into the "preferences" it had defaulted to avoiding main roads, toll roads, autoroutes...pretty much anything above a dirt track. FFS!

I reset the preferences and went back into Irkutsk to try to find my way through.
By the time I got out of town it was 11.30. Bollocks!

I got on to the main 4 lane (2 each way) once I cleared the town and goosed the bike up to 70. Sorted. I started to roll up the miles.
The road was full of trucks.
The weapons of choice in Russia on trans-national hauling tend to be Peterbilt, Macks, Internationals, Volvos with huge semi-trailers and a 60-70 ton gross weight and they take no prisoners. More local traffic uses Kamaz or Japanese trucks.

I was passing one of these monsters with another just behind me and was just about to pull back in from my overtake, when the front end started to feel a little weird.
Within a second I realised FUCK!..FUUUCK! I've a front wheel puncture. It was already totally flat and I could feel it starting to lip over. If I go down now with these 2 trucks right behind me they'll never be able to avoid me-I truly am dead.

With enormous care I sat back to get my weight towards the rear and signalled I was turning onto the hard shoulder, and sooo carefully and keeping the bike fully upright eased the bike off the slab on to the dirt. Ohh.......... FFS.

I sat for a minute hardly able to believe I'd got away with it and was still alive.

After a couple of minutes I got off and got some tools out to take the tyre off the rim. I pulled the tube out and after a couple of minutes found the problem. It was the repair I'd done weeks ago just before we met Zhan, the farmer in Kazakhstan.

The glue had unstuck and the patch was half off...but was stuck fast on the remaining half of the patch. The best way was just to take the wheel off, and change the tube for my spare HD number. I scouted round for a noggin of wood or a block to stand the bash plate on but there was nothing, so I threw the bike on its side and pulled the wheel off, replaced the tube, and pumped it back up. Sorted..again.
It was now about 1.30 and I was still only 20 miles outside Irkutsk.

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Old 01-17-2013, 04:55 AM   #2724
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It was a lovely day and as I cleared the towns and rode on as traffic got less and less, and I was starting to settle a little into the journey. It got to about 3 O'Clock and I need to gas up and grab some lunch, so I pulled on to a gas station with a truckstop/cafe attached .
As I pulled on the station dog went mental, it could obviously hear the bike whispering " you're gay, and just look at that nancy haircut". WTF?? I watched it in case it attacked...but it just stood still snarling and barking. oookaaayyyyyy!

I filled up and pushed the bike over to the cafe.

The world over, one can encounter every variant of female in a cafe, from the Dragon to the Darling. This was Dragon day.
Mr Brown had taught me well...ask for either Borscht or Goulash and you'll not go far wrong. Dragon stood looking at me with barely disguised hate. I asked her for Borscht...she replied BARSCHT?

Borscht...BARSCHT? Borscht.. BARSCHT? Borscht. BARSCHT? we barked at each other.

Dragon scribbled someting on a piece of paper and threw it into the kitchen with a sneer. I took a cling wrapped sandwich off the counter for later and some chai limoniya (lemon tea) and went to await the arrival of the grub.

After a few minutes the waitress arrived and put my food in front of me. A pork chop covered in cheese with some potatoes . EH? She's clearly misunderstood my Russian and ordered this..... Don't complain-just eat it.
A woman was sitting at the next table and shuffling about.
I tucked in-it was great so I kept on scoffing ( you can see this coming can't you?) and after another 5 minutes the waitress appeared again...this time with my borscht which she put in front of me. EH? I'm dead!!

Shuffle woman now kicked off big time and started revving up at the waitress who came over looking confused...then called over The Dragon. She stomped over...hands on hips and fixed me with the steely gaze..I quailled and waited for her to stab me with a kitchen knife
Dragon then pointed at the grub, pointed at me and although I speak no Russian I know EXACTLY what she said. I still sat fork poised beween plate and mouth..
" You didn't order that did you? she barked
I shook my head

"But you're eating it aren't you" ? Eyebrow raised...
I nodded.

Her voice went up an octave. "Why are you eating something you haven't ordered?" I trotted out my stock "Nye-panimye! (I don't understand).
Shuffle woman joined in bollocking me and then I saw the Dragon's mouth starting to twitch..she was dying to laugh but couldn't lose face so she wheeled off and stomped back to her lair.

I offered to pay but they didn't understand. I scoffed the lot and the borscht too...To save some face I left the cling wrapped sandwich on the table (so they could re-sell it) when they were through the back and I snuck out.

I wanted to button up the bike and just get lost but it takes a few minues to get the gear on. I was just putting my crash hat on when the Dragon came out holding the sandwich in front of her like a dead rat. I took it wordlessly. My shame was complete.


I swung a leg over the bike, buttoned it up and snicked it into gear, and as I pulled forwards the station dog tore round the corner snarling and chasing me.. FFS! I shot off the station at 50 mph.
If every days as "interesting" as this it's going to be a long trip.

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Old 01-17-2013, 06:22 AM   #2725
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Classic, I spewed my morning coffee out my nose...thank you very much
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:49 AM   #2726
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You are cracking me up. Love the narrative. I may be back in london for business in a couple months, would love to grab a beer or three and hear some of these stories in person!
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:02 AM   #2727
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I rode on into the evenng and the roads previously quiet became almost deserted.
In Siberia you're never far from this -The Trans Siberian Raliway. The road shadows the railway for maybe 2 thousand kilometers, and I'd cross it numerous times in the next days

About 7.30 I entered a little industrial town-withthe unmistakeable griminess of a mining town. I felt it'd be prudent to try to grab somewhere to stay. I was looking for a sign that says "Gastinitsiya" in cyrillic. Any motel/whatevetr will show this sign.
I entered this one and understood quite apparently wasn't just Motels that seem to show this sign. and there were a number of "sporting girls"hanging about near the lobby and outside. It's fair to say they were not of the premium variety, but budget bints and had complexions and strange bodily bulges and undulations that presumably were linked to the fees they felt reflected the dubious pleasure of their lumpy company. I'd already opened my mouth and asked if "Gastintsiya"were available when I spotted this anomaly.
Dragon clearly had a sister and had called ahead as Ms Madam-Dragon shouted "Nye-gastinitsiya" and a load more abuse at me, so I stepped back in shock, gathered what was left of my dignity and slunk out. FFS!!

I rode on another hour or so through the unbroken Siberian forest (plant a tree and save the world.?..they've 500 feckin' trillion of' 'em there) and was looking for somewhere next to one of the many streams to pitch my tent when I came upin a Motel (result!) so went into the reception and spoke to Dragon 3 of the day.

"Gastinitsiya?"...Da! she replied. much. She replied that she'd no rooms left, but had a couch in a wee lounge I could sleep on in a room with 3 other couches...but I'd need to pay for all 4 and the room had no door or shower. nada. I asked how much. it was 60 quid...about 100 bucks. How much?? You thieving bitch! I thought it but didn't say it. I was dog tired and almost took it, but then thought better of it and more than a little angry at this ourageous witch.

"Nyet!"...I'll camp.

I walked out and hopped on the bike, as I pulled out of the car park I noticed another hotel just across the way, so scooted over and tried again. This time .."Bingo" a room for 24 quid and a resto and bar attached too.

Some of it was kinda "work in progress"...they'd put the stair well in but no stairs. Presumably its on the basis of natural selection..the slow, stupid and drunk don't make it out alive?

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Old 01-17-2013, 07:22 AM   #2728
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The Vikings

I grabbed my room and snagged a quick shower.
As I was getting dressed I heard some bikes pull on to the car park and looked out of the window. A bunch of 9 foot guys was riding in on overland bikes......EH?
I pulled some gear on and went down to the resto. After a few minutes they came in and it went dark as they passed the door...FUCK!...They're enormous...they look a bit mean...hope they don't take me outside, beat the shit out of me and nick my bike.

They went to grab some food and I watched them quietly..then they started talking and they were using proper English words and not just talking about death, pimping, drugs and stealing bikes. Dare I say anything?
I put on my "tough guy Jock" voice as opposed to my usual girlie squeak and said hello expecting to be punched backwards out of the room...they all said hello back and introduced themselves!

It was a bunch of Norwegians heading to Irkutsk ..."Just come from there " quoth I and the biggest guy asked if I'd heard of Walters trip (good ....they'll steal HIS bike )...I replied I'd just left the guys that morning and it came to light that they'd been in touch with W and had hoped to meet at some point. JESUS!

This was indeed the long arm of coincidence..what chance meeting someone looking to meet mutual contacts, 5000 miles from home in Siberian hotel I almost didn't stay in. Hurts my head. Owwww!

The guys were great fun and they asked if I knew anywhere to stay in Irkutsk and naturally I pointed them to Nina's- I didn't know anywhere else.

There were no rooms left in this motel so after a while they saddled up and we said our goodbyes and good lucks.

Look out Sibirsky 2013...The Vikings Are Coming. Roll on Chapter 3.

I finished my beer(s) and went to bed. What a day.

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Old 01-17-2013, 07:24 AM   #2729
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Originally Posted by BSUCardinalfan View Post

You are cracking me up. Love the narrative. I may be back in london for business in a couple months, would love to grab a beer or three and hear some of these stories in person!
PM me a few days before you land and we'll jack it up. RC
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:30 AM   #2730
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Good stuff! Thanks Rod!
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