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Old 07-23-2013, 06:31 AM   #1
Tigly OP
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The “anticlimactic but cool” trip: Magadan – Moscow, by ROB and BAM

We’ve been told that it’s anticlimactic (as in “opposed to a climax” :-) ) because instead of the rush you get when you reach Magadan after 10000 kms on road, we will start from the rush of Magadan and be totally depressed when we reach Moscow.
Given that it’s planned to happen through the Old Summer Road of Kolyma (ROB) and the BAM, I think it still qualifies as a “cool trip” J

So, the plan was hatched sometime in Moscow in October last year by Max (Russian), approved by Roman (Russian) and sealed by me (Romanian). October it’s the beginning of the “moto-toxicose” in Russia, as the bikes are getting stored for winter, and the least you can do is plan next summer.
Before I could realize very well the consequences of my “Yeah, sure, sounds like a good idea!”, Max and Roman already bought the bikes for the trip (BMW F 650 GS). Old-ish, to be fair (2002). And soft-ish, compared to my KTM Adventure 950S (2005). But then, the road was first done by a group of bikes which included a BMW F650GS (Tony P in 2009).

Fast forward 7 months to May 2013: I brought my bike back from Romania (2500 kms of boring road, only highlight being the “project kick-off” party in Rostov-on-Don).



Next week after arrival in Moscow, we already crated the bikes and, after one last “anti-bugs” smoke from Max, we sent them to Magadan.





Then we waited for 6 weeks, compulsively clicking refresh on the “Track the container” button while the bikes travelled by train to Vladivostok and then by sea to Magadan.
So, as of Saturday 27th of July (our plane arival in Magadan), watch this space for news from the road. Give us some time to get to decent coverage and we will try to upload some reports on the status of the road.
We know there are bikers who are going to Magadan and might be interested. So far, the russian biker reports (2 groups) say that the Old Summer Road was not feasible due to high waters. Both groups did the federal (new) road to Magadan through Ust-Nera. One of the groups did the BAM, too.
Forgot to say, we have 3 weeks for the whole trip. We planned 2 weeks for ROB and BAM and 1 week for the asphalt to Moscow but we are flexible. With the end point :-) Not with the time :-(

Tigly screwed with this post 07-23-2013 at 01:03 PM
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:54 AM   #2
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Have a Great Trip!

Best wishes for an awesome adventure!



Cheers,
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:02 AM   #3
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+1
PS. The pics are not working.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:39 AM   #4
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Sounds awesome, I'm tuned in.

Please fix the pictures of the Rostov party

Also, I'm seeing your text as black on dark grey, which is very difficult to read--is that setting on my end or your end?
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:18 PM   #5
Tigly OP
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Pictures upload

Something seems to be wrong, I can't upload pictures from Smugmug, Photobucket or Flickr
Any ideas?
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:25 PM   #6
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tuned in...
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:32 AM   #7
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Try ww.tinypic.com ??

:)

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Old 09-22-2013, 08:40 PM   #8
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In!!
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:13 AM   #9
Tigly OP
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Video

Well, the trip was done, in case anybody was wondering :-)
I have a full report done on a romanian forum, now I need to find the time to do it in English also.
In the meantime, here is a summary video: http://youtu.be/NAsdvrVy_LA
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:39 AM   #10
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If you put the Romanian link up then we can look at the pictures?





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Old 09-30-2013, 05:29 PM   #11
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No BAM?
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:16 AM   #12
Tigly OP
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Well, I will cut the "drama" and spill it out: no BAM and no ROB this year :-(
Road of Bones was not feasible this year. You can see in the video how high the water was (Argakala river). The water was so high that we had to wait for the road to be re-built between Khandyga and Yakutsk.
These 2 days lost, plus one more day lost with an early accident, plus an extra day lost because of slow going through mud, put us seriously behind schedule and we did not have time to do the BAM. The fact that we damaged the shock absorbers by riding too hard with too heavy bikes on Lena Highway did not help.
So, we'll be back next year to tick that box. On new bikes, KTM 690s :-)
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigly View Post
Well, I will cut the "drama" and spill it out: no BAM and no ROB this year :-(
Road of Bones was not feasible this year. You can see in the video how high the water was (Argakala river). The water was so high that we had to wait for the road to be re-built between Khandyga and Yakutsk.
These 2 days lost, plus one more day lost with an early accident, plus an extra day lost because of slow going through mud, put us seriously behind schedule and we did not have time to do the BAM. The fact that we damaged the shock absorbers by riding too hard with too heavy bikes on Lena Highway did not help.
So, we'll be back next year to tick that box. On new bikes, KTM 690s :-)
Yes, that's understandable.. when did you left for the trip? Do you feel that if you had left a bit earlier like late June to early July, would your chance of doing BAM and RoB be better than your recent trip? I was told July is the driest month of the year for Russia, but I heard it is the most wet year for Russia this year? What is your thought on this? I am hoping to learn from your experience.

And good luck with assaulting RoB and BAM next year!
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:19 AM   #14
Tigly OP
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This year was a very wet year in the Far East. There were bikers who tried the ROB in June, in July, in August, in September. All failed.
This does not mean that the ROB was impossible this year. It simply means that at the moment when the bikers arrived at one of the entry points on the ROB (the Kyubume river if you come from West and Algakalah River if you come from East) they could not cross. Or they were discouraged by locals' accounts of the road further on etc. I am sure the road could have been done at some moment of this year. After all, the villages in the middle of the ROB (Oymyakon, Tomtor etc) were not cut-off from the rest of the world for the full summer.
So, there must have been windows of opportunity sometime during the year. The trick is to have enough luck to hit these windows or to have enough time to wait for them.

This year there was a czech-russian bike group (2 guys) whose badge I saw on the gas station in Kyubume. And there was also a czech guy who drowned in a river on the ROB (when we were there the emergency services had just fished him out of the river after a few days of search). Accounts differ, some say he was in a kayak, some say he was on a bike. We were not able to find out yet what the real story was and if the czech on bike was the czech that drowned.
Everybody there was blaming the horrible wet weather of this year.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigly View Post
And there was also a czech guy who drowned in a river on the ROB (when we were there the emergency services had just fished him out of the river after a few days of search). Accounts differ, some say he was in a kayak, some say he was on a bike. We were not able to find out yet what the real story was and if the czech on bike was the czech that drowned.
Either way, horrible news...
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