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Old 03-17-2009, 01:50 AM   #1
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Russia Off-road Adventure.....

Hi Everyone,

As promised before on the previous report, I will make a riding/drinking report on crossing the Ural mountains in Russia on 450 EXCs in August 2008.

If I remember correctly in autumn 2007 we started talking about moto trip somewhere-anywhere with friends, we were not sure with our own bikes or rent somewhere in the world. Accidentaly we came across advertisement online for the Ural Adventure and decided that it is a good way to experience something different ridingwise, environmentwise. Or mostly I think it was the fact that homepage stated that price includes everything, including alcohol !!! There were four of us that knew we were going so we needed two more people to get a discount price and have our own tour without outsiders. In no time we found our fifthe guy in Latvia and sixth guy in England.

We contacted Lev who organizes the tour and set everything up for August 2008 since that was the date we all could agree on and waited for it.

From the left - Ziggy, me (Uldis), Jurgis (Malish), Marcis (Umfufu), Matt (High Altitude Shitter), Dainis (Pupsik) is taking the picture.

This was the team from arriving in Moscow and waiting for the flight to Ufa from where the tour would start. As you can see from Ziggys pits, it was very hot that day. We started drinking in Riga, Latvia airport and continued here. Had a couple of Jameson bottles and some beer and the heat didn t seem so bad :)

For the Moscow-Ufa flight we had a russian plane which has been forbidden in the rest of the world for safety reasons. Another reason might be that they forgot to install airconditioning system on it. Since it was around 30 C that day and the plane was packed, it was hoter than many saunas I have been in, all we could do was drink and pass out.

As we arrived in Ufa, Lev met us with the beautiful ne limo

First night we spent in Ufa in the President hotel, had dinner in a nice restaurant, got to know People who would join us - Oliver from Switzerland, who works in KTM and guides tours in different parts of the world.
As it can be expected from us, we got completely wasted and I can t really comment on what happened, since I remember dinner and a little bit of the night club .
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:22 AM   #2
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Woke up this mornin....

As it was to be expected everyone had a massive hangover next morning - most of us were still drunk. As usual Umfufu had lost all his belongings, phone and wallet :) - that happens couple of times a year, so noone panicked and it was time to go to meet our bikes. The trip is around two hours to the campgrounds and most of us had a relaxing drink and slept on the way.

We arrived around lunch time at the campsite, went to the river for a swim while our caretakers Andrei and Regina prepared lunch. After that it was time to try out our new best friends - KTM exc 450, we geared up and went for a relaxing ride to get used to the bikes and see the surroundings.

Second from the right is Olie (Die Grosse Schlange Ollie), the KTM rider who has everything with KTM written on it - I was very jelous. I was even more jelous of his riding skill - everything seems so easy when you look at a professional ride. It s ok, he fell while crossing the river and I didn t :)

Got a little dusty but the feeling was great - we knew it was going to be a great trip, all of the people were friendly and polite :)

Pupsik and Ziggy


That night we returned to the same campgrounds, got to know each other even more and drank even more genuine russian vodka. At midnight even hedgehog decided to join us and we gave him the famous russian hospitality welcome. He refused on the milk, so we offered something different, he said no to that too...

This is a nice little outhouse where we parked our brakfast :)

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Old 03-17-2009, 02:52 AM   #3
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Got up and rode....

In the morning it was time to pack our stuff into the truck and move out. At the end of every day we were gonna meet the truck with our stuff, sometimes we met them around lunchtime.

Rest of the report is not exactly chronological but you ll get the idea.

The next day we were to meet our truck for lunch, had a swim in the river, couple of beers and the time to move on.

Matt even found some crops of interest.

After lunch we came upon a river and the current was too strong as well as it was too deep, so Lev went and got the only boatman in the willage - he was still a little drunk, but full of energy to get paid and go to the store :)

The boat was leaking badly and there was a little catfish in it.

Boatman was a little eager and wanted to put two bikes in every go, we convinced him it was not such a great idea.

As part of the reward he wanted to have a go on one of the orange beasts - he had all the givings of a pro rider. Less brake - more throttle.

This is one of the best russian made motos

Saw some oil pumps along the way

At the end of the day we arrived at this spot - pretty scenic.

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Old 03-17-2009, 03:19 AM   #4
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Moving on...

We arrived before the truck. Me and Malish went to the nearest city for some refreshing beer and vodka to get us through the period before food and drinks arrive.

Taking a shower

Our camping place for the night.

This is driving in Urals.

We set up the camp, had dinner, drank a little and went to bed. I dreamed of another perfect riding day - I remember:)

The next morning we set off early - as usual. Hearty breakfast and on we go.

We left the truck behind but after some 10kms Pupsik badly entered this puddle and was thrown off the bike - landed on his shoulder and was pretty badly in pain - thankfully the bike was OK. :) Me and Malish went back to get the truck and led him to the injured player.

I think this was the unpredictably deep puddle.

Treated our injured and handed him over to Regina, Andrei and our driver Tolik.

They took him to the nearest hospital for xray, and it showed that he won t be able to ride for a while, so his trip continued in the truck. As we discovered he saw a completely different russia, because they drove different roads, more civilised sometimes, visited markets, stores, cities. Sometimes did more difficult offroading than we did.

If anyne ever gets a head injury, here are some tips, I have more on other body parts too.

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Old 03-17-2009, 03:32 AM   #5
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Further in the mountains...

That little incident, little mistake had taken Pupsik out and it made us all ride much more carefully than previous days. Of course sometimes you forget in the midst of battle :)

A little rest in the shade on top of a mountain is helpful.

Lev took us to an iron mine where I wish we could spend all day, but there was a long way to go, so not much play time. Just managed to climb a couple of steep slopes and thats it.

Late afternoon we came into town and had some beer and lunch.

Some local characters.

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Old 03-17-2009, 03:54 AM   #6
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One person short...

Our camp site/housing was some 20kms from the same town we visited, we arrived pretty early that afternoon. Lev contacted the truck and they were long way from us. They had taken Pupsik to a hospital and then decided to take a shortcut, which turned out to be complete off-road challenge all the way. We had a shower the usual way, discovered plantations of cannabis, drank the beer we had with us and needed more.

By then we knew that the truck would be late, very late that night, so me and Malish saddled up and went back to that little blue town. When we rode in everything was peaceful and we got the usual supplies - beer and vodka. On the way out of the town police had appeared and of course we were stopped. They tested us and we had a little alcohol in our breath, more than acceptable. We started negotiation and the police was determined to get something out of us, nothing worked on them, and in the end we had to pay 20 euros each and we were let off. They had even posted another car further down the road, in case we ran :).

We got back and went to sauna, burned some cannabis in the stove, rolled some joints and enjoyed the evening.

Pupsik and our support team arrived only after 2 in the morning. They had had a pretty crazy trip.

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Old 03-17-2009, 04:06 AM   #7
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What? Is that it? No more?
Come on pussies, you can do better than that, more pics please, great stuff!!!

What about Pupsik, did he ride later on?
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:34 AM   #8
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Guys that's remind me "the crazy days in my home town... Medellin Colombia!!!!!!!!
More pictures!!!!!
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:44 AM   #9
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most excellent !! Thanks for the report and pictures .
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:52 AM   #10
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fantastic report. sorry about the injury, but looks like great fun!
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:57 AM   #11
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Further down the road...

During the night it had rained, so the gras was a little slippery. We headed out to meet our guide who would take us up the mountain since there are no maps or navigation through the thick forrest.

We rode up the mountain and on top of it our fearles leader had a puncture, it was time for lunch so we unpacked our cookies and yoghurt.

Matt had had prune yoghurt and while farting a little acident occured - it wasn t really a fart. From that day he is known as The high altitude shitter.

I think that night we stayed in a nice hotel and went to a not so nice bar where prices for us as foreigners were a "little" higher.

As usual we got very drunk and went to bed. Early next morning it was time to saddle up and move on.

We stopped at a lake to freshen up since all of us were still drunk.

In the next town we needed some beer because the hangover was chasing us through the forest.

While drinking beer some of us went up the losest hill, thats us - little dots on top of the mountain.

It s much higher and steeper then it looks :)

At a routine river crossing High Altitude Shitter went bizzerk...

A scenic photo of the day...

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Old 03-17-2009, 05:29 AM   #12
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And more drinking.... and riding.....

No BlackSP, Pupsik was out for the rest of the trip. When we returned to Latvia doctors said it s worse than russians had said. He had a surgery to remove fragments of the broken bone.

On this day the ride was great and early afternoon we came across a meadow in hills with a farmyard and decided to examine the situation.

There was some off-road equipment so we knew someone likeminded was there :)

We met the owner - Ivan (Ivan Groznij) and he invited us to stay there, unscheduled stop, but we all agreed it will be good.

Ourfearless leader Lev contacted the truck and let them know our coordinates.

Owner told us that there is 15km strech of forest road with puddles, mud and rocks - sounded like something we needed in our lives exactly that day:)

It was one of the best rides ever - deep puddles, everything wet. The road(Ivan described it as a road, and said a car went there a couple of weeks ago) was 15kms one way to reach highway. first time we rode the strech we were careful and checked out if the puddles werent filled with rocks or fallen trees. But on the way back we knew everything was clean and we sprinted like crazy. We were so wet that even my undies were soaking.

When we got back the truck had arrived and dinner was being prepared, we had time to wash up in the river and warm up in the sauna(banja) since the mountain river was ice cold. It started raining and we spent the night around Ivans table listening to his story and telling ours.

This was a guy who used to own a steel factory and was very well situated in his time. Then came president Putin and kicked unwanted owners out of their companies. So he decided to build himself a place in the mountains and live there for the rest of his life. He accepts guests and friends, someday he will build an airfield. No stress for him anymore:) Genuinly nice guy. And his outhouse was much more advanced than any other we had seen around russia.

Little erotica on the walls of our room:)

In the morning it was time to say goodbye to our host. He gave presents to our foreign friends High Altitude Shitter and Die Grosse Schlange Ollie - some russian knives - actually we were in Bashkortostan, so Bashkir knives.

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Old 03-17-2009, 05:42 AM   #13
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:52 AM   #14
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Great Report

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Old 03-17-2009, 06:02 AM   #15
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Rainy day...

We left Ivans and were in for a rainy day. I thought it would brighten up, but i was wrong, it rained all day. I didn t bring my rain suit and was miserable, luckily Umfufu also didn t bring it, so it wasn t as bad for me, at least I knew somebody else is cold and wet too !!!

It was a long day and we came across some unbelievable roads. They are marked in the map not as a highway, but as public roads. It was barely possible to ride them on a motorcycle for us, I don t know how they do it. And sometimes in the middle of nowhere there is a car, not an off-roader, but a simple car. We were stunned. It was great fun but exhausting. Malish didn t care, he was the youngest of us and did circles around us when we were strugling :)

By the time we were close to the national park where we would have shelter for the night.

We took the usual shower in a cold mountain spring and started warming up the shelter. Since it is a national park it is run by the local government, and ince the local government doesn t care about the national park, the bungalows were in a shity condition. The guy who was watching the place didn t do anything, no wood for stoves was chopped, nothing was prepared. We had to do everything ourselves. His argument was that he hasn t been here so long - only six months, so he doesn t know how everything works around here !!!

The truck arrived a little later than us - all the time we waited cold and wet - we didn t have any alcohol or cigarettes - torture.

Once cigarettes, alcohol and food was with us we could celebrate life once more!!!! Chopped wood, cooked food, drank, sat around fireplace talking all kinds of smart things :) The guy who watched the place didn t come out of his shed at all - there was no electricity as well, since the generator had burned a year ago.

In the morning we got on our trusty bikes and went further into the forests and hills.

Our trucker Tolik in the middle. Nice guy overall, but a clear communist:) Since pupsik had to spend most time with him, he retold us the stories from Toliks past, I think it would be a great book if Tolik published his adventures in the russian army, hunting, driving, fire brigade - amazing stories - you couldn t make those up.
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