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Old 12-18-2009, 04:44 AM   #136
Robert Movistar
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Colebatch, Sorry about that the other, but on his return from Russia, met these bikers:





Do you know them?
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:03 AM   #137
MoBill
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Igor's Cruiser is a Valkyrie I believe, a discontinued but well loved machine, I know some folks with Valks here on ADV (Lady Draco) and they're Valk-mad! (2 trikes and 4 others)...it's like a cult they're in.

Sorry if I'm jumping in and adding to the leg humping, but I'm stoked for the contribution you're making and on fire for the BAM road--truly untamed!
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:45 AM   #138
Tony P
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoBill
Igor's Cruiser is a Valkyrie I believe, a discontinued but well loved machine,
Probably. Although a biker for over 50 years, in relatively recent times I have only been interested and know bikes I have actually owned - and that was not one.

Igor also had a couple of old Soviet bikes in his sheds. Ural? Minsk? Colebatch will remember better - and know!

This bike was new for Igor. He had bought from Japan and a few days before we got there had ridden it home from Vladivostock. Well, rode it until the deeper river crossings where they put it on a friends truck. Must have been a struggle!

Where he intended to ride this is anyones guess. No tarmac for more than 200 miles. A village no more than 400 metres across, and deep river crossings a few kilometers along the only track from the village, in both directions.

He may well be following this thread (he is a biker and into IT) so "Hi Igor & Noi" and tell us please.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:47 AM   #139
Jeff@TheQuadShop
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They have internet access out there?
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:45 AM   #140
Tony P
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Originally Posted by Jeff@TheQuadShop
They have internet access out there?
He does at his work.
They do in towns and through cellphones, where there is reception/signal.

The BAM railway takes people from villages to towns for work, shops or anytrhing else and back. Although the BAM road may be tough for bikes, the railway alongside has no problems!

As an example - go back to page 4, Post 60.
At Orochi, the blue shop in the 4th photo, we saw some young girls (ask Colebatch VERY nicely and he may find some photos) walking and cycling around. We struggled back on the rough tracks for maybe 3 or 4 hours with punctures, engine cut-out etc.
Imagine our surprise to see some of those girls again, out for an evening in Vanino!
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:07 AM   #141
Dickyb
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[quote=MoBill]Igor's Cruiser is a Valkyrie I believe, a discontinued but well loved machine, I know some folks with Valks here on ADV (Lady Draco) and they're Valk-mad! (2 trikes and 4 others)...it's like a cult they're in.

Looks like a "Shadow" to me. Had a Valk which is basically a stripped down Gold Wing with the same flat six motor. Lovely machine. Anyway, I'll get me anorak and go.

Cheers,

Dickyb
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:15 AM   #142
Colebatch OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@TheQuadShop
They have internet access out there?
Some of these towns have mobile coverage ... its cheaper for the government to subsidise a mobile phone antenna in town that to connect everyone up to landlines. Usually internet access is available in Russia through the mobile networks. So any village that has mobile phone access will have internet via GPRS and a mobile phone.

The only landlines in Gerbi and most BAM villages belong to the railways, and in Russia, the Railways have their own phone network ... so there are actually two separate fixed line networks in Russia, the normal one, and the railways one. In BAM villages, there is only the railways phone network and so thats why the government subsidise mobile phone operators to set up an antenna in many of them. From memory, there was (when we were there) no mobile phone coverage in Gerbi.

Igor worked for the railways, (actually in these villages, most people worked for the railways - the villages only exist as railways support villages), and he was their IT guy as Tony mentioned above. So he had internet via the Railways fixed line network.
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:21 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Movistar
Colebatch, Sorry about that the other, but on his return from Russia, met these bikers:

Do you know them?
[/CENTER]
Nope ... no clue who they are. Sorry
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:36 AM   #144
Jeff@TheQuadShop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch
Some of these towns have mobile coverage ... its cheaper for the government to subsidise a mobile phone antenna in town that to connect everyone up to landlines. Usually internet access is available in Russia through the mobile networks. So any village that has mobile phone access will have internet via GPRS and a mobile phone.

The only landlines in Gerbi and most BAM villages belong to the railways, and in Russia, the Railways have their own phone network ... so there are actually two separate fixed line networks in Russia, the normal one, and the railways one. In BAM villages, there is only the railways phone network and so thats why the government subsidise mobile phone operators to set up an antenna in many of them. From memory, there was (when we were there) no mobile phone coverage in Gerbi.

Igor worked for the railways, (actually in these villages, most people worked for the railways - the villages only exist as railways support villages), and he was their IT guy as Tony mentioned above. So he had internet via the Railways fixed line network.

Incredible!!!
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:37 AM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch
Nope ... no clue who they are. Sorry

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Old 12-18-2009, 09:40 AM   #146
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Hi Colebatch,

At the risk of sounding premature how did Terry's XT660r cope? I only ask because I have one and am wondering whether to up the spec for a long trip. If this topic is covered later on then I am more than happy to wait whilst being entertained by your escapades. Back to you, sir.

Cheers,

Dickyb
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:40 AM   #147
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Igor and Noi had woken before us and fixed breakfast, including some delicious Thai fried rice. The riding gear was slowly drying in the morning sun.



The villager who we had met yesterday and who had told us about the Poles dropped by to see if we wanted a lift across the river in his truck. There was a big river crossing just outside of town and apparently the Poles had gone across it on the railway bridge according to this chap. We shouldnt need to do that as the water levels were lower now than then, but he was headed that way anyway so told us he would see us at the river.

We said our farewells to Igor and Noi and hit the road. Sure enough, 2km out of town was a wide river ... but not too deep. I crossed it in 3 parts, the latter part the deepest. Terry and Tony had crossed the first 2 sections when the guy with he truck pulled up and offered to ferry them over the last deeper bit. Terry's thought process was that we can do it ourselves if we need to but if help is being offered, then we should take it, and so Terry and Tony were ferried across the last 3rd of the river.





The road was in bad shape, continuing on in the same form as late yesterday but with a full water crossing every 5 km or so. Progress was slow as we were constantly stopping and wading through thigh deep streams and rivers.



About 2:15pm we came across the first settlement of the day, a logging operation with a few houses around it. Closer inspection revealed all the people in the settlement to be oriental. As we were looking for a shop to buy some soft drink or lunch, I pulled up in front of a building decorated with a red banner and asked where a shop was. 8km down the road was the reply in heavily accented Russian. As I prepared to leave I noted the red banner was decorated with Korean writing. This was a North Korean logging community.



The Russians seem to have granted a few logging concessions to the Chinese and North Koreans ... effectively supplying timber to China and North Korea without having to do the harvesting and sawmilling themselves.

Sure enough 8km down the road we got to the town of Suluk, where we did refresh ourselves with ice-cream and soft drink.



But we had a long way to go and were back on the road by 3:15pm. Fuel was at Novy Urgal, about 130 km down the road. At the speed we were going that could be 4-5 hours or more. But fortune smiled upon us, and the road from Suluk to Novy Urgal was a good one, a graded road. This was good for 80-90 km/h (50-55 mph).








We relished the chance to ride with more speed and got to Novy Urgal and refuelled by 5pm - the last 15 km was asphalt - pretty bad asphalt, but asphalt never-the-less.

We found the sole cafe in town and sat down for a hot lunch/dinner. Terry liked his escalope so much he ordered the same again. Over dinner we discussed options. It would be 6:30pm by the time we hit the road, and there was no-where to go. No proper towns and no hotels until Fevralsk. Even camping enthusiast Terry was now also of the mindset that camping in Siberia is a last resort only. And so we decided to stay the night in Novy Urgal.

The town has about 7000 people and is the largest town we have seen since Komsomolsk. It has one hotel. We found it and asked for rooms, but alas, the hotel was being renovated and was not taking guests. We had 2 options ... ride 30km off our route to Chegdomyn where there was a hotel, or try the railway station, where they have a couple of rooms.

We tried the railway station, and found they would have a triple room free in an hours time. Done!. In the meantime we headed off to find a store to stock up on beers for the night, and paid a visit to the town's statue of Lenin.





It would be a balmy sticky night and with no ventilation in the tiny triple room, sleep would prove elusive for all of us.
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Colebatch screwed with this post 12-18-2009 at 10:49 AM
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:33 AM   #148
JoeyBones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch
I believe you are doing more for Eastern Russia tourism than any "Ministry of Tourism" ever could...
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:48 AM   #149
Oh2RideMore
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Eh? vstrom on those roads?

Quote:
Colebatch, Sorry about that the other, but on his return from Russia, met these bikers:





Do you know them?
Vstrom?
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:24 PM   #150
I Z I
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Originally Posted by Oh2RideMore
Vstrom?
Two Vstrom :)
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