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Old 12-20-2009, 03:32 PM   #196
tracyprier
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Gidday Colebatch

What an amazing journey and what an incredible part of the world!

So, when is the book coming?? seriously mate, that would be one great read :)

cheers
Tracy
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:06 PM   #197
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Awesome ride report I spent three years in Kyrgyzstan with many trips into Kazakhstan and Russia. You are not exaggerating one bit when you talk about the people hospitality and willingness to help.

I was never a fan of the Sibveska Corona but I did love me some Gehlka Vodka. They stopped producing it though :(


Ya lubelu Shashlik!!!!!! (Terrible way of spelling it I know)
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:48 PM   #198
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I've been meaning to stick this thread for a while.. it has all the elements of adventure, bikes and some lovely babes to boot
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:54 PM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
I've been meaning to stick this thread for a while.. it has all the elements of adventure, bikes and some lovely babes to boot


could not agree more
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:52 PM   #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
I've been meaning to stick this thread for a while.. it has all the elements of adventure, bikes and some lovely babes to boot
Cool. Now I don't have to search for it.....
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:09 PM   #201
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Yup, Stick it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
I've been meaning to stick this thread for a while.. it has all the elements of adventure, bikes and some lovely babes to boot
Good choice GB, This thread is the glue of a quality sticky.

Some RR's just seem so large. So Fantastic.

What a piece Colebatch This is great stuff. Bikes, babes, adventure. It don't get much better.

May I ask, is Russian Vodka good? Allways wanted to take a sip.

Jed.
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:28 PM   #202
Colebatch OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Movistar
This river was high. Motorcycles in the photo standing on a small island. I do not know whether you were when the island was also.
There was no island in this river when we crossed it, but I remember when Nikolai drove us across there was a shallow area in the middle of the river that was only about 30cm (1 foot) deep. Maybe that shallow part was your island!?!?
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:15 PM   #203
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  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robert Movistar
    Colebatch Thank you!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Movistar
And, Я думаю, что нам нужно, чтобы пить водку.

и мне нужны пить водки слишком!
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:26 AM   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracyprier
So, when is the book coming?? seriously mate, that would be one great read :)

cheers
Tracy
Book text? Its being edited now. Sit tight for more news.

Have some video editing guys going through my video footage as well ... we will have a think if its possible to put together a commercial quality DVD out of it too ... but that depends on what they can do with the footage. So I am hoping i have some useable stuff in there
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:39 AM   #205
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The Ulma River

We awoke about 9am and met Nikolai senior downstairs. He had bad news on a number of fronts. Firstly, he had called through to railways guys he knew at a bridge / crossing 20km further down the road and apparently water levels were high there after yesterdays rain.



Secondly, he had called ahead to his contacts in Fevralsk and Verkhnezeisk to ask about the road beyond Fevralsk. Nikolai himself had driven to Fevralsk in his Ural 2 weeks ago. The 150 km journey had taken 16 hours - such was the road. He briefed me on that road. But the news from both Fevralsk and Verkhnezeisk was that there is no summer road at all. It's only a 'zimnik' - a winter road - Loads of major rivers and no bridges. The road is impassable even in the big 6WD Ural trucks in summer. If hard men like Nikolai in hard trucks like their Ural will not do that stretch in summer, then what chance did we have?.



The best we could do was to match the efforts of the Polish Africa Twins of last year to Isa and try to go 90km further to Fevralsk. But unlike those guys, after Fevralsk, I still wanted to stay and complete all of the BAM that was possible. If the stretch or road from Fevralsk to Tynda is not possible then we would continue on the BAM after Tynda.



We said fond good-byes to the Nikolai's and all the guys at the Etyrken fire station (but not before terry considered swapping his XT for a local machine) and headed off down the road to Fevralsk. It was 150km away and 150km had been our daily average distance of the last three days. Yet again (for the third day) I was hoping to be in Fevralsk for dinner.

Incredibly, if it were possible, the road conditions deteriorated even more than the previous day. For about 4 days in a row the track had got progressively worse. Puddles and huge washed away sections dominated the track. On hills, where there were no puddles, the road bed of logs was often visible through the eroded surface. Perhaps in keeping with the recent rains, the bottom of the puddles was increasingly sticky mud.



I had by now come to the view that this BAM road between Komsomolsk and Fevralsk is an incredible test of man and machine. It is mind draining, exhausting, endless series of obstacles. If it were a 20-30km weekend run out, it would be tremendous fun and a great challenge, before grabbing a warm pub lunch and a beer on the way home to dry out and relax. But its an endless grind through progressively worse road conditions, in permanently wet boots and pants that goes on for thousands of kilometres.



Technically, doing the Tuva Track earlier in the project was more difficult, but even that was only 150 km. This BAM road is fast becoming, for me, the ultimate test. The road of the past few days has not had any maintenance at least since the soviet times - like the Old Summer Road section on the Road of Bones between Tomtor and Kadykchan, only the BAM road isnt just 250km long. Its overgrown, eroded, and in very poor shape. If anyone wants the ultimate 2 wheel adventure motorcycling challenge, this road has to seriously considered.

By midday we had reached the big railway bridge over the Ulma. It was the largest water crossing of the day and there were literally zero other vehicles on the road. We had a long chat with the bridge guards.



Major railway bridges are still guarded with Railways Department Troops in case any large countries to the south of Siberia decide to march north and take resource rich Siberia, which would involve cutting off the rail links to the Russian Far East ... the Trans Siberian and the BAM. The only reason the BAM even exists is because the Trans Siberian Railway passes much too close to the only country that really covets Siberia and its resources. The Russians needed to build an alternative lest the Trans Siberian fall into other hands.

The bridge guards were very kind, offering us a room in the now abandoned Soviet Army barracks that used to guard the bridge. Apparently one room was furnished with beds and electricity, used by hunters in winter. We said thanks, in case we needed it, and went down to the river to check it out. Tony tried to walk across but it was too deep. We waited by the river for several hours in which time the river level dropped about 10 cm, but we needed about 4 times that. Maybe it would be OK in the morning.

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Old 12-21-2009, 12:52 AM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebull2007
This is inspiring stuff! Thanks for sharing it, I must definitely ride this road, I wonder if it will be possible in 5-10yrs.. What do you think?
There are a load of roads being built and upgraded in Siberia, but this part of the BAM will not be maintained or upgraded. It will get worse over time. Will it be possible in 5-10 years?

Maybe
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:23 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by valentine
One question... What's the furthest distance between gas fill ups? I'd imagine the gas stations are few and far between...
Since leaving Komsomolsk, we obviously filled up every chance we had ... and that was only twice so far.

The first time at Beryozovy and the second time at Novy Urgal. The next town with fuel would be Fevralsk.

The map on page 7 will have those town on there but here is a bit more detail of towns and major problem rivers in this area:



Getting back to your question, Beryozovy to Novy Urgal was about 350 km. We could only be sure when fuel would next available by talking to locals. They usually knew the next place down the track that had fuel. We had markings on our maps to indicate fuel availability but it was risky to rely on those.
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:28 AM   #208
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Most excellent decision to make it a Sticky....will continue to sit on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment. Good on ya Cole!
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Old 12-21-2009, 05:29 AM   #209
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So the railway guards wouldn't let you cross on the rail bridges?
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Old 12-21-2009, 05:42 AM   #210
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When we arrived to the bridge, for 2 weeks in the west it was raining. Water flowed to the east and it was her lot. We have tried to cross the river, but it was not possible. We went to the guards. Said that, following the railway tracks is a small road that leads to the main road and BAM does not have to travel by river. If the commander agrees, it will help carry motorcycles across the bridge and tracks. Sorry, but the commander did not agree. Told us to wait until the next day. If the river is not less, will help us to carry out the motorcycles river. Yes it was.









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