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Old 04-22-2010, 01:13 PM   #76
Zecatfish
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Absolutely wonderful report again.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:20 PM   #77
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"God. It's me, Jenna...

can you please tell Walter to KEEP IT COMING!!!!!!!"
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:44 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl
can you please tell Walter to KEEP IT COMING!!!!!!!"
I bet you say that to all the boys !
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:54 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingnut11
...I do have a question. I noticed that hooka in the biker hangout, are they using that for shisha? If so is it any good? If not what are they smoking?
Yep, its a regular garden variety hookah pipe. Russians are very good at taking what they like from other cultures and adopting it as their own. Hookah (or Kalyan as its known in Russia) and Sushi are two prominent examples that you see everywhere.

Kalyan is perfectly good in Russia but its never particularly cheap. Not like in Turkey or Egypt.
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:17 PM   #80
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:30 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vander
Hey, would have been great to find an ekranoplane and do it in a morning ride
True ... but never seen one in Siberia.

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Old 04-22-2010, 05:15 PM   #82
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Ecranoplane :) cool!

I have to admit that I have always been fascinated with Soviet/Russion-built stuff.

I once heard a joke, the Rhinoceros is a Russian-made Gazelle :)

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Old 04-22-2010, 10:21 PM   #83
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Ekranoplane

Great page on Ekranoplanes here:
http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2007...-showcase.html

And if you go to google maps, look for Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan ... about 10 miles (15 km) south, on the caspian sea coast, is the Naval base at Kaspiysk ... where a white Ekranoplane is clearly visible
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:29 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch
Great page on Ekranoplanes here:
http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2007...-showcase.html

And if you go to google maps, look for Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan ... about 10 miles (15 km) south, on the caspian sea coast, is the Naval base at Kaspiysk ... where a white Ekranoplane is clearly visible

Here are some great pictures.


http://igor113.livejournal.com/51213.html





View Larger Map
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:40 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Klay
Here are some great pictures.


http://igor113.livejournal.com/51213.html
Wow thanks for that ... awesome pics ...the scale of the thing is mind boggling ... and then you think this "Lun" is at 270 tonnes is only half the size and weight of the earlier Caspian Sea Monster they built (544 tonnes)..

You look at those pics and think what a remarkable piece of technology just rotting away there. The probably millions of hours of research that went into getting the technology that far ...
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:53 PM   #86
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Another great adventure.. thank you for sharing.. Through your thread we are able to travel in isolated place in russia... hehehehe
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:11 AM   #87
Klay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch
Wow thanks for that ... awesome pics ...the scale of the thing is mind boggling ... and then you think this "Lun" is at 270 tonnes is only half the size and weight of the earlier Caspian Sea Monster they built (544 tonnes)..

You look at those pics and think what a remarkable piece of technology just rotting away there. The probably millions of hours of research that went into getting the technology that far ...
Your pictures of Siberia seem to capture a similar awesome spirit of Russia...a magnificent land of mind-boggling proportions whose inhabitants carry out amazing projects...those railroads across the wilderness.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:04 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch
True ... but never seen one in Siberia.
I know, the Caspian is pretty far away.

So many interesting russian artifacts out there

There's an interesting docummentary about the Ekranoplane project on youtube.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:34 AM   #89
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Back to the road

Our alarms went off at 10:30. We needed to be out of the apartment by midday and there was a fair bit of cleaning and reshuffling of stuff to do. But by midday we were out and had the bikes. First stop was a canteen (stolovaya) as we hadnt eaten thoughout our evening ordeal. Then it was back to the Aikhal petrol station to top up on 76 octane for the 375km to Chernyshevsky, the next fuel.



Two extra days of rain had made the road south worse than when we rode it on the way up. It was muddier, the rain was heavier, the temperature was colder. And we had hours and hours and hours of it. It would be 5 hours on dirt roads in good weather, travelling at 100 km/h, but in the heavy rain and thick mud, we would be lucky to average 70 km/h. Thats almost 8 hours of mud. Any slower than 70 km/h and we wouldnt get out before winter. Tony seemed to sense my desire to get back to relative civilisation as soon as possible and we powered on.

We stopped briefly in the village of Morkoka, (the only inhabited place in the 375 km between Aikhal and Chernyshevsky) as we had been told there might be fuel there. (There was a cafe with limited accomodation there too in case anyone else heads up this way some time). The fuel station was open, but had onnly diesel. If they had petrol, they werent selling it to us, even with puppy dog face and begging.



On and on thru the cold and the rain we went. We had a loose plan to meet Ilya back in Mirny at 6pm and were just on track to make that as we had been making better speed than initially thought. With about 300 km done and about 75 km from Chernyshevsky and the start of civilisation, Tony stopped. My fears had been realised, his rear tyre was flat. It would have been the dodgy vulcanisation from last night.

It was time to do a tube change. In the rain and the mud, and swarms of savage mosquitoes too, we took off Tony's back tyre. Nearby was a stream and in freezing cold water Tony had to wash the wheel, tyre and tube to avoid getting mud into the inside of the tyre. Initially I wanted to patch Tony's spare with proper self-vulcanising patches, but this was impossible due to the rain ... there was no-where to get the tube dry. So Tony's spare rear was put in, the tyre refitted and pumped up. We had managed to refit the tyre without pinching the tube. All of this had been done in slow motion as both of us had fingers so cold that nothing was happening automatically. We had to force our fingers to do this or that. And so an hour after stopping we were again on our way. The only one piece of satisfaction I got from that exercise is knowing Safran will now cease his complaining that we dont change our flat tyres ourselves.

The last 75 km to Chernyshevsky was the muddiest of the lot. Rear ends were slipping and sliding all over the place and it took an hour and a half, but we had both made it. Neither had resorted to our 5 litres of reserve fuel and we went straight to the fuel station to feed the thirsty bikes on 92 octane juice.

Phone coverage existed there too and I texted Ilya to let him know we would be late. Maybe 8pm. We had planned to get a bite to eat in Chernyshevsky but with Ilya waiting for us 100 km down the road in Mirny, we pressed on after refuelling. This dirt road was in much better shape and I roared along at 100 km/h, defying the rain and the cold. My heated gloves and vest had been on all day, and now my phone was charging up. We would soon be warm and clean.

30km out of Chernyshevsky and Tony's headlight disappeared from my rear view mirror. I stopped and a few minutes later it re-appeared. 'come on Tony, this is no time to faff about going slow' I thought to myself. The light caught up with me and I roared off again only to leave Tony's headlight trailing far behind. This was not like Tony. Even on the muddy roads he was now pretty comfortabe riding about as fast as I liked to ride. I stopped to wait for him and he pulled up next to me. His engine was overheating. We killed the bikes and checked out Tony's radiator. It was clogged with baked mud, about an inch thck, that had set like concrete from the heat.

As the mosquitos again began feasting, Tony set about with water form a nearby stream and a wooden stick, trying to clear his radiator. He had actually done tthis several times over the past few days, each time successfully, for a few hours before a few hours more mud clogged it again, but this time it was hard work. 20 minutes later and it was as clean as it was going to get.
We saddled up and fired up the bikes, or tried to. My battery was now flat. I had been riding all day with heated gear. There was nothing for it but to jump start the bike. We had no jumper leads, but Tony had a cable with a DIN plug at one end. I stripped the ends of the cable while Tony took off his battery panels. About a dozen screws need to be undone to get at the battery on his F650, and in the cold, with the mosquitoes, it took an eternity. Finally the batteries were connected and my bike fired up. It took another eternity to put all the panels back on.

Back on the road again and 20 km down the road Tony needed to stop and again squirt as much water as possible over his radiator. My bike stalled as we pulled up and the battery had not charged enough to fire it up. While Tony squirted his radiator, I puched the bike up a nearby hill. The 650 engine is not an easy one to clutch start, due to the compression, so I needed a decent hill. Fortunately unlike 20 km back, there was one available. Clutch starting the 650 needs to be done in 4th gear, as any other gear just results in skidding the back wheel. Amazingly it fired up first time. I had become accustomed to thinking life was meant to be hell and it was nice to know something still worked.

I went back to where Tony was. We were now only 50 km from Mirny. We had different problems with the bikes, Tonys being one that meant he needed to stop regularly, and mine being one that meant I should not stop at all. I told Tony that I was going to ride ahead non-stop to town to get to Andrei's garage. If I didnt see him in an hour I would send out a car search party. He agreed, meaning he could take his time with his radiator and then hose it out properly when we got to Andrei's.

I finally made it to Andrei's about 10:30pm. The day had been tough, but the period from Tony's flat rear to arriving in Mirny had been utter hell. Cold, wet, muddy and everytime we stopped we were eaten by mosquitos. It was an endurance test par excellence. An SAS style training course for motorcyclists.

I immediately reached for Andrei's Karcher pressure washer and turned it on myself. From the knees down I was covered in about an inch thick muddy slime, and then I started on the bike. 10 minutes into the process I heard the tell tale sound of a 650 rotax engine, and Tony pulled in. I immediately stopped what I was doing and turned the hose on him and on his radiator (from a safe distance) while he was still riding in. It took several minutes before his radiator was clean and well over 40 minutes before both bikes were acceptably clean.



Andrei turned off the Karcher and there was relief over Tony's and my faces. We were back in Mirny and we were in the hands of friends ... and were were halfway to clean ... clean enough to sit in Andrei's van as he took us to the apartment, via the beer shop of course.
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:38 AM   #90
killurtv
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I love your RR's!! Such stunning country, if you ever need another riding partner.... I am in!!! Thanks for posting.
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