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Old 01-08-2013, 03:47 PM   #2311
Beam(st)er
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DAY 61 Part 3

Next was Tee Bee's bike.





The local who pointed us the route was watching how we made it across.
On the left of the yurts you can see Rods bike which was the last one to take across.



Prutser told Rod to take off his seat so he could still reach the ground when the bike would go over the big boulders.

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Old 01-08-2013, 04:09 PM   #2312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROD CURRIE View Post
The best/worst example of this I have seen was in Key West a few years ago.
We were watching the annual powerboat races down there and chatting to the guy who watched a car park outside a hotel on the end of Duval, the main street. He'd had a request for 40 or so parking places for guests to park their Harleys during a Harley convention-thing. The guy doing the booking said he'd want the places at 1100, so the car park guy asked " how do you know that's when you want the places. The guy replied " cos that's when the truck will arrive with the bikes".
So the truck arrived, the bikes were unloaded and all the Bad Boys ...Sales managers, dentists, lawyers, accountants, flew in, checked into the hotel,...donned their denim, bandanas and leather chaps and went down to the car park at the alotted time. Soon the air was shaking with the sound of 40 Harleys and Mean Dudes revving them up.....then they all set off down Duval..pulled in to Sloppy Joe's about 200 yards away...(the bar where Hemingway drank)...had a couple of beers each but then couldn't ride as they'd be over the limit. So the bikes stayed there 'til the next day when they were loaded back on the truck and carried back whence they came. You truly couldn't make it up.......
I was riding across the Mohave Desert with a friend this summer and a guy walked up to talk to us at a gas station in the 47°C heat. He gave me his card and said, I can ship your bikes anywhere you want in North America so that you don't have to ride them. He runs a charter biker trip business, in which he arranges flights, and shipping of bikes to wherever a group of people want to show off their shiny stuff. I said "thanks, but I bought this thing to ride it regardless of the weather".

Great RR, I was in the Altai 3 years ago looking over some of the archaeological sites, and again this year, but was stuck in a 4wd instead of on a bike. You may have seen some of the burial sites (large mounds with big stones around the edges). As for the blue flags on the incense burners, the color represents space, one of the 5 basic elements. At least that's what it means in Tibet.
Cheers
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:37 PM   #2313
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Oh comon, I just nominated one of your pics, you need to stop giving us Front page material, it's getting hard to chose
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:42 PM   #2314
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what was that link again???

Quote:
Originally Posted by VFR View Post
Major thanks out to whoever posted the link to the original Colebatch report of riding from China to London.......
Would someone mind posting that again - I've tried searching but this report is just so vast I've not located it.

Guys, it's been a pleasure reading this so far. Reading these reports I feel as though I really get a bond with the writers.

Walter, your experience and knowlege is incredible. As a new follower of this site I've learned tons reading these reports, I plan to read them all.

Rod, your way with words has me in stitches most times. I imagine it would be a blast having a few beers with you. My sides would be sore from laughing so much, that I'm sure of.

Onward!
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:56 PM   #2315
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Would someone mind posting that again - I've tried searching but this report is just so vast I've not located it.


http://www.tokyotolondon.com/
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:12 PM   #2316
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Originally Posted by Prutser View Post
Here you can see him chasing them down into the valley.
He would take them all the way to the yurts that can be seen in distance.


Wow... what a "backyard" he has...
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:28 PM   #2317
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Fences

What make this part of the planet so interesting is there are no fences and consumerism doesn't seem to have taken over...yet.

A great place to just ride.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:32 PM   #2318
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Come to find out World Vision was a CIA front. This now open secret is well known and NGO's are (apparently) kept under a tighter reign. The good news is I did see LOTS OF GOOD being done everywhere we went. So projects and help was provided ... and a bit of simple information gathering on the side.
!
Good point. Russia in particular has really clamped down on NGOs for this very reason - the duplicitous nature of their existence. I think if you try to enter Russia under the banner of an NGO saying you want to travel to remote regions, you will be under far more suspicion than if you enter as an individual.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:02 PM   #2319
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Wow Beamster ... awesome pics and story.

As I said before, this is all new to me. I am following the story of you four just as keenly as everyone else here !
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:07 PM   #2320
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It just clicked with me that the Mongolians would truly understand what you are attempting here. As nomads, they have a natural sympathy for your journey. Keep it coming!
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:19 PM   #2321
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Day 61 up North

I had a good sleep in, in my hotel in Ulan Ude. I had only a short ride today. Asphalt .. 450 km to Irkutsk ... along the shores of Lake Baikal. But the bike had a list of things I needed to get done to it. From alloy welding the front of the bike up, to new tyres, brake pads, new chain, new rear indicators (I damaged them in my fall near Olgiy), oil change, oil filter, head bearings, a long list of missing bolts etc. The bike was really needing a rest and a lot of replacements after the thrashing I gave it across Mongolia.

Irkutsk was the end of Stage 2 of the trail. I had to have the bike prepared for Stage 3, the run from Irkutsk to Magadan, via the Western half of the BAM and the Road of Bones. I would be away from the bike in Moscow for a week. I needed to get to Irkutsk early enough to discuss all of this at the bike shop there. I needed it to be ready when I flew back to meet Terry in Irkutsk. Terry was still in Mongolia. They had no wifi or phone coverage there so I didnt even know where they were now, or how they were going.

I left Ulan Ude and grabbed breakfast on the road. It was a pleasant enough cruise into Irkutsk. I stopped for lunch and fuel and arrived at the bike shop in Irkutsk about 3:30 pm after a scenic but uneventful 6 hours on the road. I spoke to the mechanic there ... and told him the bike was his for a week. I wrote him out the list of things that needed to be sorted. He nodded.

The list was long. A few things were starting to break and to fail. For the first 10,000 off road km the bike had been fine. Just the cracked front subframe before Kazakhstan. Everything else was just routine maintenance. Now, 2000 km further, the bike, which has had years of improvement put into it, was starting to suffer. Nothing was fundamentally weak. Nothing was failing for the wrong reasons. It was because the stress of SO MUCH off road, aggressively ridden, day in day out, was taking its toll. Its not like I dont know how to prepare a bike for this sort of trip. I have probably prepared and ridden more bikes for more tough adventure bike trips than almost anyone. Each time I do it, the bikes are better ... faster ... tougher. I thought back to my flying days and the failsafe engineering that goes into aircraft. It doesnt matter how well you build an aircraft - or how overengineered it is - the airframe can only take so much before it has to be pensioned off. And it occurred to me that maybe asking a bike, any bike, to do something as demanding as this trip, this Sibirsky Extreme Trail, from start to finish, at the speeds you need to go at to finish it on schedule, was possibly asking more out of the bike than its possible to put into a bike. After 2010, when I rode from Magadan to Holland with zero problems with the bike, nothing that needed to be fixed and just 2 bolts and a fuel tank cap that needed to be replaced (after Mongolia ironically) that I thought the bike was bulletproof. But that trip was only 8500 km (5300 miles) off road. The rest was asphalt. This trip was 18,000 km off road. Certainly for the first 8,500 - even 10,000 km of offroad, the bike remained bulletproof. But now that I was up to 12,000 km off road, the difference was beginning to show. It occurred to me that there is a limit. Maybe at this pace, you can not get more than 10,000 km of offroad in before you start to run into issues. Thats when I began to wonder .... is this trail the toughest test you can reasonably put an adventure bike through? Maybe I had even gone too far this time. Maybe this much off road is too much (without rebuilding the bike). I wanted to talk to Terry. His bike had been through the same as mine this trip. I needed to get a better feel from him how his bike was doing. But he was in the middle of nowhere. I would have to chat with him when we met up again in Irkutsk.

I unpacked the gear I would need for a week in Moscow and called a cab, jumped in and headed off to Nina's place - my refuge in Irkutsk. I had to wake up at 5am the next day for the flight to Moscow. I had made it,. Another mad rush through Mongolia. I dont know why, but everytime I seem to be in Mongolia I have mad time restrictions and need to ride across the country as if I am in a rally race. In 2010 it was because I had to get a flight to Holland for my son's birthday. In 2009 it was because it was late September and the snows had set in , but I had a 4 day window of warm weather in which to race across the country. I dont mind it. I love riding flat out in that terrain. But I had taken great pains this year to put together a spanking good track ... and I was missing it. The KTMs mechanical issues has squeezed our planned time in Mongolia by a week. Thats the breaks.

I was hoping like hell that the other 4 were getting great pics. (I see now that they did )

Anyway. I was in Irkutsk, and my work was done ... for now.

Tomorrow - Moscow !
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:31 PM   #2322
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beam(st)er View Post
.....................

The young guy started to check out Prutsers bike and was pushing all the buttons, when Prutser noticed it he turned on the ignition and made a gesture that he could take it for a ride. Without hesitation he drove of into the hills.


This is not one of the guys in the Mongolian Dakar Team is it?
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:36 PM   #2323
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My coworker is from Belarus and grew up on a collective farm there. He's in his 40s and emigrated to the US just after the Soviet Union crumbled. He's since gotten an engineering degree is married and has several kids.

We went out for a Russian lunch today and I described to him in detail what this trip entails and how it was planned. He shakes his head and says "it's dangerous".

Sure is. Keep it coming!

Thanks.

Steve
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:32 PM   #2324
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I don't really have any comment that hasn't already been said - Thanks to all five of you for taking the time to share! I'm deeply envious of your adventure, and can only wish that one day I'll have the time, skill, fortitude... Oh yeah, and money to try my own version one day.

I've been devouring this RR - three evenings bring me to this page now. Like everyone else... More!!!

At the very least I'll have no choice but to go out and play in the mud this weekend!
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:03 PM   #2325
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Mongolia Tracks

Here are the tracks as at the end of Day 61 ... up north I had zoomed ahead, and reached Irkutsk.

In the middle of Mongolia, the gang of four had just passed the sacred mountain Otgon Tenger and were heading through rarely used mountain tracks towards The Great White Lake, then on to Ulaanbaatar (on the far right of the map below)

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