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Old 07-17-2013, 04:30 AM   #211
Doogle OP
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Just a quick update.I'm in Altai.Last night in Uliastai.The night before tent camped near Tosentsengal after 3am.The night I left Ulanbaatar I stayed at Karakorum.They lied about internet service.But there was an old monastery there.I have daily stuff written up on my tablet.Just need WiFi to post it.And the bike is running great.Thanks to Sasha.

Doogle screwed with this post 01-25-2014 at 06:56 PM
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:04 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by Doogle View Post
Just a quick update.I'm in Altai.Last night in Uliastai.The night before tent camped near Tosint..... after 3am.The night I left Ulanbaatar I stayed at Karakorum.They lied about internet service.But there was an old monastery there.I have daily stuff written up on my tablet.Just need WiFi to post it.And the bike is running great.Thanks to Sasha.
Good to hear the bike is running good. Can't wait to hear more.

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Old 07-17-2013, 12:19 PM   #213
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now this is an adventure!
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:45 AM   #214
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Great to hear all is back on track Doug with your trip and with the wife.

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Old 07-19-2013, 10:50 AM   #215
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7-14-13
I waited for the rain to stop before taking my tent down It was 230 before I left. If I hadn't lost a month with a bad crankshaft, I would have stayed another day. There aren't many opportunities to talk with so many bikers that have traveled to so many places. When I was just out of town, I remembered I wanted to get some money from the ATM. I never saw one again. I can probably stretch what I havens to make it.I'll just need too be frugal.

About 150 miles out of Ulanbaatar I stopped to look at a rockets formation near some ger's and some teepees.




A man asked if I wanted a place to sleep or eat. I said I would eat something after I took some pictures. I wasn't that hungry. I had 2 pieces of toast for breakfast. I got soup made with mutton and pasta.When I finished eating, a young couple asked me some questions. He's from Austria and she's Mongolian. It was about 90 minutes till sunset. I was tempted to spend the night there so I could talk to them some more. More miles won over more talk.


Right after leaving them, I saw these double hump camels available for riding. I'll see more camels. If I see one with 3 humps I'll make time for it.


I arrived at Karakorum as the sun was setting. Chinggis Khaan established it as a supply base. His son made it the capital. 40 years later, Kublai Khaan moved the capital tomorrow whis now Beijing.

Before it got too dark, I took some pictures of Erdene Zuu Khiid.It was founded in 1586, and was the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia.


Only 3 of about 80 temples survived the Stalinist purging of churches. In the morning I'll see what's left inside. The room I have looks out at the monastery in the distance. Before I got this room they said it has internet. Well, it's dial-up. And there phone isn't working right now.

7-15-13 311 miles 6203 total
I left the hotel at 830.I went to Erdene Zuu Monastery and found the 13th century Turtle Rock. There were 4 at one time. They are supposed to be protectors.


Then I went in the monastery. It cost $3 to visit the 3 temples. No photos allowed in the temples. The monastery must have been an amazing site before most of the structures were destroyed.





About 130pm I was back on the trail.
The road became much rougher with many potholes and detours.One of my panniers came off today. No damage other than losing a quart of gas from my spare can.


These rough corrugated roads rattle everything loose. I kept riding so I could find a place with internet. Riding is hard in the day and tougher at night. At 2am I came to a bridge that crossed to a town. But a truck at each end blocked entry. A man indicated it was unsafe. But I saw 3 scooters cross it. We walked across it and looked at it.It looked safe for a motorcycle if I stayed to the right side. I squeezed past the truck and went hotel looking. 3 hotels and nobody answers the door at 230am. Down the road I go looking for a tent site. 200 yards off the road I set up my tent. I see lights out investigating.There must be cattle or sheep around. It was after 4 before I went to sleep. At 8am I hear horns blowing. They are moving sheep in my direction.


After I am packed up, a man rides over to check me out. We try communicating for a while before I leave. Interesting gun he has.




7-16-13 115 miles 6318 total
The roads are worse today. I decided I would stop at Uliastai and catch up on internet things and rest the body. I saw 2 east bound riders. Klaus and Seb from Austria.I've seen Klaus posts on Advrider. We talked and took pictures for 15 minutes. Klaus said there was no internet in Uliastai. I'll need 2 days to catch up on my blog when I stop.

I am at Jim Hotel $17, at 3pm.I laid down and rested for a while. Then I did some laundry.A can of octane booster opened in my tail box.everything in there smells like deisel fuel.

Later I went looking for food. The hotel across the street had 4 loaded bikes. After finding them we all went out to eat. 2 Swiss, a German, and one from Scotland. They were going east. They took 2 days coming from my next destination, 120 miles away. They said there is a lot of tricky sand.

7-17-13 146 miles 6464 Total

I saw Jimmy from Scotland loading his bike as I left this morning.


His group was starting late also. I went to the grocery store and bought water, apple juice, chiips, and trail mix.Then I went to get gas. I emptied my spare gas can into my tank before going to the pump. 8 pounds less to carry. It's only about 120 miles to the next stop. And I'd heard this was one of the rougher sections. Then I ate breakfast, that I just bought at the store.

There was a little sand here and there. It was nothing like I'd heard from several people. I thought it was a relaxed ride. If the foursome I just met thought this was tough, they better not go the route I was on the last 2 days. I miss a turn and added 20 extra miles. I got to Altai and went to a phone store to get a SIM card because nobody in town had WiFi. They tried for an hour to get it to work, then gave up. They had a worker lead me to a cafe that had WiFi. It wasn't working that day. But a man at a booth said something to me. He was Spencer from Maryville Tennessee. He said I could get online at the post office. I told him I would come back to eat and talk after I sent e-mails. When I returned he was eating with 7-8 women.


He teaches English to them. They were all doctors, dentists and teachers. After I ate Spencer asked if I would like to stay at his house. He said I would need to sleep on the floor because he had 2 brothers(not his) from Ohio staying with him. Sounded perfect to me.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:47 AM   #216
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The brothers Brian and Stanton do volunteer work through their church. We talked till we were too tired to talk anymore.Then I started snoring to the floor.

The other day I half dropped my bike. After leaving Uliastai I missed a turn and did some bonus miles. When I turned around, I tried what seemed like a shortcut. After several miles I was heading to someones ger. I tried going cross country to the road I should have stayed on. Suddenly I was riding mini moguls for about 200 yards. These are a lot deeper than they look.


7-18-13 271 miles
I woke up at 615. We all had coffee and toast as we talked for another several hours.


At 1030 I was riding through the Gobi Desert on the laundry road. Well, it was just about all washboard. Above 50 mph it smoothed out. But there were some hidden deep ditches that could end your trip if you weren't alert. I met 2 young guys from France and Denmark riding 150cc Chinese bikes. They bought them in Ulanbaatar for $800 each. They rode across Mongolia's northern route, and were going back to Ulanbaatar on the southern route.

The camels seem to be wild. Out in the desert, loose, and nobody around. But I'm sure they belong to somebody.




Taking a break in the desert.


Vultures taking a break in the desert.


There are a lot of yaks in the road too.


I got to Khovd at 6pm. I went to 3 hotels and found no WiFi.I met an east bound biker, Sedat, from Turkey. We exchanged information for a while. I decided to stay at the hotel he was in even though their WiFi wasn't working. When I looked at the room and found the water wouldn't be on till 8pm, I was done with them. I'll ride to Olgii- 130 miles. Maybe they'll have WiFi. 38 miles down the road a bridge is missing. And the water is quite deep and fast. I put my tent up and fought with mosquitoes for a while.


We'll see what options we have tomorrow.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:53 PM   #217
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7-19-13 196 miles 6981 total
I got up a little after 6. I had everything packed except my tent. A van with 8 people in it pulled up. He wanted to know how to cross the river. I don't know. He made a phone call and motioned me to follow. We followed a trail about 2 miles north to a new looking bridge. That was easy.

After putting on warmer clothes I passed the van, and didn't see another vehicle for 70 miles. I passed a car and 2 motorcycles a little before the border. The car and motorcycle were together. 5 people from Poland. We talked for about an hour at the border.

The last 100 miles in Mongolia were the most scenic I've seen in their country. And in Russia it gets better. Snow capped mountains. I finally couldn't out run a rain storm. But at least it was while I was on paved road.

Here are a few pictures I took today.


Taking my gas tank off at the Russian border. I was fishing my gas cap seal out. Don't ask what it was doing in there.




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Old 07-19-2013, 05:43 PM   #218
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Finally a few pictures.


Some of Andreys crew

Does that happen to be an ATK in the left background?
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:46 PM   #219
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:04 PM   #220
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Ok, I am on a really small screen. It would be amazing if it were an ATK
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:34 PM   #221
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Sorry mate, no half-dropped about it. It's on the ground - it's dropped! 7 for us in Mongolia. We count the little ones too.

Glad you're back on rhe road, buddy. But damn, you're putting in crazy riding hours. Take care out there.

Was the water crossing just outside Hovd, where the road looks washed out? There was a much easier crossing downstream from where the trucks had dug a hole.

We kept hearing reports from others about the road also. Being the novices we are, we held our breath, bracing ourselves for bad roads to come. Then suddenly, Mongolia was over. Don't know of we're lucky or good.

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Old 07-20-2013, 10:26 AM   #222
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Sorry mate, no half-dropped about it. It's on the ground - it's dropped! 7 for us in Mongolia. We count the little ones too.

Glad you're back on rhe road, buddy. But damn, you're putting in crazy riding hours. Take care out there.

Was the water crossing just outside Hovd, where the road looks washed out? There was a much easier crossing downstream from where the trucks had dug a hole.

We kept hearing reports from others about the road also. Being the novices we are, we held our breath, bracing ourselves for bad roads to come. Then suddenly, Mongolia was over. Don't know of we're lucky or good.

Sent from my GT-I9100T using Tapatalk 4 Beta

The road I was on ended where a bridge used to be.The current was so strong and fast, you couldn't walk across with no bike.

I didn't want to call it a drop. I want to call it temporary parking while I looked for an alternate route.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:58 AM   #223
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7-20-13 526 miles 7597 total
20 miles west of Novosibirsk,Russia
I was up till after 4am catching up on my blog. It was sloppy because I could barely keep my eyes open.

The road out of Aktash was good. It had nice curves for several hours. The mountains on each side would occasionally have snow on them. The road gradually straightened out and the mountains turned into hills. It was a pleasant ride. But I was expecting something near spectacular.




I had some heavy traffic going towards Barnaul.Everyone was going to the shores of the river. I've never seen so many people swarm a river

I am about 20 miles west of Novosibirsk in a hotel. The room cost 1500 rubles (about $45).I only had 1440 rubles. It took 1/2 hour before she finally let me have it. I didn't stop at an Atm because I wanted to exchange my Mongolian money for rubles. I couldn't find an open bank.

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Old 07-21-2013, 11:19 AM   #224
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7-21-13 499 miles 8096 total
Krutinka,Russia 100 miles east of Ishim

Nothing worth taking a picture of today. I saw a tandem truck laying on it's side. And 10 minutes later I saw a car on it's top in the grass.

I've had mostly pavement since the Mongolian border. The drivers lately have taken a little getting used to. They pass and hope you go close to the shoulder so they can squeeze through. I've had a couple mirrors pass less than a foot from my fingers. There is a lot of truck traffic. I guess they work Sundays too.

I see lots of people selling small baskets of, I guess fruits on the side of the road. I probably saw a hundred people sitting on the shoulder waiting to make a sale.And I saw as many people picking from the fields by the road. They were reddish brown and about 1 1/2" diameter. Maybe I'll stop and ask if I see someone tomorrow.

I am heading to Georgia. It doesn't look like many main roads nor a direct route without going through Kazakhstan. And I don't have a visa to go there. And it is about 2500 miles from here.

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Old 07-24-2013, 08:25 AM   #225
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7-22-13 630 miles 8726 total
Ust-Katav,Russia 100 miles east of Ufa

I'm in a gas station hostel tonight. $52 for a 3 bed shared room. But I was the only person in it.


Today I stopped at a road side vendor. I bought some blueberries. Really I just wanted to see what they had. There were raspberries and mushrooms too.




I finally saw another road kill. Looked like a raccoon. But that was as exciting as it got. The roads are still pretty good.

7-23-13 538 miles 9264 total
50 miles south of Samara,Russia
I'm staying in another road side hostel. But I have a 2 bed room to myself this time. And it was only $30. Riding today was the same as the last several days. Some new roads. Some construction. And a lot of 2 lane, rutted, bumpy road. I'vegotten used to cars another trucks coming head on at me. I spent 3 hours in rush hour traffic, back and forth, finding an oil filter for my bike. Yes I wasted an hour looking. I changed my oil yesterday. Decided it needed to be done even if I didn't have a filter. My chain needed a little tightening 2 days ago. It's a little loose again. The rear sprocket has worn through the surface hardening. It will need replacing soon. And my front tire is scalloped. It has plenty of tread, but it is designed for more off road use. It may last the rest of my trip.

Before reaching Ufa, I started seeing sunflowers. This must be the sunflower capital of the world. Sure looks nice on a sunny day.


And street vendors are selling, what looks like honey. Jars, and jars of different colors and sizes sitting on their car hoods or tables.

I bought my oil filter in Samara. It is a big city. It seemed modern and busy. They also had restaurants. I had my pick of McDonald's. I picked the first one I could get to.

I'm about an hour out of Samara, and a thousandmiles to Georgia. I want to get as close as I can to the border today. Then, hopefully, I can get through the border and to a town before dark. I am going down the middle to start. I've read there are conflicts and fighting on the east and west sides. One rider from Poland said he saw tanks and heavily armed military when he went through. But it seems to be localized. These areas want to be separate countries. I will slow my pace when I get there. Riders from Austria said it reminded them of their country with all the snow covered mountains.

The last several days I've entered new time zones. I never know what time it is. I always as my wife. But the internet service is so bad, we really can't talk. E-mail and Skype messages seem to be the best communication method.

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