Well I woke up the next morning and spoke to Terry. He was OK with the guys coming along.
Geir had spoken with his boys, and while they were a bit worried about the speed, they were prepared to start a couple of hours earlier in the morning if they had to. It looked like we had ourselves a new posse.
Way back on Page 8, when I had introduced the initial three riders, Terry, Rick and myself, I also offered this pic ... of riders still to come into the story...
Well you know Prutser, Beamster and Rod pretty well by now ... so I guess I better introduce the three Norwegians, who were now part of the team.
First up ... Geir ... aka EtronX. A mountain of a man, Geir is the guy behind the Norwegian project. As mentioned earlier, I had been in contact with him for about 12 months prior to our meeting here in Irkutsk. A helicopter rescue pilot by trade, like most Norwegians is into life threatening thrill seeking kinda hobbies. He used to ride a 1200 GSA, but wisely chose a much lighter bike specially for this project - an X-Challenge. His bike was kitted out very similarly to mine, except its black, has a TT bashplate instead of my Scheffelmeier product and he had OEM forks, that had been given new springs and a change of oil by the good folks at Hyperpro. Adventure-Spec were out of stock of the Magadan panniers when he departed so he had to make do with a crazy assortment of bags on the back.
Second up was Geirs close friend and Riding buddy Erik. Erik is a daredevil skydiving instructor. Erik's bike was the same as Geir's except his had a high fender, while Geir had a low fender. Both guys had the luxury of some pre project training with Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Scandinavia's top Dakar rider.
Here are the boys together in previews from some pics to come:
And last but definitely not least ... the guy who in my book is up there with Beamster as probably the most remarkable of all the riders we rode with this year ... Steve. As EtronX mentioned earlier, he and Erik met a third Norwegian guy, Steve, riding around the world on an F800GS, just a few days before arriving in Irkutsk. In April 2012, Steve quit his job as an advertising exec in Norway, quit his girlfriend, and decided he wanted to ride a motorcycle around the world. Steve had never ridden a bike before. He bought an F800GS and set of into the former USSR, exploring Iran and the assorted Stans before he bumped into the Trans Sibir Expedition guys in the form of Geir and Erik, in Krasnoyarsk, just 1100 km before Irkutsk. This wasnt what he planned for. Like most long distance adventure rides on heavy bikes, Steve was just envisaging bad asphalt roads and the occasional graded gravel road. But just 3 months after he learned to ride a motorcycle, here was Steve, (aka stemic01 on this forum) being thrown into the deep end - and he was being asked if he wants to come along and do the BAM and ROB with Terry and myself. I cant speak for Steve, but I would have been petrified if that was me.
Steve was riding a pretty stock F800 ... with crash bars.
Not ideal for the job, but then if I hadnt thought it could get the job done I would have told Steve not to bother. I had a hunch that Steve would make it and get his bike through kicking and screaming.