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Old 11-09-2012, 11:01 PM   #466
Klay
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That so reminds me of the Great Plains in the US...but amazing that there are so few restrictions or fences. An unexpected dimension of freedom.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:19 AM   #467
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RingGap View Post
Great update, in reality Ukraine / Russian Mafia don't need to steal cars & bikes they have cash and lots of it, it's just the countries government that doesn't get there taxes from these luxury purchases. Customs officials in the old pocket.
It not Russian mafia is the West Ukraine a mafia. They, have communications in Europe, they agree with owners of motorcycles and for small money take away them. They have enough time what to leave Europe. The insurance company pays for a motorcycle. All are happy. It in Ukraine very developed business. A large number of offers of motorcycles at the low price without documents. In Russia it isn't present.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:54 AM   #468
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Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
......

After lunch (and still in Perelub) we bumped into cops again, for the second time today, and only about the third time all trip. They wanted to do a full check on us, so took our passports back to the station so more comprehensive checks could be done on us. Took about 10 minutes while our details were run through the computer before passports were returned with a smile.

While the passports were being checked out, one of the cops who was checking out our bikes was telling me they were on the lookout for terrorists coming from central asia. Maybe they had a tip off. We were only about 30 km (20 miles) from the Kazakh border here ... and I guess it was the same story that morning in Dergachi.

But they were friendly. Its always a hassle to hand your passports over to the cops for 10 minutes or so, but I guess they are only trying to do their job.


In the south of Russia checks are possible, drugs arrive from the Middle East.
In any case to the European foreigners at police a good relation, check of things it is improbable.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:42 AM   #469
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Originally Posted by Balkan Boy View Post
Colebatch,
Did you have a backup in case of (all) GPS failure?
Also, do you think you could've done this trip without GPS?
No this trip is only possible with either a GPS .... or a roadbook with a 25 kg roll on it. And then probably only a Montana GPS. It was very difficult to load all the data onto Terry's Zumo.

Navigating the farm trails which often diverge or cross every few hundred metres would be impossible without knowing which one you had to be on.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:44 AM   #470
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Originally Posted by Pate View Post
It not Russian mafia is the West Ukraine a mafia. They, have communications in Europe, they agree with owners of motorcycles and for small money take away them. They have enough time what to leave Europe. The insurance company pays for a motorcycle. All are happy. It in Ukraine very developed business. A large number of offers of motorcycles at the low price without documents. In Russia it isn't present.
Yes agree - in Kiev, the biker we met (Alex) told us that between a third and half the motorcycles in Ukraine are stolen and without papers.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:09 AM   #471
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Really Walter? You guys showed your passports and papers to the cops?
You can tell us the truth, you really just showed them the ''special letter''
from big Victor and all was good instantly !

Your RRs are the best I ve read and great motivation to anyone wanting to
adventure ride.
Do you really plan on having the GPS tracks available for anyone that might
want to ride this route or at least parts of it?
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:47 AM   #472
Kristof Granit
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Originally Posted by Pickup man View Post
Really Walter? You guys showed your passports and papers to the cops?
You can tell us the truth, you really just showed them the ''special letter''
from big Victor and all was good instantly ! ...
"Special letter" was for Ukraine...
They have been stopped in Russia

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:12 AM   #473
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickup man View Post
Really Walter? You guys showed your passports and papers to the cops?
You can tell us the truth, you really just showed them the ''special letter''
from big Victor and all was good instantly !
Hahahaha ... well big Viktor was Ukraine, and this was Russia ... completely different kettles of fish. Ukraine has very little centralised control ... local guys run regional fiefdoms. Russia is much more centralised. Federal border cops answer to Moscow. National security is much harder to negotiate via a letter from a small town crook in Russia.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickup man View Post
Do you really plan on having the GPS tracks available for anyone that might
want to ride this route or at least parts of it?
Yes, but I have to work out how to make it work.

I cant really do them for free. The TAT trail details is several hundred bucks, Gandini (the Morocco guru) sells GPS routes through Morocco for like 600 EUR, transcontinental motorcycle GPS routes via firms like ride-on motortours run for 2000 EUR. And there were months and months of work that have gone into this route in 2011, and I am been at it again for over a week revising it. But I know I can do it a lot cheaper than any of that stuff.

My current thinking is I will do it is split the trail into 3 parts. Each part 6000 miles (10,000km) long and would be doable in a month - Cause I don't think that many people will have the chance to ride the whole thing. Each with detailed GPS route, waypoints and accompanying video clips, pictures and route notes. GPS route tracks will have everything in there for a trip; fuel stops, cafes, hotels. I am actually putting a fair bit of work into the route now, to change it from the areas we needed to detour around or that were closed border zones etc. I am currently drafting a bunch of detours and incorporating them into a revised route.

And I think I will do the trail route and video stuff separate from a general video DVD of the ride.
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Colebatch screwed with this post 11-10-2012 at 09:54 AM
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:16 AM   #474
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Yes, but I have to work out how to make it work.

I cant really do them for free. The TAT trail details is several hundred bucks, Gandini (the Morocco guru) sells GPS routes through Morocco for like 600 EUR, transcontinental motorcycle GPS routes via firms like ride-on motortours run for 2000 EUR. And there were months and months of work that have gone into this route. But I know I can do it a lot cheaper than any of that stuff.

My current thinking is I will do it is split the trail into 3 parts. Each part 6000 miles (10,000km) long and would be doable in a month - Cause I don't think that many people will have the chance to ride the whole thing. Each with detailed GPS route, waypoints and accompanying video clips, pictures and route notes. GPS route tracks will have everything in there for a trip; fuel stops, cafes, hotels.

And I think I will do the trail route and video stuff separate from a general video DVD of the ride.[/QUOTE]

Well I am really interested in buying you routes DVD etc etc

Can you mention how well the Michelin Desert Tyres are working for you, particularly on pavement
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:49 AM   #475
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klay View Post
That so reminds me of the Great Plains in the US...but amazing that there are so few restrictions or fences. An unexpected dimension of freedom.
Yes, I am always struck by a sense of freedom when I get to Russia. And whenever I get back to Europe I am suddenly overwhelmed by the rules ... I puck up speeding fines, parking fines and get yelled at for riding in places I am not supposed to ride, and then you get your bike stolen. In Russia I typically find the exact opposite of all the above.

Neither Terry or I picked up any fines at all on this trip this year in over 3 months. No parking fines, no speeding fines, nothing stolen, no-one telling us we cant ride here or there ...

We even only came across 2 livestock gates in the entire trip Both were in the Ukraine. In the UK you can barely ride half a mile offroad without having to get off, ride thru a livestock gate, close it behind you etc. But here, 2 gates in over 3 months offroad.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:53 AM   #476
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Originally Posted by RingGap View Post
Can you mention how well the Michelin Desert Tyres are working for you, particularly on pavement
For me, they are the benchmark for this kind of ride. Long wearing, very tough, puncture resistant, good grip, Dakar quality.

The pavement sections were short and rare (apart from the day and a half to Volgograd - which wasnt part of the planned route) and the Desert front isnt ideal on asphalt, but it is adequate.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:57 AM   #477
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Day 20 - late afternoon vid caps













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Old 11-10-2012, 10:18 AM   #478
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Day 20 - Pervomaiski

Our destination was Pervomayskiy (also called Volodarskiy on some maps).

But before we got there, there was one small, seemingly simple water crossing to deal with:





But it turned out not to be as simple as we hoped.

Terry went in first:





but he didnt come out the other side:





The bottom was super sticky slippery clay mud. It took us 20 minutes to move Terry's bike 2 metres further to the far bank.

Naturally I took a different route through the water crossing that we were sure would be better ... only it was worse. It took us 30 minutes to get my bike across !!

Eventually we rocked up to Pervomayskiy and our hotel. Since we had been camping for the last couple of nights and had some long days since Volgograd, we decided Pervomayskiy would be a rest day for us. I felt guilty as hell walking up the stairs to the hotel reception with sticky stinky mud all over my boots, but was met by the owner, who not only said no problem to us staying two nights, but added he also owned a pressure wash car wash facility in the same building.

Terry and I blasted ourselves and then the bikes clean before going to our rooms. The rest day tomorrow would be not only a day for us to relax and recover, but a day to spend time doing routine checks and maintenance to the bikes. Thats about 3000 times easier if the bikes are clean, than if they are caked in mud.

We ordered shashlik for dinner then dined in the hotels sauna area round the back ... with cold beers.

We had enjoyed 3 days of awesome steppe riding, we were eating tasty meat, drinking cold beer ... life was pertty damn good !
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:35 AM   #479
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Three days on the steppe

The faint yellow line is the border between Kazakhstan and Russia ... you can see we are basically parallelling it ... while trying to stay far enough away to stay out of the border zones.

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Old 11-10-2012, 10:48 AM   #480
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Yet another inspiring ride, one day I'll be out there on my bike in the wide open spaces instead of navigating the West Cross Route on a wet Friday afternoon. Until then I can but read your reports.

Of course the question that springs to mind is what next? The BAM in winter maybe? Your SnowBike awaits.



Now that would be a challenge I'd drop everything for, put my name down now.
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