ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-30-2014, 04:54 AM   #1
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
Travels with Goodenough

Through Russia and Westward

This RR started life as:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971299

But when I got into Russia, I found that the people here are some of the kindest you will meet.
First off I was told to put a Canadian flag on your jacket (I didn't) and never say you are American. I wish I had put a big American flag on my jacket. The Russians LOVE Americans. I have been hugged, hand shaken, I felt like I was a Rock Star here. True. Out East, they may have never actually seen an American except on TV.
I was at a gas station in the middle of no-where Siberia and when the locals heard that I was American, they almost hoisted me on their shoulders. America and Russia ARE FRIENDS! I heard several times

So that being said. especially when stopped by the police, say Im USA! and watch the smiles.

I met this Korean kid at the Ferry dock in Sokcho. Hes riding almost the same route as me but is cutting south into Iran and Turkey. All at 40mph



That is a 125cc Korean made scooter. I'll give him a week of the cold weather in Siberia before he catches the ferry back home. :( I did see him the 2nd day on the way to Khabarovsk so he made it through the first night in his tent. I would be thrilled to see him again.

I have started this RR 4 times and each time the Russian wifi has crapped out and deleted everything. So I apologize for making multiple entries for what shoule be one
Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 05:16 AM   #2
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
Mongolia was amazing...but Im getting ahead of myself



You will be a Rock Star so don't mess up a great thing







From the Korean ferry dock looking over Sokcho, those are the highest mountains in Korea

Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 05:21 AM   #3
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
So Scooter kid and I head up the coast of North Korea heading to Zarubino, Russia

Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 05:24 AM   #4
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
Scooter kid is wearing jeans, combat boots and a lettermans jacket. He doesn't have rain gear or cold gear that I have seen. He speaks as much English as I speak Korean. And he speaks no Russian at all


Flyred screwed with this post 04-30-2014 at 06:52 AM
Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 05:40 AM   #5
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
Karaoke is stupid big all over Asia and Russia. Again...you are a Rock Star. Don't mess it up by singing like a frog with a stutter




This is Karen. She is Pilipino and speaks better English than most Americans. She works the Coffee Bar on the Stena Ferry. She is 32 and single. For you younger guys. just sayin



When on a 18 hour ferry ride you get bored at 4am...



Oh...great editorial cartoon in the Korean paper



So we arrive on schedule in Zarubino. A tiny little port town 50km from Vladivostok via a really bad road. But if you take Stena, this is your exit even though the ship goes to Vladivostok to drop her cargo

Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 06:03 AM   #6
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
That's about the entire town out there in then fog



The "passenger terminal" is an old warehouse structure. You will enter, go through passport control, exit that area and stand there looking lost. Vladimir will find you and without identifying himself say come with me.

You will go to his little office in the back of the warehouse and do paperwork to go back to the ship and get your bike. This will take 3 hours. If you don't smoke, start. YOU WILL LOOK OUT OF PLACE. because everybody else will be smoking while they wait for paperwork. DONT MESS THIS UP. I brought a Corncob pipe and a tin of Drew Estates tobacco and a Zippo lighter. Nothing says America like a Corncob pipe and a Zippo. And you don't inhale a pipe.

I figured out where Obama got his bacon in a donut logo too. He stole it from the Russian railroad

Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 06:05 AM   #7
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
That's the entrance to the "passenger terminal". Glamorous doesn't begin to describe...

Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 06:07 AM   #8
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
Getting off the ship I was stopped by the entire reception crew and asked to pose for pictures because ... Rock Star

Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 06:11 AM   #9
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
So here we sit. Waiting for the paperwork. Customs goes to lunch at 12 because the ship gets here at 11 and, hey, its lunch time. Next time you hear a joke about Italian work ethic. Imagine it 10X worse with Russian government workers




But while I wait, I add a flag

Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 06:29 AM   #10
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
Imagine 5000 miles of this. The Trans Siberian Hwy



I have ridden the Dalton Hwy twice. The Dempster Hwy once. The Campbell hwy once. The Canol once. And I've raced the WORCS series for several years. This is the hardest riding I have done. You will be fighting for a lane with Semi trucks going through broken pavement, dust, mud, sharp rocks, you name it. You will see countless broken down cars and trucks with shattered wheel bearings, flat tires and blown suspension. Lots of crashes too.

Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 12:46 PM   #11
Ravenslair
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Placer County, California
Oddometer: 446
Excellent!
Ravenslair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 09:42 AM   #12
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
The road gets better from here...NO

Zarubino to Vladivostok is a relatively short ride until you consider the traffic.
It is also a good first look at how aggressively bad Russian drivers are.



On the sections that are under construction or look like they are, the posted speed limit is 40kph. That is only in effect until in the actual construction area. Then the flag drops and you will see 4 semis side by side going for the pass. The dust is thick and visibility will be 50'.

So night #1 is at the Optimum Hostel. The Garmin Montana gets me there ok but the hostel is no where to be seen, I am at the Optimum building.
Pure luck, an Asian lady dragging a suitcase is also looking for the hostel and we end up on the south side of the building at an unmarked door



Uri on the left never smiled the whole 18 hours I was there.



They did insist I bring up my bike and park it view of the security cameras

The hostel was ok. I was roomed with an WA resident that had traveled by train from London and was looking for a train through China to Singapore, then would fly home to Australia. Alan Bennett. I hope you found your ride home




The hostel is near the train station and the ferry dock. It is also by the Navy base



What a rust bucket

An amour plated Gun sail boat?



There is a monument to the great John Belushi movie too



Then there is this boat in the middle of town...don't know why



So away I go on my adventure. Its cold out. My electric vest were on full power almost the entire trip.

A fuel stop and the mechanics want to show me their ride. A vert twin 2T from 1968 (?) My Russian is really bad Its a daily ride bike. I would love on of these to ride around town on

Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 10:14 AM   #13
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
The mechanics invited me inside to thaw out and have a cup of coffee



One thing about Russia. The people are fantastic. The roads are terrible.
OK That's two things

The sign says Auto Magazine. Magazine in the sense of a part storage not a periodical



Next stop was a Scooter/Tiller store because my Scott oiler died the first day. I needed chain spray oil.
The school kids got excited about the bike and several tried out their English on me. Much better than my Russian




A note on Russian women. A strange group. Here at the store the first clerk I see is a woman. "Do you have chain oil?" pantomime a wheel spinning.
She sniffs, rolls eyes, and shrugs. She wont speak to me. She is a clerk in the store and she will not help me.

But when the camera comes out she says "Take my picture"



The guys in Russia, are a whole nother story. The complete opposite. You have to drag them away when they want to help.

If you come here, the bare minimum is you must learn the Russian alphabet. The sign are 100% Russian until you are a few mikes East of Moscow. There the signs for major cities are bi-lingual



Day 2 and my camera SD card fails. After wasting an hour trying to Google search a computer stores address, a local says 1 block from my hostel in Khabarovsk . And there it was. $90 for a 32 gb card.

BTW. So Garmin takes me to my hostel booked online from Hostelworld.com My Russian isn't good enough to understand but either they are full up or out of business. No matter. It is getting dark. I have ridden 600 miles of the worst roads on the planet, and now I have nowhere to sleep

Enter Seregy. He pulls up in a black BMW 525 and in almost English asks me what is up? He gets on his phone, find another hostel better location and guides me there. Helps me check in, carries my gear to my room, locates secure parking for the bike, asks if Im hungry, drives me up the street to the train station where during the last hour everything is 50% off in the buffet, drives me back to the hostel, gets on his laptop and locates my next hostel on a Russian web site that I didn't know abou.

This is a trolley

Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 10:41 AM   #14
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
Couldn't help myself. It looks like Porn. Plus Lion on a motorcyle


The police are everywhere in Russia. Every 10km except crossing Siberia, then you might see 1-2 a day.

They have radar so watch out. The driver will flash Hi beams 2x if they spot one that can trap you. Do the same for them



Tip: There are no speed limit signs anywhere in Russia. After riding 6500 miles there I still have no idea what the speed limit is


April in Russia is like April in Thailand. The fire dept comes out and burns everything.



If you wnt to know what it like to ride across Siberia, stare at this picture for the next 10 days




Then about every 50km there are these ramps at the pull outs along the road. Im guessing work ramps for your car? I never saw a car on a ramp though



Another issue in Siberia. These fucking wasps get stuck in my neck warmer and I got stung 4 times in one day. The first sting was the worst because I did not know how I would react. I lived

The pain from the sting was a nice change from the cold





10 days of this




Hostel Green in Blagoveshchensk

I couldn't find it on hostelworld but Sergey found it on a Russian site

A 1 star hostel. In bad repair. Wifi out of service. Bathroom a mess. Kitchen a mess. Food crumbs under my mattress. Manager, her husband, kid, friend, all sitting on th couch watching tv or out front smoking. Friend was sleeping on the couch in the morning so as not to wake her, I didn't get morning coffee



They did let me park under the security camera though. And were very friendly and asked a lot of questions.

Notice the fascia tiles?
They are peeling off and falling. This is a 6 story building. Do not loiter by the building.



This is the friend that was sleeping on the couch. She is my favorite. She said over and over to me. "I like your bike"

Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 10:56 AM   #15
Flyred OP
Who is John Galt?
 
Flyred's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA Whine Country
Oddometer: 673
Still freaking cold out. I ride the mile to the Amur river. That's China on the other side and yes those are ice bergs floating by



Blagoveshchensk is a beat up town, but there is a lot of new construction going on. It cold be coming back

Freaking cold




Why is everybody buiding Ferris wheels now? Las Vegas got one. Who goes to Vegas to ride a Ferris Wheel?



I missed the turn on the way back out and ended up in Belogorsk



A word on the Toilet situation...Out in the country this is what to expect. Actually this is a nice one. Often filled to over flowing and then people will just crap near the door. Not even a seat. Just squat and drop. Why the entire country doesn't have pink eye or Cholera is a mystery. No place to wash your hands. This is the norm at every gas station and Café for 3,000 miles+

Flyred is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 06:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014