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Old 10-13-2012, 06:11 PM   #136
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This is great. I liked the philosophical rant, personally.. Right up my alley...
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:39 AM   #137
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Day 17
The date was September 13th, 2012. Minxter has a nice bruise showing from her little "Fido" run in. Quite lucky that's all it was.

We had no idea what the day would bring. We were heading toward Ulaanbaatar on an alternate route that we hoped would pan out for us. We really didn't have any high expectations for anything really noteworthy this day.

Then we spot one more herd of camels (yeah, here we go again!). We decide we are not going to try and ride or pet them. We are going to herd them and get to the bottom of this "Camel Toe" myth.

Camels are actually quite easy to herd and we'd had a little experience now with a few different herd. We were easily able to round them up using the all terrain mopeds. The plan was to get them together and then get them going one direction. Someone would go out in front of them and try and shoot photos capturing the "Camel Toe" as the herd was coming at them.

There was one "White Camel" in this herd. Quite stunning!! Somewhat rare as well.

And there it was!! The "Camel Toe"! We'd done it. We'd proved it more than just a myth. Herding the camels, seeing the white camel and then sleuthing out the myth really made good closure to our camel saga.

At the next town we stocked up and enjoyed a frozen goat yogurt.

The locals were getting ready for an event and were putting up a few 'ger' while we were patronizing the stores. This was really cool to see how they assembled these things. First the frame of lattice and the crown with roof beams coming off it and the door.

Then some sort of membrane on the roof, I suspect to keep water out.

Next, the insulation.

Now, the exterior.

Cinch the thing tight all the way around and add the roof flap, and you're done in about 40 minutes.

Right out of town we had a fairly good sized river to cross. This dude showed us how to do it "2 up" (no shoes).

We followed his lead with no problems.

It was about time for us to clean up again and it was a nice warm day so we took some time to bathe in the river.

Continuing on, we found the municipal "hutag" in the next village and filled our water containers. We had quite a bit of gas still so we didn't feel the need to fill up. It seems like you should always fill up when you have the chance.

We attracted the usual crowd at the next town. We were starting to think about selling the bikes in a few days and thought it would be wise to call some of numerous people who were interested in the bikes. Everybody has cell phones in Mongolia. They must be very inexpensive because basically anyone we asked would let us make a couple of calls. We tried to fill up in this town but the power was out. Uh oh.

More excellent riding.

More spectacular birds.

We had a really nice ride this afternoon.

We found another perfect camp and had some vodka. We were out of the Gobi now so it was back to Steppe Stew for dinner.

We were definitely back on easy street again.

172km for the day.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:43 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by Ryman View Post
Camel Toe! Truly a Utard quest.
A worthy and noble quest indeed.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:38 AM   #139
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thanks for the thread! jealous!
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:50 PM   #140
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What a great RR. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:32 AM   #141
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This is one of the best pics I've ever seen. I want to go there even more now. Really nice indeed
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:08 PM   #142
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Fine looking Trials country there. Who's up for a world round in Mongolia?
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:06 PM   #143
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Day 18
We woke up to another perfect morning and did our food and drink routine. We were hoping to get within striking distance of Ulaanbaatar by the next morning to slide in just after sunrise to avoid the traffic and any police as our bikes were not legal at this point. This meant that we had to have a flawless day and cover about 200km on the mopeds.

We quickly came into a town hoping for gas. No power. Not good. We didn't have close to enough gas to get us to Ulaanbaatar. We expected to see a lot more of this type of structure around Mongolia. We didn't see all that many temples.

Despite not getting any gas we pushed on. Excellent riding once again this day and we were making good time, at least while we still had gas.

The next town; no power = no gas. There were also swarms of these little flies coming through the town in waves. First there weren't any, then they'd be super thick then dissipate again.

We were bumbling around trying to figure out what to do about gas. We decided we couldn't leave this town without any. Then, we stumbled into a Mongolian who spoke english pretty well. He had actually gone to school in The States and was planning on attending graduate school there. He was happy to try and help us out with the gas situation.

He got a hold of his brother who lived in the village and his brother came up with 10 liters of gas that we could buy. Our english speaking friend told us we'd have to go the paved route from here because even with the 10 liters, we would never make our intended route. The paved route would add over a hundred km's and that would put us short from Ulaanbaatar in the morning. He taught Buuuuuurrrrt how to say "do you have any gas I could buy from you?" in Mongolian. Buuuuuurrrt practiced it until he got it then recorded it on his iPhone as a voice memo. We divvied up the gas, thanked our english speaking friend and took off in the exact direction he told us not to. There wouldn't be any more towns with gas until Ulaanbaatar but we were going for it.

The riding continued to be excellent.

The two tracks were smooth and fast and we were covering a good amount of ground.

We pulled over for lunch in a huge valley that we were traveling in. Buuuuurrrrt was getting really low on gas by now and we came to the conclusion that we had to do something. Of course, at this point a curious nomad and his kids show up. We pull out the stickers and give them some tattoos. We start pointing to our gas tanks and saying Ulaanbaatar and the nomad was just staring at us.

Then Buuuuurrrrt whips out his phone and plays the voice memo. BINGO!! The nomad takes us over to his ger and siphons some gas from his van which we offer him double what it would cost.

Buuuuurrrt was pretty pumped on these vans we kept seeing around and the next thing you know, he convinces the nomad to let him have a little joy ride! CLASSIC!!!

Of course the family has to have us in for some refreshments of Airag which is fermented mare's milk. Kinda strange stuff.

We thank everyone and wave goodbye.

The riding continues to be smooth, fast and scenic.

By the end of the day we were satisfied that we'd covered enough ground to hit UB in the morning. We'd covered 214km of dirt on the mighty off road mopeds. Throughout the trip we'd learned that the locals don't use the "thumbs up" to express that things are good. They use "pinkies up"! They would always point to our bikes and give us this sign. It took us a number of days before we figured out what the hell they meant. So, here we are at our last camp site giving the pinkies up.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:51 PM   #144
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Damn! Top notch storytelling and photography. I am hankering to go ride across Mongolia now!

Looks like those cheap Chinese bikes are holding up great!
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:32 PM   #145
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Stunned. Funny. I just read Oisins book, and he gives a very different interpretation of Mongolia. I'm guessing it has a lot to do with weather and attitude. I want to go. ASAP. I want YOUR trip!
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:50 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by levain View Post
I want to go. ASAP. I want YOUR trip!

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Old 10-18-2012, 06:21 AM   #147
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(BMW owners - proceed with caution as you may become offended. Remember, this is only one sarcastic a-hole's opinion)

Interesting. I've never heard of this character Oisin but I did just watch a couple of youtube videos he posted. Seems like he had kinda a hard time and about had a melt down at one point.

First, his choice of bike is not the same as what I'd choose. Looks like he was on a "Gravel Goldwing" (BMW GS) which in my opinion is a poor choice for serious off road conditions. Not that the Shineray Mustang is my first choice but (and I can hardly believe I'm going to say this about these cheap Chinese machines) I think for riding around Mongolia they are superior to the Gravel Goldwing. The Chinese did actually put a little thought into how these bikes would be used. They are light weight, small and nimble. That's a HUGE advantage compared to Buuuuurrrrts old Gravel Goldwing (he no longer owns it) which was pushing 650 pounds with the bags and racks and stuff. I'm sure Oisin had reasons for his choice. I think a lot of people are under the impression that they are going to ride the Gravel Goldwing on all kinds of off road conditions when in fact they are actually more of a street bike that looks a bit like a dirt bike. Don't get me wrong, I think they're a great bike if used for the right purpose. I'm a fan of the opposed twin engine. It's very smooth. You just won't convince me that those two cylinders sticking out both sides of the bike belong on an off road machine. I've owned an actual Goldwing. I wouldn't choose my KTM dirt bike for a journey across the US freeways. Again, not to nock the Gravel Goldwing too much, you just gotta be honest about what the bike's capable of. I think that for an around the world trip where the rider wants to get way off the beaten path, the DR650 may be the ultimate choice. Perhaps even the DR350 for it's reliability.

The "roads" in Mongolia are mostly not roads but routes that people have driven a vehicle on. Oisin seemed a bit surprised that there wasn't any "gravel" in the "roads" he was on. With a little homework you can get a bit of an idea of this prior to getting there.

Weather is always a consideration and perhaps Oisin didn't have much of a choice about when he'd be traveling through Mongolia. It looks like it was the onset of winter, maybe October? With a little research you'll find that the winters are quite harsh and the pleasant weather is mostly found in June, July and August. I'd say we were a bit lucky having good weather in September. We acknowledged before the trip that it could be bad at that time.

I say these things not to put Oisin down or to pass judgement but rather as food for thought for someone else considering a journey there. I'm impressed by anyone who gets it together and pulls off a journey like that ESPECIALLY trying to do it on a Gravel Goldwing! ;) "Different Strokes" ya know.

Oisin is spot on about the people and I had similar thoughts. It's amazing how friendly they are and how willing they are to help a random person from who knows where with out even thinking twice. Oisin asked himself if people from his home country would do the same. The answer was, most wouldn't. It made him really think hard about the next time he sees a chance to help someone out. I think he's probably much more apt to go out of his way to help someone now. I know I am.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:41 AM   #148
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The longest Voile strap is 24". My buddy Wally who owns Voile talked about doing a 36" that was a little wider but I don't know what ever happened with that. That would be a great addition to the line.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:02 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Joe Motocross View Post
The longest Voile strap is 24". My buddy Wally who owns Voile talked about doing a 36" that was a little wider but I don't know what ever happened with that. That would be a great addition to the line.
24" sounds long until you wrap it around something. I would be all in for 36" straps to add to my collection. We can get them in Canada branded under MEC's logo (Canuck REI), and I have ordered many more right from Voile.

Love the ride report by the way. I surprised those tracks aren't all rutted out from use in the wet. They look sooo smooth and flowing.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:33 PM   #150
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Great RR
Any chance you would want to share your GPS tracks with me? I'll be in Mongolia next summer sometime.

Thanks for the wander-lust-porn!
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