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Old 02-03-2013, 11:34 AM   #3331
Colebatch OP
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Originally Posted by EtronX View Post
We tried, but gave up and took the rail road bridge. These guys just had to try the river

This is something I love about these roads ... there are a lot of questionable situations ... this was the crossing where Terry's bike went in with 4 of us supporting it before we decided quickly to back out.

There is a lot of risk assessment involved with this kind of travel. You dont want to back out of anything unless you absolutely have to - you are there to ride as much of it as you can. But you also have to be able to judge when you do have to back out and change plan in a second or less.

So far, touch wood, I havent made any bad calls. But this guy in the pic paid the penalty for maybe choosing a line thru the water just a foot or so off course. Just before him a wazzik (the 4WD vans) made it thru ... the driver seemed very experienced carefully selected his line then committed to it with full power ... and he only just made it thru. This guys tried to follow him but the slightest mistake on the line or the slightest bit less committment and the consequenses were not good for his nice new shiny 4WD.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:36 AM   #3332
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Originally Posted by euskalherria View Post
I'm iker = euskalherria . I'm Basque from Basque Country.

This is the full video of my last two crosses. I cross three times Vitim Bridge , because on my first cross I had no batterys on my helmet camera and didn't rec the Vitim, so put new ones and cross again, second on wrong direction and third in my way.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqtzmJrHdxw

Soon the report of my summer trip "euskadi-siberia", here on adv.

Go on Walter, excellent report
Iker. We're all I think agreed ...YOU ARE THE MAAAAN!
......and we are not worthy

I wish I could have been there to...watch and quake in terror, but if you're in London. Look me up and the beers are on me.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:36 AM   #3333
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Originally Posted by 09Prodigy View Post
In other words.. Please don't call a Basque a Spaniard.. It is like calling a Canadian an American.
Well there are basques and there are Basques. Some will call themselves spaniards and some will not. But when a man has Basque flags on his helmet and bike ... but not Spanish flags ... then he definitely identifies himself as Basque first, Spanish second!

One thing I can tell you about Basques, is they take food more seriously than anywhere on the planet. Basque country has more Michelin stars than any anywhere on a per capita basis. San Sebastian (population 200,000) has more 3 starred restaurants than London, and has become a foodies pilgrimage. I have been intending to go there for ages!

Bearing that in mind Iker, how did you survive the food in Russia??
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Colebatch screwed with this post 02-03-2013 at 11:18 PM
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:48 AM   #3334
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Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
Yes ... the greedy fu@ker on the bridge could have made an easy 5000 rubles in 2 minutes ... but he wanted to screw us for 25,000. It was enjoyable seeing him staring at us as we rode the truck over.

I would encourage any readers planning a BAM trip to stop in Kuanda town and ask around for a truck.
I would try first at the bridge (It's only 16 km detour in case). When I was there 27th of july, the guy even helped me pushing up to the bridge. So I think it depends on the guy in charge. I was relieved when I arived there and saw the river quite calm (Vitim the same day was frightening, although I passed by train) and some rowboats at the bank. But no problem.
If Iker passed there like on the other bridge (not Vitim), the guy even would not have seen him, but I think also with respect to the following parties, you should ask for permission first.
On the other hand, in the hubb was a thread, where people in 4x4 told, that they had to wait some days at the Kuanda bridge and the water was too high for the trucks (august 2011). The train seemed them too expensive, so they turned back (that's when you do Vitim twice). But Kuanda is also doable in a 4x4 car when the river is low (I'm not sure if money would help a 4x4 to cross the bridge). You just need to have enough time (that's what russians there seem to have but tourists don't).
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:13 PM   #3335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
Well there are basques and there are Basques. Some will call themselves spaniards and some will not. But when a man has Basque flags on his helmet and bike ... but not Spanish flags ... then he definitely identifies himself as Basque first, Spanish second!

One thing I can tell you about Basques, is they take food more seriously than anywhere on the planet. Basque country has more Michelin stars than any anywhere on a per capita basis. San Sebastian has more 3 starred restaurants than London, and has become a foodies pilgrimage. I have been intending to go there for ages!

Bearing that in mind Iker, how did you survive the food in Russia??

Exactly,

Boise Idaho's Sister City is Gernika , my best friend and GF are from a very large Basque Family. Her Family is from Donostia - San Sebastian is one of my Favorite places on Earth. Great Food, Decent Surfing, and Stunning Views.



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Old 02-03-2013, 12:46 PM   #3336
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Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
Well you can take a 1200 Adventure on these roads too (no one has yet I believe) ... the point is the heavier the bike is, the less fun it is. And the more willpower you need. 3 years ago Tony P took a dakar with metal boxes ... only a little bit lighter than a Tenere with metal boxes. And he was 67 years old.
WEIGHT: I had to work harder than the boys to get the F800GS through the BAM road and if I were going back there, it would be on a smaller and lighter bike.
SIZE: I also noticed that when crossing railroad bridges my bike were a bit too wide some places. When we were crossing railroad bridges you have to choose if you want to go "up" by the tracks or "low" one the base of the bridge. When going up you have more space for a wide bike, but you loose the exit for the "safe exits" you have every 50-100meters. Meaning that if you choose to go at the high option you should be able to cross the whole bridge in one peace before any train arrives. You can drop the bike down if you have to, but if you make any errors than you might be fu... So on longer bridges I usually choose to go down at the railroad base which is quite narrow. My bike is a bit too wide and had almost no clearance here between the triangular support brackets for the railings and had to take it really slowly to avoid these catching the footpegs of my bike. I really had high pulse and a adrenaline rush on these longer bridges. The good thing about staying low at the base was that I had easy access to the "safe exit pockets" and could hide there if a train comes by. The hardcases were also a problem while going at the base.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
Steve was a beginner off road and took a F800GS and thats even a few kgs heavier than a Tenere ... and I fully approved of him coming with us, despite the fact he was on a heavy bike and was new to off road. I never told him his bike wasnt suitable so dont come. I just told him its going to be harder work for him. He just had to work a lot harder doing it than the rest of us.

And he switched bikes to an XC as soon as he finished in Siberia.
I still have the F800GS, but bought an XC after seeing how you guys were playing around with them. And what a difference when it comes to offroad capabillities and how easy it is to handle when it gets funky (as Walter like to call it)


Here is an example of a bridge where you can choose to be "up" or "down at the base". Here you also clearly see the "safe exit" where you can hide yourself and the bike in case a train shows up. This was bridge I think is wider than the regulars at the base.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:51 PM   #3337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
As we looked upstream we could see the rail bridge guards staring at us from the rail bridge ...
I hope you all waved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by euskalherria View Post

Soon the report of my summer trip "euskadi-siberia", here on adv.
Nice! I'll be keeping my eyes open for it.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:55 PM   #3338
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Iker. We're all I think agreed ...YOU ARE THE MAAAAN!
......and we are not worthy

I wish I could have been there to...watch and quake in terror, but if you're in London. Look me up and the beers are on me.
10 Downing Street correct?
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:07 PM   #3339
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Originally Posted by Pamirski View Post
Hi Geir

I think there were others having problems too, isn't this the Kamaz-eater-ford of the other Sibirsky report?
When I was there a motorbiker pushed through the stream, locals (with 2 WD this is the point where they reverse) told me to go over the railwaybridge, which is blocked for normal traffic. When I was over the bridge, the biker was still pushing. Those big stones are not nice to drive.


Christian
That's the one, Christian The stream looks so nice and peaceful with that clear clean water, but it is treacherous as hell. What happened with me was that the front wheel hit a rock and veered to the right. I put my left foot down and it got caught between the rock and the soft bags on the bike. I couldn't pull it forward. Hence the slow silly fall I got pinned down for a while though. I am glad I didn't have aluminum panniers. Then my leg might have gotten a funny shape
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:02 PM   #3340
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Talking

Great adventure, guys! EtronX, if you don't mind my asking, what camera was that which you were using when you stopped on the Vitim bridge? Thanks again for taking us on this wild and exciting ride!
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:20 PM   #3341
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Camera equipment

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Originally Posted by Blader54 View Post
Great adventure, guys! EtronX, if you don't mind my asking, what camera was that which you were using when you stopped on the Vitim bridge? Thanks again for taking us on this wild and exciting ride!
I brought the following photo/video equipment on the trip:

Canon G12. This was my main photo camera. I am used to SLR, but chose this camera due to weight. It is very good and takes reasonable video. Next time though, I'll bring my Canon EOS 650. Old habit

GoPro Hero2 helmet camera with remote. The remote is the key here. It makes life easy

Panasonic HC-V700 video camera with Røde mic. This is a very good and light camera. It has excellent low light capabilities and the image stabilizer works good.


On the Vitim I took pictures with the G12 and filming the whole deal with the GoPro.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:24 PM   #3342
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Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
Well you can take a 1200 Adventure on these roads too (no one has yet I believe) ... the point is the heavier the bike is, the less fun it is. And the more willpower you need. 3 years ago Tony P took a dakar with metal boxes ... only a little bit lighter than a Tenere with metal boxes. And he was 67 years old.

I said before I wouldnt take a Tenere because its too similar to my bike, just a load heavier, less power and drinks more fuel. Same reason I wouldnt take a Dakar ... tho obviously Dakars can and have done this road. I wouldnt tell someone to get one for a trip like this when they can get something much lighter.

Terry took an XT660 3 years ago on these roads - the very basis for the XTZ660, without the fairing and big tank ... and he swapped it for a 30 kg ligher X-country when he got back. Like TonyP, the point is not that you cant do it on a heavier single ... the point is if you have a choice, try and choose something lighter. Even reading Ikers blog once he got to Tynda, he said a 690 KTM would have been a far more sensible choice for the BAM Road than his 990, and the guy is a riding god.

Steve was a beginner off road and took a F800GS and thats even a few kgs heavier than a Tenere ... and I fully approved of him coming with us, despite the fact he was on a heavy bike and was new to off road. I never told him his bike wasnt suitable so dont come. I just told him its going to be harder work for him. He just had to work a lot harder doing it than the rest of us.

And he switched bikes to an XC as soon as he finished in Siberia.

I never said these roads (Western BAM) arent feasible on a Tenere. Eastern BAM maybe ... Eastern BAM is much much more difficult. If I was going back to the Eastern BAM again, then I would definitely take a bike even lighter than my XC.
This might be a year that the Eastern Bam is possible. After reading your reports it seems that it is entirely dependant on the weather, Here in the Pnwet there is talk that spring is going to come early and we are going to have a dry spring and summer. Of course we hope for that every year. All those swamps you were riding through would have to be a lot more dryed out. It seems you have to monitor conditions like the surfers do and be ready to go when the conditions are right. It would be quite a feat to ride the whole road. A light bike would certainly have to be used. I must say this is the best RR I have read. A lot of your photos reminds me of the PNW. With the rain, scenery and roads.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:37 PM   #3343
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Upgrade in the IT department

Fellow adventurers

I am currently upgrading my IT department. As soon as this is done (tomorrow) I'll come back strong. The new iMac 27" should be great for editing video. There will be more clips coming in the next few days. Both from where we are now in the thread and earlier

We got some nice riding clips, some river clips and last but not least rail road bridges clips

Disco clips Submarine clips H**l, we even have nude clips
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:45 PM   #3344
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Walter has anybody ever ridden the entire Bam as it sits now? If so when was the last time it was ridden?
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:49 PM   #3345
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Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post

I decided to jump in and check it out. I tried to walk across and find a way ... but everywhere I turned was too deep. At one point the depth and current swept me off my feet and I began drifting downstream, unable to get traction with my feet due to my buoyancy. When I finally regained my feet, now 20 - 30 yards downstream from where I lost my feet, I decided thats enough. I cant even walk across the river, there is no way we are going to get the bikes to ride through it. Now soaking wet up to my chest, I returned to the guys waiting by the shore and told them we would have to backtrack 8 km to Kuanda township and see if we can find a truck to take us over.
Coming ashore again from the Kuanda River Wet from the top of our heads to our soles For those who wonders, the water was cold and the current strong

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