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Old 11-21-2012, 12:01 AM   #736
Colebatch OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YetiGS View Post
Walter, what would you think of a Badlands with the harness and water bladder pocket of the Adventure?
That would rock.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:10 AM   #737
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Originally Posted by SwedeMix View Post
I just have to ask something, what do the local BF's/mail relatives etc think of "their" women getting all worked up over you guys rolling in? Since the villages are pretty small, I guess the prettys are all spoken for already..
Well the local guys, when they are around, also find the idea of foreigners and their cool bikes in these tiny villages that dont really even appear on any maps (at least google maps doesnt have most of the villages we pass thru on them) very interesting. If they are there with their GFs, they are often taking pics for the GFs who pose with us and on the bikes.

The picture of Terry just in front of a Lada in a cloud of dust is because Terry just overtook this slow moving car on the way out of town, as indeed I was about to do 2 seconds after that picture. Its definitely not Terry being chased out of town by a car load of guys angry that their GFs had been chatting to us and posing for photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwedeMix View Post
BTW, I'm a bit confused regarding the DVD. On Adventure Specs homepage, that can't possibly be this trip, right? In that case, Sir, you've been working your beehind off.. Sorry if this has been addressed earlier in the thread, I just didn't have it in me to backtrack just now.
The DVD and book on Adventure Spec relate to the 2009 "Sibirsky Extreme Project" (a series of threads about that ride on here). There was another ride in 2010 (thread also on here) entitled "Sibirsky Extreme 2010". There were no books or DVDs to come from Sibirsky Extreme 2010. And this year we have this current ride which is the "Sibirsky Extreme Trail".

There will not be a book on this years ride, but time permitting, I will make a DVD.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:15 AM   #738
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Originally Posted by Tracks1 View Post
Walter,
I notice in the pics that your Low Front - Tool Box is missing the cover.

Can you elaborate on what happened?

Thanks
David
Well spotted

Yes the cover came off and was lost forever somewhere in the series of river crossings of the Sakmara river. Not actually in the river I might add ... but in the rough ground and tree roots we were hopping over in between crossings. My tools are actually in a kriega roll behind there. Now the tool bag would get covered in mud in muddy sections, but it was still secure there.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:20 AM   #739
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Originally Posted by nachtflug View Post
What was the start date of this trip? Is it still ongoing? (isn't it getting cold??) what is the lag from between when you post and when it happened? Is this being documented as it happens or are these pictures from weeks/months ago. Thanks again!
Its about 5 months in the past.

We left London on 12th May (2012) ... began the offroad on 18th May ... and this current point in the story is that we just finished 18th June
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:15 AM   #740
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Day 33 - Last morning on the bikes

This morning would be the last on the bikes for some time. We were just 350km (220 miles) from the Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan and the end of the first third of the trip. In 3 days time, Rod Currie from the UK,and Prutser and Beemster from Holland, would be flying in to Astana. A day or so later their bikes were scheduled to arrive (with our next set of tyres) via the Sambor Express.

So we began ... Astana bound ... the weather was treating us well. It had been sunny every day since we left the cold and the rain of the Polish-Ukraine border over a month ago. How long would this good luck last?



Terry here takes a breather .... while the aircraft carrier style profile of another giant grain elevator sits 25 km away across the steppe behind him.



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Old 11-21-2012, 02:23 AM   #741
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Day 33 - Lunchtime

After a couple of hours on the trails, we cut back to the asphalt road at a town to grab some lunch. Usual story. Waitresses either wanted to sit on the bikes or pose for photos with us.



After lunch we were back on the trails for the final 2 hours into Astana.



But the wildness and remoteness was gone. We always felt we were close to civilisation ... the romance of the fisrt third of this trail was coming to its end ...



We encountered stuff like other traffic !



Infrastructure that wasnt out of date ...



And even brand new VW Polos ...



It all meant we were approaching the outskirts of Astana
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:24 AM   #742
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwedeMix View Post
I just have to ask something, what do the local BF's/mail relatives etc think of "their" women getting all worked up over you guys rolling in? Since the villages are pretty small, I guess the prettys are all spoken for already..


Cheers / Mix
I second what Walter said. The further east you go, if you're on a bike ( but only one bigger than a local 150cc 2stroke) you truly are the coolest thing on God's earth and all the guys are delighted to make your acquaintance. In Kazakhstan and Mongolia almost every vehicle coming towards you will be a mass of waving arms, flashing lights and honking horns. It actually gets a little tedious. In Russia they're a little "cooler" but they'll pull up alongside you making the "peace" fingers or giving you a thumbs up. Near the Volga a car load of girls pulled up beside me waving and hooting . Doubtless they were disappointed that the guy riding the bike looked more like the old and decrepit Dennis Hopper rather than the young and cool Peter Fonda but they were too polite to show it.
In Britain you get the finger Ok...but usually just the one.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:32 AM   #743
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Day 33 - Astana

And 30 km before Astana, the trails stopped. New satellite towns were springing up in our path. We joined the highway for the last 20 minutes into town.

The highway was being doubled up ... a kind of motorway fantasy for the residents ...



Then we came to the traffic police checkpoint ... every major Russian or Kazakh city has these on the entrance and exit to cities ... traffic slows down to 20 km/h and the cops make decisions who they will wave on into town and who has to stop to have their papers and vehicle inspected.



Now we were in Astana, and our hotel was in the outer western suburbs. Turning off the highway in into the burbs puts you in touch will real life ... away from the glossyness of the centre of town (and the centre of Astana is very glossy indeed). Here a woman hand pumps water from a well.



The main street on the suburb - people waiting outside a shop for a bus.



And on the banks of the river that runs through Astana, we found our hotel. It had a kinda sandy beach backing onto the river and many locals would pay to use the beach during the day and evening.



This was our home for the next week.

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*** New Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer HERE ***
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:03 AM   #744
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Introductions - Part 3

Another guy I had spoken to about this Sibirsky Extreme Trail idea back in 2011 was Rod Currie. He is a UK rider with a extensive pedigree. It was Rod who had introduced Rick to the group. Rod, like Rick, was a veteran of the TAT and CDT in the States and countless other dual sports adventures.

We had numerous mutual friends in UK adventure riding circles and finally met up in a London pub after I had been amazed by the feats of Rod and others on the Salt and Gold expedition (theres a RR on here by Pyndon as well as a entertaining DVD). Over a few glasses of red wine I had told Rod what my plan was, and like Terry, his immediate reaction was "count me in".

Sadly, work commitments meant it was going to be tough for Rod to commit to the whole 3 month ride, but over time, logistical solutions opened up, enabling Rod to do the middle third of the trip. Now he was flying into Astana, his bike on a Polish motorcycle trailer.







Rod was riding a KTM 690 (2008) that he detailed a few pages back.





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Old 11-21-2012, 03:44 AM   #745
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Welcome on board Rod... now it's triple the fun! And thank you for the continued updates and pics.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:44 AM   #746
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Introductions - Part 4

Also flying into Astana, and also with their bikes on board Sambor's trailer, was an enthusiastic couple from Holland, Prutser and Beemster.

I had known Prutser for 3 years. He was a good friend and mechanically very savvy. I had often talked about him joining on one of my rides, but never thought he would get the time off work. This time, when I suggested it to him in late 2011, he said yes - he would do the middle third of the trip - as long as his girlfriend Beemster can come too. I said it sounded like a great idea.













And so a man with 12 BMW airhead boxers, began building up a special off road, stripped down, lightened airhead, to do this ride on. He went into training at his local motocross track, not on lightweight motocross bikes, but on one of his BMW boxers, to get himself used to throwing the bike around. Beemster too was down at the motocross track for months, throwing herself around the track in a BMW G650 X-Country that was being modified for the job.

I will leave it to Prutser and Beemster to fill you in on what was done to prep their bikes for the ride.





For luggage, Prutser (below) was using the Steel Pony Gascoyne pannier, plus a small roll bag on the back, and a way too big tank bag !. He also had these cool small easy access bags that sat right above each cylinder. Beemster (above) had the Adventure-Spec Magadan panniers, a small roll bag,and the Giant Loop Fandango tank bag - basically identical luggage to my set up.

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Old 11-21-2012, 07:14 AM   #747
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Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
I will leave it to Prutser and Beemster to fill you in on what was done to prep their bikes for the ride.



For luggage, Prutser (below) was using the Steel Pony Gascoyne pannier, plus a small roll bag on the back, and a way too big tank bag !. He also had these cool small easy access bags that sat right above each cylinder. Beemster (above) had the Adventure-Spec Magadan panniers, a small roll bag,and the Giant Loop Fandango tank bag - basically identical luggage to my set up.

interesting G/S setup .. wonder why he didn't go with larger fuel tank?
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:26 AM   #748
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How fortuitious for Walter to end up in a motel, right by a beach. Coincidence? (waiting for pics....................)
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:42 AM   #749
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Updated Track

End of Stage 1 ... Europe to Astana - 8600 km from London and 6400 km (4000 miles) since the start of the Trail ... from Mostyska on the Poland - Ukraine border

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Old 11-21-2012, 08:04 AM   #750
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Looking at those pics of wide open steppe and the grain silos has me thinking that it wouldn't be much fun around harvest time - dodging combines and slow moving tractors.
When is the harvest Walter - August/September?
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