no money, no gps, no Credit card working crappy bike, 3 weeks of rain. Let's go Babar, to Russia !

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by babar69, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    BTW does the page numerotation is automatic or do I have to make them ?? and how ?? ( don't want to put a one km long page on this forum)
  2. Kristof Granit

    Kristof Granit Long timer

    Jul 10, 2011
    Black Sea
    It's "automatic" don't worry, just post your ride report.
    (long? On s'en fout plus c'est long plus c'est bon :-) )
    babar69 likes this.
  3. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    day 4 Mother Russia

    Hard to sleep, stressed by the russian border process. I waked up at 5:00 to be the first on border... Sure I was the first and there it came, the usual marvelous, fantastic circus, the ultimate theater performance... The human comedy at his best...

    Now explain me. You are from EU, you quit EU. So what is the problem on Latvian EU side ? You should just show your passport and that's it... No, of course, just wait in the cold for 20 min is a good start . But at this play, I'm the best. I can keep a polite smile for hours until the divine comedy stops . then again go to the next office and bla bla. Now the Russian side. Let's go BABAR !

    the first usual gate with the green blue light. So now I'm waiting for a dragster race start ???

    act stupid, act innocent . "hello can I go ? do I have to go to your small peanuts selling window ?? All by signs of course . And of course too, I have to show my passport , because in 1 min I will have to my passport again :) So now here I am, in the corridors of big buidlings. The guys take poses, don't want to miss the first act of this shitty border theater play. Fast scan to identify the pseudo boss, the valet, the king, the tricky guy , but now it's time to go to the Princess !

    Act one : Passport please. And now audience has to wait because it's very important to wait and wait, it's part of the process.

    Reminds me when I was going to French civil aviation to have stamp on flying licenses of my students. Come back tomorrow, it's a long process. Until once she didn't close the door and I saw her from corridor apply the stamp and put the license in the desk drawer !!!!

    Same there . the small window was not totally closed and I could see that she was carefully checking my passport under UV light for..... 20 min !! YES !! 20 min. But she realized that I've seen her divine comedy and closing the window, firmly asked me to go inside the building. Empty room, a chair. No way to seat , I stand up ! to be honest, my passport could look a little bit strange with the past Russian visas not used...

    Act two : go to next "peanuts selling window"

    Act three : there comes the guy , the "no-i'm not the big chief but I act like I was"

    Seeing I was not speaking Russian and that his English was more than limited, he fast lost patience, especially when he asked me to fulfill the documents but that I had NO pencil on me. So he had to rent me his major tool, the most expensive accessory of all the Theater !

    Main problem was 1/ a guy alone 2/ a shitty bike 3/ why going to IZHEVSK ??? 4/ why now in bad weather ? ( knew it later ) and the 5/ the best "why does this F...g guy cross this border which only used by locals , hOW DOES HE KNOWS THAT HE CAN USE IT TOO ? " . you don't need to understand a langage to know what people are saying to others !

    Asking to see my luggage, I opened first my top case. Remember : It looked like a MC donald kitchen splashed by a fuel truck :) "ok, close it ! what in the bags ! " well, my clothes my camera, my computer !" ok, ok , let's speed up ! . hummm I like these words " speed up".

    Act four : Finish the paper work . Thanks to french guy long time ago who post on his web site the English translation of papers, it gave me a good joker in front of the guy !!! But the Yamaha papers were as usual not understandable. How can you have a bike and not a "name" model. yes TTRE is just written Yamaha on the registration card...LOLLLLL

    At the end, he just asked me to put a big cross on EVERY document !!! Just saying it's ok, no importance ! And after around 50 min, the gate opened to... MOTHER RUSSIA

    Unbelievable, I was in Russia. yes, I know , maybe sounds puerile for you , but for a guy who had all his youth rotten by Nazi sorties and Russian Satan, it was just magic to be there !!!

    So I went on the totally destroyed small road , parked on the side to say hello to Mother Russia , and acted like a dog...Marking my own territory ;)

    I soon and fast discovered some cars just in front of me in my lane, because their potholes were bigger than mine. I was a little be worried. I should have just known how I will act, even worst, coming back EU after these weeks !!!

    Advice : ( 20 sec to read but you will thank me for eternity !!! )

    """You want to visit Russia, stay in hôtels, visit center towns, monuments. don't be fooled by advriders on thumpers !!!! Enjoy now the best you could do at 80years old, behind glass of bus tour in good air conditioning. Feel the fraternity of all your congénères, speaking your native langage. "ca va ? c'est beau ?" trust the bus driver. He will smoothly bring you to some bania ( ok , ok, some hospital reanimation banias)"""
  4. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    Day four/ part 2

    Going around Okulovka

    Fuel, fuel, I want fuel, cheap fuel..

    Yes, but now fun is coming. You have to put pistol i tank , go to the shop, pay and go back fulfill what you paid for. For a big tank, you can tolerate some approximation. For my 10L- 2 L minus 2 L security, it was more complicated. Of course I discovered the jail door face of cashiers, but no more than previous EU gas stations cashiers, so... I have to practice, to make understand I want a FULL TANK , that I will give money for 10L liters and will come back to have money back... Laborious start but after 15 days , it was real fast process. Sometimes there were some "mistakes" giving back money, but I discovered that in majority of cases, it was not intentional. just too much mental calculation for them ! And for everything , all became smoother day after day, to the point I realized that this jail door face attitude is mostly due to timidity . I started to find a way to break the ice and smiles came :) Maybe the biggest success of my travel, not considering all helping people and new friends :) I had lots of occasions to practice, especially when you make fuel about 10 times a day !

    I choose to go by middle North upon Moscow... My REISE karten maps were pretty good and I started to find lovely roads. "Lovely roads" . At this point, dear reader I have to clarify this definition.

    For me and in this case, " lovely roads" means :

    Nobody for hours

    big potholes

    Tarmac changing from good to bad to no tarmac at all to mud to nothing

    Choice to tune the TTR suspensions on the soft side (possible by light luggage choice) with very fluid oil and little spring tension behind worked like a charm. In between 90to 120, I was flying upon the road. I was in heaven for hours. In muddy sections, I had chance to have fresh clean from caterpillar for most times ( not really when coming back :( ) Now I was running on octane 85 or 80 and bike was even working better, if I can just say working. In fact it was totally crappy carburetion. Holes accelerating, no idle, and worst, staying full power if full throttle ( and not a simple cable problem !)

    Cold was there , around 5 degrees , not so much, but without any wind shield, and wet from head to boots for more than 11 hours a day, determination under rain was the only way to go on...

    of course I knew I won't do couch surf in time and found again a cheap hotel on booking com. You saw shining from Stanley Kubrick ?? Don't want to disappoint you, but you just saw a child cartoon ! Go to Bol'shoy Gorodok "hotel" my friend....

    So day slowly went down, FFF ( Frozen Frogy French) on radar control :

    "Pothole 52 m ahead"

    "Handle bar, move 4° degrees west"

    "No FFF , there 's another big pothole on 6 degrees West !"

    "Handle bar , ready to jump !"

    " Machine guys , please, full power"

    "But, FFF, we are just YSDL carbs, have mercy on us"

    " No way guys, if you don't put some power , we all will die !"

    All forest around singing " SO SAY WE ALL"

    forgorin likes this.
  5. neppi

    neppi Adventurer

    Mar 9, 2017
    Tauranga, New Zealand
  6. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    And as every day , dark came in all majesty, but I had time to print in my mind the last google maps parts of the road. With some trials and mistakes, I found the place. rather what seems to be the place .. A small building in the only road of the village with some grocery open on the side. A big woman was selling some sausage and fruits to people escaped from Milos Forman "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'. Being polite, I waited 10 min then loosed tempered and gently asked? IS this the hotel ? Answer came like an elephant fart " DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"

    o I wait, alittle more. Then after 10 minutes again, I just say " so ??? hotel ?????"

    She ran out of the shop and show me the hotel door. Thanks I knew that, but door is closed and there is Russian paper on it.. and a big lock chain on doors.Now night is coming, I have no tent; I have paid for an hotel , what can I do?? What a bloody french can do than starting to shoot " BORDEL DE PUTAIN DE MERDE C'est quoi cette connerie" ' ? (more or less some bad words...)

    A big mustache guy was smoking near the building; Hearing me shouting, he came right away saying " oh vous parlez français" ( you speak french ?) What? In this to Bol'shoy Gorodok village, someone is speaking French.. ? :)

    Guy had a son making studies in Toronto... Traveling there to see him, he used to practice Canadian...

    Then came the INTERSTELLAR sentence " no problem !!!"

    All things speed up . He took his phone and shout in it. 4 min later a young guy came, tail between his legs. Still shouting at him, he made him open the "hotel" but the guy said he was not allowed to give me a room. Only big chief will do it but at 21 : 00 ! I said no way and mustache guy after a good argue again, convinced him to bring my stuff upstairs in the room .

    I discovered a "special " room in which you could play some volley ball.

    the pic on the booking .com site doesn't" give any justice, but maybe was it another one ?


    So now the bike. Young guy , hotel guard in fact, asked me to lock the bike out on right side of entrance, so he will be able to see it ( what a joke, we all know guards are sleeping at night)

    Now some web surf to check my couch surf in Yaroslavl... No internet ! well.... Mustache comes to me now !!! "you need internet?" Yes. " you need English keyboard and OS ? " Yes

    "no problem" (again). he looked at my bike and at the small helmet locked behind. " I have a factory where I'm making wood furniture, let's go ! I will ask people to build you a PC in English"

    let's go Babar . only pb is that this tall fat guy never put his ass on motorbike and just started to elan opposite side of curve. Very very dangerous situation. But we made it and came safe to the factory Everybody worked on the pc /web and I was able to contact my couch surfing place in Yaroslavl. The secretary even made English/Russian translation on messenger for me... Of course when I still had some juice on my phone , I tried to call and send SMS by the Hungarian Vodaphone operator which decided that a call in Russia was a no way and just definitively cut my line :(

    Well done, shiny star :) Let's now go back to the hotel. In the meantime, shop was closed and I had no food at all. I came to my "room" to try to wake up and charge the phone whose battery was so low drained that it refused to charge...good news. I still had some cookies. then came a knock knock on door. It was the young asking me to follow him. I discovered that the boss factory,, Mister Mustache was in fact living in the "hotel" and cooking there.. How could I refuse some warm food ? warm yes, some ??? not some, but a a lot !

    Then came the big event. Hotel's owner is coming. Big "mafia style" guy erupted in the entrance hall, arguing loudly about my bike outside... :( After some minutes of hard conversation with the guard, he came to me saying" no way you let your bike in front of MY hotel" SO I will put it in a trash, because garbage in a trash is logical....

    "No way , YOU HAVE TO BRING IT INSIDE IN THE HOTEL . It's more secure!!!" ahhhh now I start to understand Russian people :)

    We all pushed the lazy TTRE on the big stairs, after I realized that climbing it with engine, won't give enough space to stop before end of short corridor ( not mentioning the worst brakes ever made in Japan motorcycle history. I think that even my CIAO piaggo moped had better brakes !)
  7. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    DAY 5 Let's try to go to our couchurfing in Yaroslavl !!!

    II planned again to wake up early around 5:00 to enjoy some bad roads and arrive in Yaroslval before the night ( hahahahaha) Poor guard was totally sleepy, but stay with his pyjama trousers like a owl in front of bike I was loading.

    Of course rain was there, but so used to it, I started to just felt strange when sometimes it would stop for half an hour... My itinerary was supposed to go south of the lake and not of course by highway a-114

    Roads were fantastic, I lost my way many times, and the end came to a river I couldn't go through... back , and same after an hour, and same...I won't make it in time and had to take a fast decision. With heavy heart; I choose a more reasonable way and it was boring. The only nice part was the abundance of gas stations :)

    I know it would be nice for you to have some pictures, but it was mainly about sensations. The "alone" sensation, the endless forests roads, the smells... The pleasure to ride free air, without any windshield. (and to ride safe, to be able to see everywhere, from short to long distance potholes ) And think, think during the ride. The usual riding thinking from stupidest things like " oh which tire am I going to buy next time" to pseudo philosophical concepts like " how people can live without children" :) You see the topo ...

    so just go and enjoy don't go through like many riders who just cross this western part in a hurry because the target is mongolia and no more time when back home. Exploring even the middle north around Okulovka and others is fantastic.... And if you love to be rather alone, it's paradise ! no need to go far away :)
  8. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    As usual, rain, a lot of rain, and night coming My headlight is not working, I tried to fix it but always the same dilemma ; time spent versus benefit of repair... So I moved on up and went in ... .Yaroslavl with some tape on my LIDL leds lights, preventing flashing everybody...

    It's 20:00 I'm in the entrance of center town. I just have enough money fuel for 20kms, best case. I park on road side and try to light on this f...g Smartphone. No way. I take the small "in case of " back up little phone.. Hands wet and cold... It falls down and go straight in a sewer gate... Well done guy ... What am I gonna do ??? No idea how to find the place, big town, no more money, no more phone... I cross street and come in the gas station, shouting and shaking phone in hand, in English " anybody help" . people look at me like a mad, michelin overcoated totally wet with a very nice 13 hours ride on rain face... The cashier doesn't understand, people start to go out of shop. Ok, done; thisis the end my friend.. But I don"t have a bearn, don't drink or use drugs ,so believe me or not , I can tell you that I already didn't describe some parts of my travel not to be seen as pure invention... Now it was not "no problem! " It was just a guy asking me " "you have a problem ?" yes a little one , I need to use your phone, to compose the number half washed by rain (even using special waterproof paper) to join my couch surf. "ok let me do it" Guy takes the muddy paper, and call my couch surfers. Then he hang up and ... what ??? "ok I know the place now, a little far away from this place...:( " Argg bad news are better than no news ! What am I going to do now.? I asked him some indications " too far, too complicated, you won't be able to find it"...Cosmic blues starts to sing in my ears... "But if you can follow me, I will bring you to the place, I have the 4X4 over there" and came the intergalactic Cylon sentence " NO PROBLEM" Hey ?? Am I dreaming ?? do I need to print a t-shirt or make some stickers with "no pb" on it?

    So I jumped on the bike, and with shame tried to start it for 2 min before remembering that the stand contact is dead and no more security clutch level contact too. I put in neutral, pushed back the stand and started to follow the guy at 50 cm rear of his car. N way I 'll loose him. But you must know that despite all road rage you can see on Utub, pedestrians are kings on pedestrian ways. If you walk outside pedestrian ways, you will have a good fine to pay. In reciprocity, all cars stop even if people are 5 meters from the way. And lots of time I had to brake like mad , because he just suddenly stopped. But it was ok , as TTR brakes are no brakes, I told you :)

    So after what seems an eternity , he parked in front of a supermarket and said " here !' what ?? it's a supermarket.. He took his phone and called the couch surfing people. Svetlana and Maxim came, from dark, in all their magnificence , shining in their beautiful medieval suits, floating in the air, surrounded by a myriad of little fluorescent butterflies...

    Then , a voice ! " Are you ok ??" y...essssss, yes, it's just hallucination from happiness syndrome after a crazy day . So Knights of the night are allowed to speak to cylons ?

    "Ok wait for us, we take the car and bring you to a safe parking, so there will be no problem"

    Ok, ok I know the "no problem" . Can anybody tell all Russian people to just say "NP" Will be faster for both sides .

    So these knights have iron mounts ?? Like mine ?? Crazy planet !

    To be short, because I don't know if they want me to tell about them, it was a lovely family, lovely kids, lovely food.... Far awxay from your kids i t's good to be in kids company.

    They even lost half morning helping find some bank cash machine which will accept one of my 3 CB cards. At last one of my wife's worked.. Enough cash to go to Izhevsk :) YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    Max lost more time, helping me get out of town...

    So , rain ??? who cares??? it's September . Just put Neil Diamond and think about my wonderful wife, who just pushed me at the edge, to do this trip !!!

    Let's go to CHEBOKSARY !!!
  9. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    let's take a break before the mad way to Cheboksary ...
    I talked about Russia mad road rage. First I never saw a car NOT using the turning lights . They kept distance behind me, and once I made the sign to give me some place and driver put himself to 150 m behind ... I didn't make a lot of big towns. And the ones I did, in rush hours, were ridden as a french biker. Faster than traffic, moving like a bee to survive, having fun etc ... You have these new rich people who care about nothing in their Cayenne or SUV.. Nothing special, Same old story. When I see Hungarian motorbikes in Budapest , I'm just terrified; they just drive like cars , stuck in between them, staying in dead seeing angles . No dynamism at all... And as the country has mostly no curves, they can't really practice turns... ( but big bikes HU enduro guys know how to ride for sure :) )
    Other thing : roadsides !. You can stop everywhere... And I'm the guy to stop a lot, not only for fuel, food, etc.. but because I have to close some pockets, forgot to plug the ear phones, etc... So it was paradise :)
    I drove a lot by night... main pb is that many roads, even small ones, are in refection, and have no white marks on ground. So you are in the dark on the dark.... And honestly Russian see nothing when they drive at night.. Not used to ??? Night driving is seeing but mental projection of road too...
    I'm on the 5th day of the ride, wet from morning to night in the rain, cold and wind. Perfect health... ah mental, mental !!!!
    Police ? more on that later :)
    Road work everywhere, with very long one way cross , waiting timeless at the traffic light. But at the end I had a trick I will show you :)

    I could have make a lot of back countries roads on a "normal" bike. Paradox is that I really needed my bike for main roads in refection. Sometimes, by example for refection of a small bridge, it was just a muddy trail going down the bed river with a sharp climb other side.. Just wonder hows ordinary bikes ( even some famous dual sports ones ;) ) would have made it, especially surrounded by big trucks...
    It was in fact each time the hardest and most dangerous part of my trip ! When the working trail is totally round and you try to stay on top not to slide on sides down some ... well it's Russia, you never know what you will get outside the road : :) ): :)
    More than the road from one oblast to another : Suddenly you change in one second from good tarmac to total off-road mud... That's the real fun :)

    My maps solution : plastify them, use permanent alcool markers and a have a small bottle of nail cleaner to erase roads when needed.. Worked like a charm !
    chudzikb and Kristof Granit like this.
  10. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    We had really good time all evening and eat a lot :photog (especially considering my cheap basic routine on the way : some dry fruits, some chocolate some cheese, some bread )

    Next morning , they helped find a cash machine and after lots of attempts, I succeed to have again little cash... Then Svetlana, late, ran to work and Maxim pushed me outside of town, himself now totally late on his work schedule... Thanks to all of you, you did the best and were amazing !!!

    Now let's ride to Cheboksary and avoid the crazy M7 !:baldy

    Rain started stronger. Funny, because I NEVER had so much rain riding bike (except for one day in Bulgaria) . But it really started to be just natural.. an ordinary every day situation. I didn't mind about it, I even didn't thought no more about the wet. It was an ordinary feeling. The double socks solution made wet foot stand able, except when boots were totally full of water. I had my routine, checking regularly the bus shelters along the road. Stop, seat on the bench, pull out and empty boots and let's go...A one minute operation perfectly well honed !

    All along roads were as usual seating people selling apples, mushrooms, potatoes or some sausage, depending of places... There is exemption of taxes for people selling on roadsides in Russia

    I never had to stop, because each time I was asking my way, people gave me apples... My top case was full of it and to prevent contamination I didn't use no more my jerry can that I wrapped in a plastic bag.

    As I wanted to take only pics of wooden colored houses to make a photo wall of them, Svetlana told me to cross the famous Ivanovo . it was going to be along ride to Cheboksary and I rode fast. Fast enough to have some fear about radars I just discovered in time. Lots of civil and police cars with their radar beside the road. I never have topics riding trips because I just stay at the usual speed limits on main roads . 90km/h is more than enough to prevent some "surprise", like horses, cows and others mobile targets along the way. But ly bike would go at 90km'h, the only speed working was 112 km/'h (on gps). Less, she started to back fire, more she was rising Rpm's to the max...

    Not so easy with all this police everywhere. Funny is that I made some days to realize that the 3 letters "A M C "on the cars meant Police and not private milice company.... :( But I ran too fast in a village and knew I had been radar flashed... So I jump in the gas station and stayed about half an hour. Going out of village was still the other Police car but luck was with me as they were controlling a car and when they saw me , using gestures, it was too late... I stopped totally frozen in another gas station. the cashier woman was a real nice person who offered me coffe, gave me chait and table to plan trip on my map and started to worry a lot when she knew I was going to Izhevsk " but why Izhevsk ??" Another sentence to put on my T shirt under the " NO problem"

    Then I choose a smaller road, but was lucky that the snowplough just pushed the mud a few hours ago :) . Even the sky started to be a little bit blue... Time to take a pic !!!


    I entered Ivanovo and had a traffic jam nightmare. Using the gps was a no ways ( if we even can say that ! ) and at the end, I was stopping, to pull out of bike, use a little compass and try to keep a constant 170 ° direction... After one hour ( one hour in a not so big town !!!) I found my way to Cheboksary.

    Same old story again : all this took time, I left Yaroslavl too late and the beautiful night, the perfect night was coming. I was still far away from my target ! I have enjoyed a lot of small roads, now I had to commute fastest as possible. Exploring possible options on my map, I had only one choice : the devil M7 ! the only trans road to Siberia, the melting pot of trucks :(

    I was starting to develop some hypothermia and just jumped in the M7, overtaking those trucks all time. But like any others places there was big road work to be done before winter. And now I can say I have the Guinness record of the longest illegal over passing on motorbike . 74 km of stopped trucks ( checked on GPS) . I couldn't believe it. these guys were gonna stay for days for just a few traffic lights or a turn around... !!! Decision made I started to ride first on the white line, then on opposite lane, just pushing myself near the wall of trucks each time some other trucks were coming in front of me... It took me more than 2 hours to do it, to discover at the end that cause of this crazy traffic jam was just a road work light of 5 min green, 5 min red. Now free to ride I just made 20 km and here again... 15 km of stopped trucks . But habit makes things easy and just like for rain, it started to be a normal situation in my brain :)

    Clock was clicking; I was still at 180 km for Cheboksary and very late for my couch surf opportunity. Dark , crazy wind and .. lots of cold rain of course . No plan B, no plan C, just ride. Shit !!! head light had just popped out, due to all water inside. Let's switch on the trusty LIDL leds and suffer from full high beams of blinded vehicles :(

    I stopped for some fuel and came to prepaid the cashier. But I was shaking so much that it was impossible just to catch my pocket zip and take my purse; After some minutes running on place, hitting my hands and mainly trying to brain control the situation, I succeed to give him 300 rubles and let's go back to the pump, ice-babar !

    It was, not mentioning last day trip coming back , the worst time of the travel. I just started to plan I could just intentionally explode the engine, put myself out of road and ask my French insurance assistance for a crash , go back on plane and hasta la vista !. thinking about how to do it helped me a lot to fight against insidious hypothermia.

    I jumped on lazy TTRE (more or less, better say I climbed the bike at slow motion ;) ) and after laughing myself about stupid sentences like " you only die once" , "living is suffering" and all bullshit, I made mine the famous one from the volcanologist Haroun Tazieff : "les vrais aventuriers meurent dans leur lit !', meaning "true adventurers die in their bed !"
    So let's go Babar !

    I was only 100 km for Chebokasary . People were waiting for me for around 20 00 and it was 21 :00. I stopped in a gas station with free WiFi, successfully connected my charger and tried to communicate on messenger. Impossible. The security guard used his phone and same. no way; The two cashier girls used their phone ... No way.

    In this usual context for me, I let you appreciate the poem "Aliens" from the famous poet Charles Bukowski

    I could have wrote every word, since i was born... Even if it's a little bit opposite to the Tazieff sentence... but each his own contradictions...

    The Aliens

    You may not believe it
    but there are people
    who go through life with
    very little
    friction or
    they dress well, eat
    well, sleep well.
    they are contented with
    their family
    they have moments of
    but all in all
    they are undisturbed
    and often feel
    very good.
    and when they die
    it is an easy
    death, usually in their
    you may not believe
    but such people do
    but I am not one of
    oh no, I am not one
    of them,
    I am not even near
    to being
    one of
    but they are
    and I am

    Charles Bukowski

    So why putting ourselves in a such a situation ?

    Search for adrenaline ? No thanks, I nearly die from drowning young. ;)

    Neraly die too when tree branch came crossed my leg after some bad fall in bicycle off road :)

    I had 3 electrocutions doing some middle and high voltages electronic experimentation. :(

    I fall from 8 meters making a marvelous usual jump in an usual spot with a motorbike. they just built a concrete empty water retention pool during the night. :)

    I had a big aerial crash on a taking off and had to make a reverse figure to crash on left wing from ten meters, after lost of the propeller.

    list is nearly endless...

    Most of my best friends and music partners when I was around twenty had already died in car accidents...

    So, do I want to suffer ? From an external cause ? No !

    Did I like the feeling of the synthetic morphine when I had big kidney stones ??? No way !!

    Like every biker, I just appreciate the feeling to be alive, that's all...

    And we can show same contempt for pain than pain gives us contempt .

    " je méprise la douleur autant qu'elle me méprise " ( feel free to give me a better translation :) )

    I really don't care about pain and when I look around me, I see lots of people who just don't know no more how to manage it. first pain = doctor, medicine, etc... What about a real painful situation coming from very serious pbs ?? Look at these people . They don't complain...

    If I start to drive fast on a trail, it's not for adrenaline; it's for the satisfaction to manage and control a complex situation.So I don't care if others are going faster, and I respect the slower ones. I can go far in an activity, but I really feel when it's time to stop, when I have played all my jokers. Stopping fly teaching because of that. Don't push too much your luck...

    I had the same feeling on road. I loved my triumph ST 955i but after two slides and some little crashes, I knew that it was not for me. Pilot on open road ?? what a joke !! So now at 60, I just go back to trails, eating mud and have some fun. If some want to go 130 km/h in between cutting fences, go , guys.. Not my way... not because getting older, but just because the dick contest is not my cup of tea ( and a cup of tea is too small for my dick, of course :) ) If I didn't have a broken back, I would like to seriously learn trial. pendulum, precision, etc... Now my target is more to be able to make a very slow wheeling, cross enduro techniques, one wheel u turns etc.. Long way to go :) But I still can't understand why younger guys just can't go upon a 30cm diameter tree trunk and go on "adventure " . come on guys, have some training , at last find some coach :) You will better enjoy situations to come on the way !
    and these guys make a real good work on utub !

    This just my humble opinion, that's all... But sometimes I feel that the new adventure business is just a joke... and start to pollute a lot of friends conversations. Spending so much money to eat some sand in the middle East ? ... Power of marketing is amazing. Toura;;; , you said toura;;:; ? :) ;) ;) ;)

    Another point is to see people glorifying "adventure" on dangerous roads which are used by every day worker...

    Contrast is sometimes hard to see...

    Now dear adv riders, you start to hate me ? good point . love and hate , love and hate :D:D:D

    The main point is that if you do something, honestly know your situation and never fall in a stupid narcissist social network selfie game. That's why I like reports of guys just taking ordinary bikes, ordinary roads, stopping in ordinary hotels. But you can feel that it's the ride of their life, and I just love to read and feel this sensation :) Bike is an open space vehicle which forces you to meet others. Alone and far from home, You HAVE to meet others. Whatever the place, the money, the situation, you have to interact and it's the beauty of motorbike :)
    my 10 RUB opinion :happay
    yamalama likes this.
  11. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    As usual, in this gas station I add to decide in between loosing time to inform my couchsurf family or just go meet them, even too late !!!
    Lets's go Babar, under September rain ...Same, same old story. I managed to just switch on my phone short times to preserve battery. I came center town, was 1 km from target and ... black screen. :dirtdog
    Trusting my feeling I rode slowly around but no way to find the street. I made a U turn and crashed the bike on the side like a real knoobie, stopped a car and asked the to to help me pull up my big GS adventure on street side? Then I went ot a tree to ...piss and of course came a woman from nowhere same time. She started to speak to me , saying always the two same surnames.. WTF ??? What this crazy woman wants ??? a swinger party ??? After one minute, time to dry my brain from tons of road water , I had a revelation and just answered YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS :clap:clap

    that was just the surnames of her daughter and son ! She showed me the building opposite side of street behind trees and asked me to follow her. My enthusiasm helped me to push the lazy TTRE for 200 meters, go behind some building and find lots of people waiting for me and celebrating my venue !!! Priceless moments, when you feel quitting Earth orbit attraction and following Voyager 1 space probe route :drums
    yamalama likes this.
  12. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    I still don't put names and pics of the fantastic couch surf people who opened their places for me. and not only for me, but for all my wet gears pissing water everywhere, all my dirty luggage , and their flats whose heaters were all full of jacket, boots and clothes to be dried !!
    I will post as soon as they agree...

    let's take some pause until tomorrow . Still more than 13 days to report, and some not really easy :loco
    Ride safe at night, under.. rain , of course :)
    Now that I found this one, how can I resist to use it anytime ? :drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums:drums
    Kristof Granit likes this.
  13. blacktruck

    blacktruck Shiftless character

    Nov 7, 2012
    Texarkana, TX
    Interesting journey you are on sir. I see some similarities so I am in to see how it all goes.
    Safe riding and keep us informed please.
  14. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    I will ! thanks
  15. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    As every traveling biker, you are welcome, anytime !!!
  16. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    So it was around 23:00 now, and mother started to cook some food ! The old soviet flat had the big tubes heater system running all along the rooms. Perfect to dry all clothes, boots and gloves ! Brother kindly gave his room and started the usual

    " please, Chinese phone, rise your golden sun from the orient space. Fulfill us with sensible colors on your marvelous hd gozilla screen. Sing your war song, your famous " Leaaaaaaagguoooo" one more time. "

    Is anybody going to shoot the poet ??? yes ! me ! :


    Because this phone in fact was really good. Just 80 us dollars , full hd 5.4 screen, 4 gb /32 gb memory, very good gps, etc... And even a removable battery and 15 euros spare battery could be bought on ebay... Ah yes I planned to buy some... I planned ... :(

    I'll make a resume at end report about all my research on phones, gps, and mainly free nav software, map routing etc... Oriented only on off cellular connection usage, with already downloaded maps.

    Phone endured everything : thumper vibrations, lots of water. Of course, Murphy's law : I brought it back home in perfect shape, and just dropped it coming in house. killed !!! :) :) :) :) :)

    Tomorrow will be the last day before reaching Izhevsk. let's check a good small road and let far away the M7 in all its infamy. And by the way, maybe some maintenance hsould be performed ? Looking outside it was dark night and raining. maintenance ! Come on guy, you have to ! So i came down and perfectly lubricated Miss Regina, queen of chain . f course, it was in fact drizzling the chain in dark, with half a liter of jig saw oil, including rear arm, some luggage, the rim, and the tire !!! Well done Babar, now you can go sleep surrounded by the sticky love of your trusty Yamaha.

    After a good dry night, I packed my luggage, not before a gargantuan breakfast , and "let's go Babar". Not really... the free wheel of the starter was making noise and starter was sometimes just locking. Bad news , considering the cost of a free wheel... Anyways, I succeed by short button press to start engine, a real performance considering cold temperature and the total lean tuning of carburetor , even with full choke.

    I fast came out of Cheboksary through traffic jams but you already know that it's a fun playground for French bikers. Except the fact that my small bucket and scoop were in fact a motorbike acting like an elephant in full doggy style ! Forget the idle, lost somewhere since the beginning of trip. Forget the full throttle, as it was still staying full revs and forced me each time to use the kill switch one second, cut the engine and switch on again. A process I will use for hours coming back home. I just had 2 good middle throttle positions and was determinate to use them until I reach Izhevsk and could make real maintenance in Kirill's garage. Just as for rain and anything else, it became just a "normal" situation at the end. Consider the European cars : We still have no automatic transmission for a majority of cars. We are acting like one century ago and even don't realize it... We have an enormous steering wheel, we use our left leg maybe 12 000 times in a year to press a stupid pedal.... and we do it... So, at this time, where there any problems ?? ? Near no brakes, on/off engine, still no lights... List will continue to grow, don't worry ! At a point that I still can't believe I made it back home... but you know the answer : " NO PROBLEM"

    Some rain of course, from beginning of day, but road was fantastic. I enjoyed every minute. I had the best the mind can imagine : perfect tarmac, the small potholes, then big potholes, then sand , then mud, then lost in middle of nowhere... Usual day :)

    I told you about my boots destroyed by angry dogs in past trips... Seems dogs don't like thumper noise. I had no dog problem since the beginning, except in Poland, but a good kick with my boot ended it. With all this rain, water started to rise in some small towns. I was riding center town , stuck in between two cars. Front car stopped because water was rising fats . maybe around only 40 cm.. Ok Babar, let's put one leg down. I put my foot through water to reach tarmac, but ... I never reached it :It was exact location of a big pothole. So you can imagine the scene. The captain leg sinking , the ship heels over . No way I will have to let fall my bike in water in middle of cars and in a turn ! I put some gas to overpass the car by the right and there they were : Two Guardians of the temple street , wet muscled dogs, and white shinny jaws, baring their fangs. No way !! I still didn't want to take a bath, mainly because I was already totally wet, and I still needed my so so waterproof boots.. It was..sentimental :) I had no stress at all, which surprise me as I was used to be bitten by dogs so many times as a child that I still have scars on arms. I still don't trust dogs, except Newfoundlander dogs I used to have. But these dogs are just humans. George Gordon Byron wrote about his Newfoundlander dog on boatswain's monument:

    Near this Spot
    are deposited the Remains of one
    who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
    Strength without Insolence,
    Courage without Ferocity,
    and all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
    This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
    if inscribed over human Ashes,
    is but a just tribute to the Memory of
    who was born in Newfoundland May 1803,
    and died at Newstead Nov 18th, 1808.

    When some proud son of man returns to earth,
    Unknown by glory, but upheld by birth,
    The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
    And stories urns record that rests below.
    When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
    Not what he was, but what he should have been.

    But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
    The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
    Whose honest heart is still his master’s own,
    Who labors, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
    Unhonored falls, unnoticed all his worth,
    Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth –

    While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
    And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
    Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
    Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power –
    Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
    Degraded mass of animated dust!
    Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
    Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!
    By nature vile, ennoble but by name,
    Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.

    Ye, who perchance behold this simple urn,
    Pass on – it honors none you wish to mourn.
    To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
    I never knew but one – and here he lies.

    Teppy, the last one, sadly died last year ...
    Miss you, guy !


    So, with the determination of rage against a machine, I shout at them and applied one of the techniques a friend told me : Act like an alpha dog. Ok ok, but how can I put myself on hands ad knees and bark aggressively ! Second technique was "let the dog jump on you and trap one leg, and break it, it's easy? pain will make it run away" . are you kidding ? Two street Temple guardian like that ! Is it a peplum remake of " Babar versus Molosses " ???
    But the usual motor biker has only 3 neurones : one for sex, one for fuel , one for throttle. Sex ?? no way I 'm not zoophilic. Fuel ? How can I set myself on fire with all this water ? Ah ok, neurone 3, please send some electricity to my right hand.
    Main characteristic of a thumper being the hate of high revs, crazy sound of the 595 CC in all its glory, shouting like 152 megaphones full of Red bull made them run away ...
    What , missing lovely dog ?? Was it too much noise ???

    Now, dear reader, everything was under control, just have to go back in the lane. "Just" One more big invisible pothole and here we go.....................


    I was so fed up that I just pulled up the bike in 2 seconds, and after the now usual "lock one time" of the free wheel starter, I was on my way. In fact no difference about wet : same as before except the weight of water in boots. Boring to change gears, but helpful for rear brake power :)
    I know, I should have a go pro on my helmet, a Sony on my handle bar, a Mavic drone upon the street, a condenser mic in the street , etc... Edit it on my powerful computer bought to edit the' making of ' of movies with f..g expensive video softwares... Imagining the aerial traveling of the drone, then waterproof cam emerging from street water, dogs barking shoot in reverse angle, and slow motion traveling of myself, sinking like an hero in fresh water ... Hey guy ! wake up ! : computer is now used as a game tower for the kids, half of my cameras are nearly dead, and no way to spend budget of a 2 months travel on a stupid drone falling somewhere in water :) How stupid I am.... Because Utub videos would give me access to sponsorship and I could have the perfect new goretex 1000 € real adventurer jacket, an AGV 800 € helmet and some crazy 400 € MX boots... Even two 1500 € drones and a stealth car ( because nobody has to know that you have a big follow me car behind you ;) ) But for the car, can I just have the Russian VW passat ?

    Then... (Good movie isn't it ? ;) ) came the surprise : Going out of town , in 20 minutes, rain vanished, SUN came ! . Like a bat in front of a studio photo flash, I was nearly blind and put two sunglasses upon each other...; Street became a sort of totally destroyed road, with big blocks of concrete everywhere, potholes, stones, sand and gravel. I think they just throw away all the stuff on this road when working on the adjacent railroad... Time to play the real enduro guy , standing up, butt out, elbows out.. oh my god, I'm fast !!! I'm good !! very good !!!:knary And then .. reality !!! A guy in an old Lada overtook me at what seemed double speed... :( I was so upset that I stopped to switch on my phone and check my gps speed... Now I was around 100 km/h slaloming like mad around all this hard garbage and again ! A guy in a STUPID volkswagen Passat. :eekers Come on guys, you must have a daily subscription to change your suspensions !? Eating all dust coming from then new Russian Sebastien Loeb,ébastien_Loeb
    I gave up and slowed down to a good 90.... which meant going every second from throttle position 2 to position 1 and reverse process every 5 seconds..
    ( see below the user's manual)

    I was thinking that this bad part of out town will soon finish. I was wrong. it took around 12 km then pass a small bridge upon the rail road and here we are : good small tarmac road. 5 km later, nightmare began.

    Way to go was on left.. a muddy large road in middle of the forest. I checked the map.. no way to avoid that . I didn't care about the mud, but I was more preoccupied by some traffic with usual fast cars and trucks.. don't want to end under a truck like a perfect pizza delivery guy transformed in a giant metal meat pizza ...

    I had lots of options, the best of course was clean opposite lane. But some snowplow had already push mud in middle of the road, on each side, creating two deep walls of around 70 cm along.

    I was not really feeling confident to cross this walls at 45° on slight angle, in case of some car or truck coming. The TTRE600 is on a the light side for a Trail bike: 156 kg dry.. But center of gravity is high, as bad as my past triumph tiger 955, to say the least ! luggage, oil, lots of apples, 50/50 tires ( translation without marketing : 5 off road / 95 on road ) , guy too fat and fuel would surely not reach half of an anvil Bmw, but enough to feel like crap. Now I wished I had my lovely XR650R ... really lighter light, real suspensions and this Honda frame ; stable and nervous same time :)

    First I stayed on right side, but soon there were too many tires marks on ground.

    Now, dear readers, it's time for some TV Show :

    Medecine man : " So, you are healthy and young. Why are you worrying ?"

    Guy with an helmet on head : ' Not so. I'm too fat and don't make real sport, just physical and hard stupid activities : renovating alone an house, moving 3 tonnes of garbage,etc..."

    MM : " Don't worry, at 60 years old, you already lost half of your muscles :)"

    GWHOH :" what ?? But I'm still strong !"

    MM " Yes ! it's called compensation hahahaha"

    GWHOH " but what can I do ?"

    M.M " well , bicycle and swimming, all others are destroying bullshits"

    GWHOH " But I hate water and you told me bicycle is killing prostate "

    MM silent " .... You are right ... Oh yes I have an idea !"

    GWHOH " which one,? really ??? "

    MM " yes, it will solve all yours problems"

    GWHOH " tell me, pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase !!!"

    MM " Simple it's called : Energy non dissolved under rough obligation !"

    GWHOH " You are kidding me ??? what is this " Energy non dissolved under rough obligation" ???

    MM "Don't worry, I write you the prescription "

    GWHOH " ok I have nothing to loose except life"

    Guy with Helmet on His Head came out of hospital and read the prescription.
    The doctor knowing that ALL doctors write like shit, had just put on paper the initials of the prescription : "E.N.D.U.R.O"

    Coming back home, his wife asked him :
    " So you are going to make some jogging, or what ?"

    "No, sweet love" was the answer, and putting his gloves, he ran away to the garage, shouting :


    Same prescription for me, so let's ride Babar ...
    An d always the same mental conflict :
    " need to ride fast to ease the process, and if I ride fast and fall, there will be more pain and pbs.. If I ride slow I will minimize pbs in case of fall but it will be bad riding and I will... fall"

    So I gave up , put the throttle in 3rd position :)

    some memo :

    Position 0 : no idle, so stall and stop

    Position 1 : runs around 45 km/h

    Position 2 : runs around 110 km/h

    Position 3 : full throttle, but stays full throttle until you cut off engine

    It was a lot fun and I was happy to have done good luggage installation and put all heavy things down and frontal , all in low gravity and good handling... The 12 years old dunlop trailmax acted very good, and mud under the timid sun became more " cat shit consistent" like when this pervert animal intentionally goes to his toilet box in your flat, at the exact time your friends ring the bell to enjoy a "smelly " dinner !

    But very soon dust came from behind a big truck and I didn't have google glasses. Let's overtake it Babar !! Of course in the cloud of dust I totally forgot about the central double mud walls ? But overtaking fast gave a good trajectory, more or less 30° and I succeed to be on opposite side of the "highway trail". And i realized 3 things: I 'm good ! , in the jump I started to loose the big decathlon backpack that totally forgot to fix in the morning , and .. A big truck was coming . He seemed to like me, flashing lights like mad.. Thanks guy , maybe you want to prevent some radar controls ? ;) I had the feeling that if I jump again upon these walls of mud, my big backpack will take some freedom and maybe lock the real wheel. So usual process "you have no time, you take your time..." Truck was about 100 meters front of me but I saw that there was a 10 meters clean central place at about 70 meters... Just like when you overpass "à la française" ( we could say "french touch") a line of cars and calculate where to dive in between the last ones, I wait, wait and took at last my right official lane. I was thinking I could have stay on the enough large side, truck would have been able to pass without pbs. Well bad idea, because ASAP the truck disappeared , I saw a big snowplow coming .hum hum....

    We all have and live many kinds of road events... The red warning light must be brighter when traveling alone, far from home.. But too much red light can fast becomes a false friend. Motorbike always need some dynamism and IMHO it's the part of this kind of trip which is the most difficult to achieve : Balance in between fast fun, giving & needing high level concentration and anticipation, and a "take it easy" thinking, preserving your energy, your machine and giving you more time when tired... One thing I always avoid to do is to fall in the "race" game when I meet some bikes on road ( even cars driver are pushing you up for some fun). I can do it a few times, if I feel the guy is a "long ride" guy, clean and smooth in curves. I found good ones on the way back who just told me at the next gas station " man, you're fast" ! Sometimes some compliments are good to hear, especially when you followed big bikes on a nearly dead thumper :)

    I had to stop, fixing my backpack and discovered that one strap had just played the jaws movie with chain and sprockets.. The other was perfectly rolled around the wheel hub, half behind sprocket , half against rear brake...As usual, no time to fix it with crazy trucks, mud and dust everywhere. We will see in Izhevsk garage ;) So where are my others ratchets straps ? ah yes !! in the top case !! hum in the.... top case ??? The top case I still didn't have time to clean since Latvia ... I opened it and tried to find the straps in the bottom of a strange aquarium mixture.. found ! Arrggg no way to use them :(

    Ok let's put one bungee and go ! Worked like a charm :)

    I really must find a place to clean all this mess.. some day ...

    Except some hot situations (like big trucks stopping suddenly to speak to the other coming, etc...) worst came from a little truck losing his scaffolds just in front of me. But my past French friends riders can testify : I'm the specialist ! . I even had once a concrete mixer unlocking from the truck I was following :) And that's mainly why I can stand only big 21 ' front wheels. So no big deal, just roll on it... Wish I even have the old 23' :) and roll on big tree branches falling from trees. Don't ask me why I know this !
    I lost "small" front wheel of my Triumph, just because there was a Mc Donald hamburger paper on the road :( Told you : not this kind of bike for me !
  17. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    today is my birthday , ( birthday ?? made 61 and still alive and well ?; waouuuu let's take some more "Energy Non Dissolved Under Rough Obligation" for a long time !!! ) :)
    So I give a little bit up on this report. Must have some work to at last clean the house ! See you later, alligators

    Coming soon : Izhevsk time :)

    Look at my elbows position :
    What about your prescription ?
    Don't forget to take your "Energy Non Dissolved Under Rough Obligation" :lol3
    chudzikb and Nanuq like this.
  18. blacktruck

    blacktruck Shiftless character

    Nov 7, 2012
    Texarkana, TX
    Happy Birthday barbar69. Have some fun and enjoy the day. :beer
  19. Nanuq

    Nanuq Aventurer by Trade

    Dec 22, 2007
    Point Hope, Sitka & Biorka Island- all in Alaska
    Excellent report! Thank you!
  20. Nanuq

    Nanuq Aventurer by Trade

    Dec 22, 2007
    Point Hope, Sitka & Biorka Island- all in Alaska
    Also, happy birthday !!!
    babar69 likes this.