Sibirsky Extreme 2012 - The Toughest Ride of Them All

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

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    We rode on into the evening and onto a road under construction..a few miles on the new road, a few on the support/old road that was appallingly corrugated and hammering the shit out of the bikes and riders . It became clear that we weren't going to find anywhere more suitable that night so we peeled off at a junction and headed off in to the hills to find a quiet spot to camp. There were large grassy areas near a lake but experience told us that it would be Mossie City so we kept steaming on

    <a href="http://s1283.beta.photobucket.com/user/rodcurrie/media/Russia2012099_zps7a828646.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a555/rodcurrie/Russia2012099_zps7a828646.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    We rode overland and found this quiet spot at the bottom of some foothills. It was blowing very hard and it was something of a struggle to get the tents up but after a wee while we were sorted.
    My stove had gone tits up a few days before so we all gathered round and P boiled enough water so we could knock up a meal.

    <a href="http://s1283.beta.photobucket.com/user/rodcurrie/media/Russia2012098_zpsa4ffcd0c.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a555/rodcurrie/Russia2012098_zpsa4ffcd0c.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    It'd been another long and eventful day and we were all happy to crawl into our pits.
    I don't know how the other guys felt and I've never articulated it thus but but I had the strangest feeling camping here-like we were were on the moon. There was lots of crap around from livestock but we saw nothing-it was like camping in a vaccuum.
  2. joenuclear

    joenuclear Planning.....

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    Eerie looking in daylight. Was the stove a KTM? :D
  3. Jurassic

    Jurassic Long timer

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    :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl
  4. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    I left Bayantes soon after 2pm, confident of making the big smoke, Moron, 350km (220 miles) away by nightfall.

    But... 35 km (22 miles) out of the village, disaster struck. My front wheel bearings were dead.

    As I coasted to a halt, my mind immediately know why it happened. It was that flash flood that I got stuck in the middle of just before Bayantes. The one that pummeled my front hub with dirty water for half an hour. I looked at my map. There was no village closer than Bayantes. I surveyed the scene. There was Ger with some people outside about 400 yards (a quarter mile) away.

    I pulled the front wheel off and took it and my tools and spare bearings over to the nearest ger. The two people I had seen outside the ger cooking were a couple of boys, about 10 years old. They had no parents around but kindly offered me some tea. I ashed to borrow a tomahawk / hatchet they had ling around for chopping wood, then while I drank their milky salty Mongolian tea, I began removing the wheel bearings.

    The still good bearing was pretty straightforward to tap out, and my confidence was on a high. I thought I will fix this problem and be back on the road with just half an hour out of the schedule. Still all good to make Moron tonight.

    But the perished bearing had other ideas. One quick tap and 3/4 of the bearing emptied itself over the Mongolian grasslands. Only the outer race remained in place. This is always the hard part in perished bearing removal. I looked inside the hub as best I could, but could see no gap in the hub lip that would allow me rest the edge of a screw driver on it. I tried to get some purchase on the bearing with my screwdriver / improvised cold chisel, but could not.

    I tried for hours. My fingers and thumbs were bashed to a pulp from times the screwdriver slipped off the bearing and the tomahawk smashed my digits into the hub.

    I despaired. I yelled at the sky. I swore. All I could think was that if I dont get this bearing changed ASAP, there was no way to get to Irkutsk to meet my flight.

    By 6:30pm, having been working without success for 4 hours I gave up. I took the wheel back to the bike, sitting by the track, and decided I needed to hitch a ride with the first car / truck that comes by. There had been none in the 4 hours I had been broken down. Not one. A few guys on the 150cc Chinese bikes that are so common in Mongolia, but no 4 wheeled vehicles.

    I waited till 9pm. The daylight was almost up. When a chinese bike approached me from over a hill with middle aged man and woman on board. I understood from the guy that they were the parents of the two kids I had borrowed the tomahawk from earlier. He wanted to know the problem. I explained. Then he invited me back to his ger (about half a mile away) and said he had tools and they would fix it.

    I wheeled the bike over to the ger in the distance, while my new friend and his wife shot off to fire up the ger (they had been away all day) and get some tea brewing. By the time I arrived, he had assembled a crew of a few neighbors, all ready to help with this foreigners troublesome bearing.

    We communicated by sign language and grunts. These guys spoke no Russian. For 15 minutes they tried and failed to get the bearing shell out as I had, with no success, and then bingo, they were on to something. While one guy jammed a screwdriver between the bearing shell and the lip on the hub, the other bashed on it through the hub. It slowly began to move. A few minutes later the bearing was out, and I was as happy as a pig in shit. It was pitch black outside now. But tomorrow I would ride. I had lost 7 hours of riding time, but I could see light at the end of the tunnel now.

    [​IMG]

    The new bearings that I was about to put in were not ideal. Over two months on the road had left them a little rusty on the outside. We cleaned them up as best we could, packed them with grease, and tapped them into place. By headtorchlight I put the wheel back on the bike. It was 10:30 pm now and I was ready to sleep. I had a big day ahead tomorrow.
  5. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

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    man, with the luck you're having, by the time you get to Moscow she'll be asking you to bring her some maxi pads.
  6. sparklr

    sparklr Adventurer

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    :poser Morbidly hilarious, hopefully it works out in your favour.

    :lurk
  7. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Well I would be most unlikely to provide any details of that nature one way or another.
  8. 2WheelieADV

    2WheelieADV Been here awhile

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    It is amazing that there's always some people around in Mongolia even if it's seems to be middle of nowhere!
    Great adventure indeed!
  9. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Yes, Terry, Rod and I, who had all ridden before in Mongolia, were noting the difference wjen we were in the remote parts of Kazakhstan - that the remote parts of Kazakhstan are actually much much more remote than Mongolia, where the population really finds a way to fill up the country.
  10. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

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    You have to warn me before you do that. I'd just taken a drink of tea and blew it all over the laptop. :lol3
  11. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

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    The next morning the wind had dropped, and it was warm and overcast with still air.
    The mosquitoes took this as open season on bald guys and set about me with a vengeance. These guys take no prisoners :eek1 so I wasted no time packing the gear onto the bike and making ready for the day. The guys soon joined me. We left, passing a shrine of the type seen so often in Mongolia, festooned with blue cloth-I'm not sure of the significance but maybe someone will chime in-, but I didn't want to stop for a pic as we'd only just got moving.
    We rejoined the road under construction and started battering the bikes on the corrugations, passing a few schoolgirls walking on the roadside. No idea where they'd come from as any habitations we'd passed seemed to be derelict...or indeed where they were going-but the clothing and kit carried suggested school.
    After a while we approached a river we'd need to cross, but the crossing was totally washed out and when I waded into thigh deep into the torrent to see if we could get a bike across I could barely stand. Hmm. Problem.
  12. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

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    We stood around trying to work out how we'd get across and an enormous loading shovel appeared from the road construction site next to us and signalled that we could throw the bikes into the bucket and he'd carry them across. It was certainly an option but not one that was necessarily our first choice given the potential damage if something were to go wrong.
    Whilst we were debating we saw a 4WD cross further downstream where the water spread out into a sort of delta and we thought maybe we'd get across at that point?
    A little truck pulled up then and the guy driving offered to carry the bike across for us -result!

    <a href="http://s1283.beta.photobucket.com/user/rodcurrie/media/Russia2012100_zpscb7e5bd7.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a555/rodcurrie/Russia2012100_zpscb7e5bd7.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    We threw Terry's bike and mine up on top and he drove down to where we'd seen the 4WD make the ford, and splashed in...the embarrassment!....it was only about 6 inches deep all the way across and Terry was muttering " FFS... if Wal'er could see us now he'd be pissing himself laughing at us getting a lift across this"

    Just so you all know...Terry's the one with his back to the camera pretending it's not him, wishing the ground could swallow him and saying that the voices made him do it . Sorry T..had to grass you up. :lol3

    <a href="http://s1283.beta.photobucket.com/user/rodcurrie/media/Russia2012103_zps9bfb9144.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a555/rodcurrie/Russia2012103_zps9bfb9144.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    I said "too late mate, they've a feckin' photograph now-the game's up"
  13. Prutser

    Prutser Long timer

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    When my bike was running again after the "swim with the boxer" we drove further to Hovd.
    We all needed to top-up our mongolian cash before we could re-fill the bikes and do some grocery shopping.
    Getting the money was a bit difficult as non of the bankomat's would except our cards.
    In the end we changed Euro's for Tögrög's

    After getting the cash I went shopping for some fresh engine oil.
    In the center of the town there was a local Automotive market with all the tools, oils and bits you could think of.
    So I bought 4 liters of engine oil and some engine flush. Now I could get the dirty milky oil out of the engine.

    While Tee Bee and I were shopping for oil Rod and Beamster got all the atention from the locals.

    [​IMG]
  14. Prutser

    Prutser Long timer

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    We followed the so called ADV riders :poser

    [​IMG]
  15. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

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    We got to the other side and unloaded the bikes, and the driver headed off-he was only taking one run across so P & B would need to ride across.
    I walked back across the river to where we'd started from and told the guys it was a cakewalk, so they scooted down to the crossing and splashed across..whilst I walked across behind them. You can just see Terry standing at the far side like a big (dry) girl. "Oooh! I got a lift across" :lol3

    Much ado about nothing and I was soaked again for no reason.
    Moral? Give it a good coat of looking at before you take rash decisions. Pass me the donkey's ears please.

    <a href="http://s1283.beta.photobucket.com/user/rodcurrie/media/Russia2012106_zps1967802a.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a555/rodcurrie/Russia2012106_zps1967802a.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>
  16. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

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    We rode off into the day having lost a good hour fannying about at the crossing, and the evidence of serious rain was everywhere with massive mudslides along the road for miles. We started to climb a little and the land dried out with much better going and we could wick it up.
    After a few hours we saw some bikes approaching (we'd seen nothing for hours) and realised it was a couple of overlanders.

    <a href="http://s1283.beta.photobucket.com/user/rodcurrie/media/Russia2012109_zps6c1d8281.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a555/rodcurrie/Russia2012109_zps6c1d8281.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    We pulled over together and said our hellos.
    This was a couple of German guys (I think P & B had enough German to better converse with them) on their mighty behemoths, with every bolt-on goodie you could imagine. The guys had some English so they asked us what lay ahead and when we told them of the mud and crossings they had the look of seriously worried men. They were traveling at about 40kph (25mph) as the bikes were so heavy they daren't go much faster. The guy with the GS had a huge- T-shaped structure sticking out of the back of his bike so I asked him what it was for-he replied it had been for carrying spare tyres but when they were mounted the bike was simply uncontrollable, so he'd got rid of the tyres.
    These guys were having their holiday ruined by the amount of kit they'd brought to make their holiday better. We'd been having a ball on the run through-they were seriously worried.
    The guy on the Super Ten looked at our setups and the nearest bike and said " I want that bike!"
    Take heed anyone planning a first trip.
    P will tell of the conversation better than I as he chatted to the guys longer than I did.

    Meanwhile a group of the locals wandered past so we decided to take a few minutes and have a cup of tea. We built an empire on it y'know!:lol3

    <a href="http://s1283.beta.photobucket.com/user/rodcurrie/media/Russia2012108_zps68a7923d.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a555/rodcurrie/Russia2012108_zps68a7923d.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    Here's B getting some biscuits out of the bottomless tank-bag with T lurking and hoping to snag a biccy

    <a href="http://s1283.beta.photobucket.com/user/rodcurrie/media/Russia2012110_zpsd7cd1c17.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a555/rodcurrie/Russia2012110_zpsd7cd1c17.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>
  17. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

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    You clearly haven't considered the amount of raw courage required to stand on the back of the truck listening to Terry bleating about Walter finding out and taking the piss out of him. :bert
  18. kyns

    kyns Long timer

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    Way to keep the chrome clean...

    :lol3

    Terry screaming : Put on your helmet Rod ! This is no laughing matter !
  19. tee bee

    tee bee Been here awhile

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    You wait Mr. currie.....:hide:hide:hide
  20. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

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    This one gets better every day. :D:clap