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Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Oct 18, 2012.
Belt up, you great poof.
You'd have been sobbing on a sat phone looking for a blooming helicopter.
Rod, I'd like to thank you for everything you contributed to the RR. And it was a nice touch leaving Terry your pink slippers.
I actually dont know anyone who has done the 110 on a motorcycle ... I know some Russian guys who have been talking about it.
One of the hardest things about it, is the unpredicability of the height of the river. If its high, you may have to wait days ... if you get caught up in a 2 week cycle of non stop rain, you may have to wait weeks.
Hopefully you would get some truck to take you across in that time, but you never know.
The only other river I know which has that show stopping ability is the Kyubeme river at the start of the Old Summer Road, but at least there if its too high you can just take the Federal Road - you do have a choice. Additionally, you KNOW that trucks have to get through once every couple of days at an absolute minimum, to keep Tomtor supplied. Obviously anywhere on the BAM if water levels are too high anywhere, you can backtrack to the nearest mini station and get on a flatbed train - or as was the case for us at Kuanda, hire a local truck.
But on the 110, you are much more dependent on luck regarding the river. Your only options are to ride thru it or hope an empty trayback truck appears.
Russian 4WDs consider it (the 110) a bit of a holy grail.
There is nothing too crazy, Russians wouldn't try.
I just tried to find some links, but you have to search by cyrillic letters and finally found some motor bikers (and even a video). http://djebel-club.ru/forum/index.php?showtopic=4962 has in the first post some links (mainly 4x4 and pushbikes, in the last report you see photos of one motorcycle in a bunch of 4x4, for a quick impression of 110 in fair conditions the first video is good).
In another post this video (34 min) is linked (around Baikal by motorbike, so they did the 110):
They also had to rely on a crawler to bring them over the Bargusin.
But perhaps we should wait to discuss the 110 until another Sibirsky RR
Anyway it is an alternative to gain the BAM, but not without risk (we had to wait 3 days at the ford and then turned back. Over the first ford a guard of the national park took us over with his inflatable rowing boat. Before we got back to Uljonkhan the first truck after 5 days going in our direction was so kind to give us a lift).
So back to the RR, the small stations are at most manned only during the day and then closed. Between Kuanda and Chara only Leprindo seems to be manned (station is not directly at the road). This year Sjulban (next station after Balbuchta) was manned because they were working in the region and the workers slept in a train that was based permanently there.
As a non English natural speaker still keep some icons from the learning process.
One of them, as appreciate the popular wisdom, is "There's a will, there's a way".
After seeing those two guys on their way, the debates about bikes, shocks and so on, shall be seen otherway.
Men, or ladies, do make the difference.
But, considering I'm a tech dependent, all the info provided here is most welcome.
I suspect that Olyokma bridge the most difficult BAM place .
It is the longest bridge on western BAM. Attention to its guard is special.
Security guards have the instruction not to pass anybody.
Officially you have to rent railway a cart and cross the bridge on it. It is very expensive.
On the other hand it isn't possible to forbid locals to use this bridge.
Therefore you have a chance to convince guard.
You have to prove that your travel has private character.
To tell about equality you and locals before god.
We carried on negotiations about an hour
also could pass on the bridge for $17 from the moto.
Use in Russia the motto:
We aren't afraid of pain,
we have no money,
and we have a lot of time
Don't cross it without the permission,
it is dangerous.
The security guard knows in what time it is possible to pass.
I just love your motto, Pate
We started the day by heading alongside the railway track from Balbukhta for a few hundred yards. The Golden Spike monument for the Western BAM was here ... Building from Tynda in the east and Ust Kut in the west, the construction crews met here.
Erik found blueberries and we all had a fruity breakfast:
Before posing for our formal Golden Spike foto:
(Pic courtesy of Steve)
Once on the road, the day was a mix of many of the usual Western BAM suspects ...
Ballast riding on gravelly rail embankment:
(Pic courtesy Steve)
And old rotting bridges full of gaps:
with a healthy dose of beautiful scenery thrown in, courtesy of the Leprindo Lakes:
Has Terry spotted a pretty girl?
There is one spot on the Western BAM that is a slice of luxury ... a long rail bridge for which you dont have to worry about trains that can take you out ... just one bridge that is surplus the the requirements of the railways ... where they have built 2 box girder bridges for just one track.
Enjoy it while you can.
Despite it being the 4th of August, and a good 25 degrees C, there were still patches of snow on the ground.
Steve and Erik make good progress along the railway embankment
Must be one of Siberias new multi-lane super highways:
Biggest danger I find with pannier boxes and offroad riding is the risk of getting a foot pinned under the box which can happen if you have to dog walk the bike.
Walter, Great ride report like always
I see this movie a few weeks ago The Way Back, they are in Siberia http://youtu.be/tobqdae1JI8?t=1h6m56s , in this part they are having troubles with the bugs or mosquitoes and found a natural repellent from the locals, if this is true you don't need to load any repellent, .
Good movie BTW.
The video is blocked to th U.S
Awesome RR by the way,,,,
Great film and the books even better.
Oh, yes i did spy a pretty girl, but the others were riding too fast to notice her waving her knickers....:eek1
You trying to get your new name changed from Bongo to Bonk-o ?
Steve took some great shots of the scenery and of us riding along that day ....
Which included a lot of BAM tastic rotting bridges
I was really enjoying having Steve along and so eager to take pics. Like I said earlier, I was exhausted by this stage and gladly handed over the bulk of the pic taking duties. I normally feel a lot of responsibility to the photography. But by now I was enjoying someone else doing it
Dont normally end up with a lot of pics of me riding because of that, but now there are quite a few. Cheers Steve.