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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Oct 18, 2012.
A big plus one!
I can't really tell how long that gap is where the cylindrical transverse posts are missing. does a truck (6wd or the like) need to very carefully tread on the longitudinal planks, or can it just power through without getting a wheel stuck?
I do wonder how long the BAM is going to be ride-able for with so many of those road bridges continuing to deteriorate, especially over the next 5, 10, 15 years. Theoretically if you have to end up fording in so many places it will chew up fuel, food and time one might not have.
Great trip and pictures. I've followed from the beginning and it's been one of the most interesting trips I have read for a while.
The BAM will be as long ride-able as the railway continues to be serviced. There are usually two tracks, the old construction road and a track that leads directly along the rails. The latter is used by the railway workers, that circulate with their trucks. Those trucks often have to leave the dam when it goes over a bridge, then they have to ford as they seem not to be allowed to go over the rails at the bridge, but usually on a motorcycle you can stay on the dam. This dam track is still maintained and on some stretches also the old construction track (for provision of mines).
btw riding on the dam is more enjoyable, but for the ballast, you have greater views (tries are cut and you are higher).
The major obstacle on the western BAM seems to me not the Kuanda bridge, as this one has alternatives, but the Oljokma bridge. The river is bigger than Kuanda and I think even than Witim. Therefore you have no alternative by truck (only in winter). We'll see how they get over it this year
Walter, my curoisity is killing me...
When you come up on these "rustic" bridges, do you stop and cross by foot to plan a route between the cracks/joints/gaps, or do you just tell one of your companions to "GO FOR IT, YOU BIG SISSY!" and then follow if he survives?
Looks so much like British Columbia that it is scary.
Almost anyone from central BC would say thats where you are.
Nature has it's frontiers, but no borders?
Thanks Walter... Nice sharing with you guys. Here are some more from my archives :)
Unloading the bikes
The team posing
Russian truck drivers
Geir and Walter
Steve, it strikes me that every picture you are in, you always have the biggest smile on your face
2012 Norway, Europe, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
- The Pamir Highway, Tadjikistan, Kyrgistan, Kazakhstan
- BAM road, Road of bones, Russia to Magadan
- USA, Mexico, Central America, Columbia, Equador, Peru.
Are we going to get a ride report with nice pictures of the rest of your trip as well?
they do the moonwalk in Norway??!
Me too,,it was hard enough watching the vids,,,
No joke. My palms started to get a little clammy.
:eek1 Let us not forget the current.
....Its funny how we will think nothing of walking along a sidewalk with cars going by at 60 mph a few feet away, yet add in the exposure and the fear of falling we freak out.
The thing that gets me is not the exposure, but the idea of having a wheel hit one of those parallel ties or metal plates just the wrong way - yikes! No question the look straight ahead at your line, not at whats right in front of you is good advise anywhere, especially here.
You guys (and gal ) have been awesome....bring on more of the BAM!
We can't get enough of this trip!
The gap in the pic above, is the same gap as the gap in the pic below.
A bike could fall through it. I got to this particular bridge first ... found a few loose planks nearby ... put a couple together in the middle for the wheels, then spaced a couple of outriggers for feet to use to balance on. Thats pretty normal on the BAM ... you are responsible for the track you take so often have to adjust what can be adjusted to suit you.
No vehicle that uses that bridge could ignore that gap .... you would need to use planks. Reality is the big heavy 6WD trucks wouldnt use the bridge ... they would detour through the river. For every rotting bridge, there is also a ford nearby that the big trucks use.
No. You often stop if there are obvious hazards like the one above, then walk across it first and plan the line. Often there are 4-5 "hazards" on one bridge, so the line is a zig zag path around the hazards.
On easier bridges like these ones below, you just ride them. For these you dont stop.
loads of spikes and nails yes ... you learn to ignore them after a while as they dont seem to cause any problems. touch wood.
Well the guards at the Olyokma are friendly ... the guys at Kuanda are not.
Vitim Bridge is 570 metres, Olyokma 380.