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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Oct 18, 2012.
Looks like Iker is having FUN!
OK Christian ... let me offer you a tip regarding the ridiculousness of the English language.
Awe = amazement ... being "full of awe" or "awestruck", means to be super impressed by something (positively, negatively or otherwise). But "awful" which technically means full of awe, actually means "horrible".
I know it makes no sense ... our language never does. The more I explain it to non-native speakers, the more I realise how absurd and illogical our bastard language is.
These days "awesome" means what "awful" technically should (and once used to) mean.
See also: http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/6802/awesome-vs-awful
I've never put much thought into the word awful, and now I don't think I'll ever think about it the same. Thanks for the link Walter.
I just thought he was being sarcastic!
Great report guys. Loving it every morning with my coffee!
I thought Christian was adding a little humour.
I'm sanguine about it
What kind of bi-xenons are you guys using? Particularly interested in Terry's setup and the waterproofing required. I'm interested in doing something similar for those times I get caught out at night.
I think thats true of the Western BAM ... the Western BAM (west of Tynda) is made up of a broad embankment ("dam") that has been constructed for two tracks. There are or were obviously plans to make the BAM two tracks as far as Tynda - one day. There is only one track laid down however, meaning the embankment has enough space to ride on, and is often used as a second road, as you say. As many of the wooden bridges deteriorate, then increasingly, the riding will need to take place in the gravel ballast alongside the main railway track, rather than on the BAM Road itself. The two are rarely more than 100 metres apart.
On the Eastern BAM its a very different story. East of Tynda, its clear there never were plans for a second track. The embankment that the railway rides on (its all on an embankment to keep it above the swamps and permafrost) has been built for one track only. The embankment finishes literally at the edge of the sleepers. There is no second track as there is with the Western BAM. You must either ride the road, or ride on the edge of the rail sleepers ... which I can tell you is VERY unpleasant for more than 10-15 minutes at a time. You also have the problem of trains when on the rail embankment on the Eastern BAM. As TonyP mentioned earlier, the freight trains are as wide as the sleepers. Add that fact to the fact that the embankment ends at the end of the sleepers, and you have a big problem on the Eastern BAM if a train comes along. I also mentioned earlier that Max (who rode it in 2010) had his bike clipped by a passing train and thrown 10m down the steep embankment.
But a word of caution ... the Western BAM is built on an embankment wide enough for two tracks ... what if they actually lay that second track? Then the free space on the embankment disappears. They are building a rail line to Yakutsk now, at great expense. It is not meant to be a quiet branch line. The Western BAM will form part of the main rail link to one of Russia's wealthiest cities. Its very possible that the Western BAM will be subject to both electrification and double track as far as Tynda in the coming years. If that happens then riders will be very much dependent on the old service road, which between Taksimo and Yuktali, no-one seems to care about too much when it comes to maintenance.
Everyone but Steve (who had stock lights) had 2 x infinity projectors for bixenons. See my bike build thread for more detail on that, including waterproofing
that's awfully good.
sorry, couldn't resist...
We arrived at Chara in time for lunch and pulled up to the cafe.
Over lunch we chatted about going on. Above the cafe was a hotel. We could go on, but then we would have to camp. On we can stay here, take the afternoon off, have a few beers, and get an early start tomorrow.
We had camped last night and the idea of a shower was one that appealed to us.
So we took it ... we went for the easy option and checked into the Chara hotel.
Yes, was very funny, but I had my adrenaline level, very high!!!
Was a cool video.
I like seeing Riders enjoying the ride !
I definitely dropped a brick, but thanks for the ethymology, I like it (but usually in other languages).
Nonetheless, the region was awful in 2011, with nonstop rain and awesome in 2012 on a sunny day.
PS Finally I found the edit mode today (my browser hid it)
Es muy divertido ver a tus vídeos. Es como si el diablo te persigue. Creo que el truco consiste en gritar yeehaw!
That's an interesting thought, although when I went along the BAM I feared the opposite: that the BAM would be closed down (after all the investments done, this would not be easy to justify politically). But that's just a personal impression when you see the dying villages. They mostly only exist because the railway is there. Most people I met were working for the railway. There are some mining sites, but not enough to justify the BAM. I don't know how important it is for the goods transport over long distances, though you see a lot of wood carried arround.
Interestingly people around Yakutsk were not only happy about the new line (taxi drivers of course), some said it was only built to extract the wealth of Yakutia.
Riding shotgun with Terry along the BAM. This is from the stretch not long before Novaya Chara.
<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/59076085" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/59076085">Trans Sibir eXpedition riding with Terry</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/etronx">EtronX</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
At the same time occasional official talk continues of extending the Kolyma Highway ('Road of Bones' between Yakutsk to Magadan) north east to Anadyr and on through an undersea tunnel to Alaska.
Why not a rail line too?
But I doubt I will be doing much riding by the time that might ever happen !
thanks for the other angle on the bridge gap, and the explanation!
is there even a priority to have a service road at all? as opposed to transporting service/maintenance/construction vehicles on the rail itself.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/pWGaxUwW2VQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Cool. I just figured out I can hold my breath for 1:13. I swear to God I didn't breathe through that whole video. You guys is AWESOME!