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

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Yorkshire and London, England
    I'll condense my last part of the trip into this report as Geir's back tomorrow and doubtless he and Steve will have some great pics and text for us. The return from Moscow was pretty uneventful as you'd expect.
    I'm off to Morocco in the morning so need to close anyway.

    For those wondering how long it takes to get from the UK to Moscow, allow 4 days-you could do it in less but if you're riding on after that your taking too much out of the tank-in my opinion. 3 days to get from UK to the Russia-Latvian border via France-Belgium-Holland-Germany-Poland-Lithuania, and a decent day ride to go from the border to Moscow. You can go via Belarus but its another visa you'll need to get.

    I set the Garmin for Riga -forever associated with The Odessa File for me- and followed it out of the city along Marshall Zhukev Avenue-it may be Boulevard but someone will correct me if they feel its important enough. There are references to this soldier-hero General all over the East and I saw a statue to him as far away as Ulaan Bataar.
    Despite an outstanding war record going back as far as the Japan-Soviet war in 1939-being successful was almost as dangerous as NOT being as Stalin would suspect a threat -he and his wife were arrested for suspected treachery , his wife was killed, he was tortured and had his teeth knocked out with a rifle butt, but a new push on the front required a man of his drive and ruthlessness so he was released.
    He went on to lead the Russians in the Battle of Kursk, the biggest tank battle ever where hundreds of thousands died. The war in the east was fought with a terrible ferocity and total disregard for "normal " rules of engagement. It is still etched on the Russian psyche.

    The journey Northwest towards Riga was uneventful and enjoyable, but a little melancholy as I could see the end of the great adventure.
    I was still on my original tyres and chain set. I'd tried to get some rubber in Moscow but I hadn't given enough notice so I thought I'd have a go at getting home-it's as I remember about 1800 miles.
    I'd only adjusted the chain 4 flats after riding across to Moscow so maybe the chain'd make it too.

    I got to a bright modern motel just before the Latvian border about 7 in the evening and seemed to astonish the receptionist by wanting to stay.... Strange. The room was clean and modern-result but it was clear no one had stayed there for months.
    I turned the shower on...it puked stinking dirty water..JEEZ! and the lavatory bowl was almost effervescing with this brew ..double JEEZ.

    Eventually it ran just about clean enough to take a shower but I've no idea what's wrong with this place's water supply. I dare not even clean my teeth in it.

    I went down to the resto and had what I can confidently describe as the worst meal I've ever paid for. It truly was slop. :puke1 FFS! No wonder no-one stays.
    Next day I eschewed breakfast, (quel surprise) hopped on the bike and within 20 minutes approached an enormous stationary line of trucks waiting to enter the EU from Russia-great to be on a scoot so I just nipped all the way -about 2 miles-to the front and was waved straight in the the border zone. Result!!

    The Russians were great, but the pretty Latvian Border bitch had let her uniform go to her head and was unremittingly, unnecessarily rude and almost abusive to everyone including me. In that situation you just have to bite your tongue and remember-1) I don't want to meet The Man With The Glove. 2 ) she'll still be doing that shit job when I'm home ...and she'll never get to do what I've just done or go where I've been. Good enough for me...smile and move on.


    I crossed into Latvia which is very pretty and just grooved along -you just cross the corner of it and within a couple of hours you're in Lithuania.

    All the road to myself.

    [​IMG]


    Getting close to the end guys

    [​IMG]
  2. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Yorkshire and London, England
    I crossed into Poland later that day and had an uneventful day but with changeable weather. Very cold and damp near Warsaw then feckin' baking in the evening. Such is life.

    When I stopped that night I noticed the chain had stretched considerably and needed 8 flats to adjust it. Hmmm.

    Across the next day I crossed Poland and down into Germany-Western Europe was pretty cold and I was very glad of my now embarrassingly filthy fleece.....a cloud of flies was always suspiciously near.... I'd worn my HG Tuareg riding pants for weeks now and if the bike broke down I was sure they could walk home on their own ...
    I'd hoped to go to Heidelberg as it's apparently a beautiful city, but by now I had my "going home" head on and just wanted to get to the coast. :pynd Heidelberg will have to wait for a European jaunt.

    The Autobahn in Germany needs 110% attention from anyone on something as vulnerable as a bike. I'd be doing my standard 70mph and would want to overtake a truck doing 60mph...this usually meant going into the overtaking lane. Sometimes it'd be clear, other times Porsches or BMWs would be racing each other or just really ripping it up at 140mph plus. Overtakes were done with great care and you move back in immediately. Lane discipline is something they exercise far better than we do in the UK-out of necessity .

    In the afternoon I was near Nijmegen in Holland and stopped for a sandwich. The chain was hanging off and starting to destroy itself, covering the rear tyre in tiny metal shavings. I lubed it and adjusted it another 10 flats -but this wasn't going to adjust properly this time..I''d just need to nurse it the last couple of hundred miles to the coast-or find a moto-shop? Nah...let's give it a whirl.

    With gentle throttle openings and a speed never above 60 I entered Calais a couple of hours later. I've never used the Channel Tunnel and was minded to get the ferry as usual, but I saw the signs for the "Tunnel Sous la Manche"...shall I/ shan't I ...?
    Tony P has used it for years and waxed lyrical about it so bugger it I'll give it a go
    .
    I pulled up to the "not booked" kiosk and asked the girl how much. She told me-it was over 100 Euro but that's cos I'm just turning up on spec.OK-I'll do it. I Paid and pulled up to the French border post....he looked up....and waved me through...eh?...I went into the designated lane and got off the bike. Well...that was painless.
    As soon as I'd got off the bike that marshall told me to get back on..we were boarding. Fantastic! :clap They screw you around for hours at the ferries. I followed the other bike on to the train, stopped, parked my old girl in the carriage and switched it off. The train is so smooth they don't even tie it down. Within 10 minutes we left-that was less than 20 since I'd arrived!!

    [​IMG]

    25 minutes later we rolled off into England after 9000 miles and some of the best experiences of my life
  3. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,080
    Location:
    Bowling Green, Ky
    9000 miles, that's a good little trip!!! Thanks for taking us along!!!!
  4. PaintLake

    PaintLake Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    30
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Nice Rod, thanks for sharing your ride home!

    Enjoy Morocco. :jkam
  5. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Yorkshire and London, England
    It took me an hour or so to get home to out flat in London from Dover and I dropped the bike in our back garden.

    Well earned rest and due for a MAJOR overhaul and service

    [​IMG]

    For anyone interested, this is the Dunlop RR208 tyre I'd questioned whether or not might make it to Moscow from Irkutsk...it'd done better than that and got me all the way home. 9000 miles is good going by any measure and you can see it's still got a little left.

    [​IMG].
  6. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Yorkshire and London, England
    This has been one of the most formative, informative, life-enhancing, self-examining experiences of my 57 years.
    I will truly carry it with me forever and refer to it daily-I'm still overwhelmed by it frankly.

    Thanks to everyone who's PM-ed, commented, helped me and to my SibEx 2012 companions Terry B, Bas and Linda, Hassan and Yana, Tony P , and especially to Walter for persuading me to get off my arse and do it.
    That's it. X

    Geir/Steve...over to you


    now...how to bribe GB to delete all the Bongo pics.......
  7. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,713
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Rod, and I mean this sincerely, if I'm as cool as you are at 57, I'll consider it a job well done. At 42, with a young family, I'm dreaming of the day I can do a trip like you finished. I've really appreciated your wit and humor. I'd love to buy you a beer next time I'm in London, possibly this summer. You really enhanced this report and I appreciate it! You've also made me reconsider the possibility of a 690 for my next bike:clap
  8. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,061
    Location:
    Belgium, wrong side of the river
    [​IMG]

    Finally, a place where my bike has been as well. :D

    Thank you, Rod, for sharing your adventure, and beyound that, thank you for the way you told it. :clap
  9. revmaaatin

    revmaaatin Sioux Empire Iron Horse

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    525
    Location:
    Two seasons: winter and road repair
  10. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,029
    Location:
    Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
    YEAH Rod! :clap Just freakin' fantastic!
  11. nomadb

    nomadb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    156
    Location:
    Where Continents Meet
    I am following this thread which is journey of many riders all - in - one with a great surprise and joy. :clap Thank you guys for sharing,

    Now I have an F800GS how on earth did you get the bike on so much water? :eek1 How did you avoied the water in the air filter?

    Great work guys.
  12. Gripforce

    Gripforce Ski Bum

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Whistler, Canada
    Thanks Rod for your version of this truly EPIC report! :clap
  13. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,941
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonger, CA
    Rod, you brought a whole 'nother angle to this thread/report/amazing story and kept it very entertaining! thank you for taking the time! :freaky
  14. Frey Bentos

    Frey Bentos not listening

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Fermanagh. Ireland
    Thanks for all the words and pictures Rod. When I grow up I want to be just like you.:clap
  15. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,460
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    While this trip is truly impressive for it's scenery, stories, insights, and sheer distance logged, what really stands out for me and makes it different from many other incredible ADV RRs is that it was a team trip from beginning to end that added and changed team members (who all meshed without any issues) and who upon their return have collectively written the most incredible team RR that flows like its being directed like an orchestra. As so many others have said, thanks for taking us along :D
  16. elron

    elron Still Standing

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    322
    Location:
    Scott Walker Hell
    Sir Rod,

    Loved your take on the ups and downs of this adventure. Thanks for making your part real. Not knowing you personally, I still feel a kinship.

    Aside from now being in a self-animated state, what's your opinion on the HG Tuaregs.

    Gonna do a write-up on Morocco?

    elron
  17. miepiechief

    miepiechief Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Holland

    +1
  18. NAVIGATOR

    NAVIGATOR Wanderer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,715
    Location:
    SOUTH OF THE USA BORDER(friendlier Mexico)
    ROD

    Another big hand:clap:clap:clap:clap and thankĀ“s:thumb:bow:super
  19. fraser2312

    fraser2312 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    155
    Location:
    Falkirk, Scotland
    Thanks for your input Rod, looking forward to the Morocco RR? :deal
  20. rallyman1978

    rallyman1978 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    199
    Location:
    Worcester, UK
    Rod :freaky