Sibirsky Extreme 2012 - The Toughest Ride of Them All

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

  1. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

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    I just went back to the first post to check out all the preview pics again. Awesome! And we still have a long way to go! :clap
  2. wamba

    wamba Adventurer

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    Beautiful shots of the river crossings and surrounding countryside. Are you in the Ural Mountains proper, or are there higher peaks to come?

    And thanks for taking the time to document this. Like your other reports, this gets a five-star rating. Excellent storytelling. :clap

    wamba
  3. MadM

    MadM Dreamer

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    Excellent report, took me the whole afternoon to catch up, but it was time well spent. Looking forward to more great reading and even better pictures. :clap:clap

    P.S.:I hope you don't mind if I use this pic as a wallpaper on my computer :D

  4. jordiakof

    jordiakof Adventurer

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    great job Walter : Clap: Clap: Pulgar: Super
  5. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Ageing Enthusiast

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    Hi Walter, been reading this with great interest. I'm not a dirt rider so this is a trip I probably could not do, I need to stick at least to more formed gravel tracks. It's great to read the RR with the range of pics and video, it really helps to make us readers see and sense some of the trip.

    Question - I have been using google earth along side reading the trip to gauge your progress as the crow flies. For this part of the trip what was your average kilometres covered in a day?
  6. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    This is trip up to the current point

    [​IMG]

    And then below we have the bigger picture, with the green handdrawn line repesenting the bit still to come. The trail is broken down into 3 thirds ... each about 4000 miles (6500 km) long. The thirds are represented by the black marks and headings on the map below. At the moment you can see we are 4-5 days ride from the end of the first third - Astana in Kazakhstan. There we will take a break for a week, get new tyres and be joined by some additional riders.

    [​IMG]
  7. Paratrout

    Paratrout Been here awhile

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    And of course you are now posting at 1250am Eastern time (US)... Looks like another late night for me. Thanks for the awesome report.
  8. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    The bikes we are riding have very high air intakes. Terry and I know where that point is. The key is (1) knowing how high your air intake is (2) knowing what kind of wake your bike makes when it goes thru the water and how that wake makes water flow near the intake and (3) dont stop the engine so that water cant get in thru the exhaust (which is usually a lot lower than than the air intake.)

    Also, try to be familiar with the design of your airbox. In the X-Challenge / X-Country bikes we were riding, there is a huge "sink" in the front of the airbox. Probably about 1.5 litres (0.4 of a gallon) which would catch any water that came in the intake and got thru the oily filter. Air feeding the engine then gets taken from the highest point in this "sink" ... all in all, makes the bike excellent at water crossings. Not only is the intake about as high as any bike I have seen, but there is then a sink to catch a lot of water if any gets in.

    Yes, not fluently, but more than enough to have general conversations.

    We used max zoom and guessed whats possible. We didnt use Google maps ... thats maps of existing roads. And in Russia google maps is not very good anyway. ... we used satellite photos on google earth and drew lines across them. More detail in earlier posts
  9. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    As above ... know where your air intake is.

    As for cameras etc ...you have to trust your gear. I had some cameras in tank bag, and my main video camera which took up a big chuck of one of the rear panniers, was semi waterproof anyway. (Sony NX70)

    Tank bag in general, doesnt go underwater. If it did I might lose a camera or two. But its never happened to me. Dropping a bike in a river is a bit of an adrenaline moment. Cause you know the potential consequences, its amazing how quickly you pick that bike up again. Adrenaline kicks in and your strength levels get boosted 50% for a few seconds. The bike is normally back up in 3 seconds. How much water can leak in thru a tank bags seams and zippers in 3 seconds? Not a huge amount.

    I think on a trip like this you cant really feel 100% confident about anything. You could fall and break a leg in the middle of nowhere. You bike could break down in the middle of nowhere. Any number of things can potentially go wrong, so I dont think you can afford the mentality that you have to be 100% confident that your plans will hold, that you will be safe, or that your waterproof bags will hold. Its all about calculated risks at the end of the day. Stuff can go wrong, stuff can break or be lost or stolen any day.

    You could stop, remove laptops, cameras, phones etc and walk them across each crossing and repack on the other side, but it will slow you down so much and take a lot of fun out of just thinking about riding. Especially on a day with a dozen river crossings in the schedule. I would do that on rare crossings that I had a lot of concerns over. At least take the tank bag cameras over by foot. But on this trip, we had no such crossings - so far.

    If I was wiser I might have packed an ortlieb waterproof bag to throw the tank bag cameras in when it rained a lot or when we had river crossings ... but I didnt.
  10. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Well funny you should say that ....

    About 10 pm, I was up in our room, doing the usual pic editing and communicating with loved ones ... and there is a lot of music and noise coming from downstairs. Terry went down to investigate, and came back about 1am.

    Turns out there was a birthday party downstairs in the restaurant for a local Bashkir girl. The report I heard is as follows: Terry got dragged in, forced to eat birthday food and drink vodka and then a table of very attractive local girls (Terry estimated their ages as between 19 and 25) insisted on practising their English language skills on him. So poor Terry had no choice but to keep these young ladies amused while they got drunk, by chatting to them in English while they squabbled for his attention. In fact they were so demanding for his attention that he was (apparently) completely unable to pop upstairs to tell his room-mate and travel buddy that he has a table of attractive drunk local ladies who are dying for the attention of some English speakers, and could I possibly help him out.

    Its a tough life in Bashkortostan. :freaky

    Terry, feel free to expand on that mate, if I have left anything out.
  11. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    We woke up ready to resume our journey along the Sibirsky Extreme Track, but a morning inspection of the bikes revealed a small crack in the front subframe of my bike. It would not be wise to continue off road until I got it fixed. I knew that just a days ride away from here (pretty much on our track) there was a good car mechanic I knew who would be able to sort it out.

    I made the decision to tie up the front subframe with a strap and stick to the asphalt for the day. I had to get this sorted.

    Being an asphalt diversion day from Baymak to YuzhnoUralsk, we didnt get too many pics. Just this one from a fuel station along the way.

    [​IMG]
  12. nicola_a

    nicola_a Adventurer

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    ^^ this story made me laugh out loud. Would love to hear Terry's perspective :-D
  13. LethPhaos

    LethPhaos brb

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    thanks for the detailed reponse to my questions, much appreciated :clap
  14. Pickup man

    Pickup man Been here awhile

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    We must all feel sorry for Terri, basically getting tied up by a bunch of young women for hours.:lol3
    I hope you can get your bike fixed properly and Im really looking forward to the Altai section
    of this expedition.
    Walter, where could I get one of those Sibirsky extreme stickers you guys have with Lenin in
    the center?
  15. motoreiter

    motoreiter Long timer

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    Me too! You owe me a sticker!
  16. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    I am pretty much out of stickers and badges ... Might one day get a new batch printed up
  17. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Don't you have to do the trip to get a sticker:ear
  18. Scribe

    Scribe £Bob£

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    Let's just hope his camera lens wasn't fogged up again.
  19. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    "Old Foggy Lens" will be Terry's new nickname ....
  20. Spaggy

    Spaggy Long timer

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    Wow, that really puts it in perspective. What an epic ride.