The Eastern Trail Nirvana - BE to Central Asia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by OldManJoris, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    Thanks for the words! Allthough a bit over the top (me being a sympathic person???? ) but hey i'm not complaining :lol3. Very pleased to hear the RR was being enjoyed.
    I salute you :drink
  2. kepech

    kepech kepech

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    OldManJoris,

    thanks a lot for your report. If my wife did not stop me, I had read it all at once.

    One question. Next to your outstanding photos, the quality of your drone videos is excellent. What kind of drone equipment you used, as space and transport of delicate goods is a big problem on a long off road journey.

    Thanks again,
    Peter
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  3. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    Thanks Peter.

    For the drone: It's a DJI Mavic Pro.
    I was playing with he idea to take a drone with me months before departure. Requirements were:
    - small pack size
    - Excellent video quality
    - long flight time
    - gimball
    - be able to fly to 5000m above sea level
    - chargeable on the bike.
    - durable, so no cheap thin plastics

    That led me to the Mavic. Not the cheapest one for sure, but it did the job. Next to the Mavic itself, i bought a 12V charger unit and 2 additional batteries. The batteries and charger were kept in the tank bag and charged when riding via the SAE connectors at the handlebars (GoPro batteries as well). There were also spare propellers (not needed) and UV/Contrast filters for the lens (needed).

    Now where do you carry such an expensive thing. I met two other folks on the road carrying drones in a pannier, protected with layers of foam. Two drones were scrapped already, because of vibrations, bumps and crashes (both mavic). They are robust for a drone, but the gimbal is sensitive. When you're riding offroad, the place where you have the least amount of vibrations is your own body, when standing on the pegs. I found some small cases with foam for drone and controller on Amazon. I also had an old 2L camelback somewhere at home. The cases fitted nicely in the camelback with room to spare. Other media stuff like backup harddrive and Kingston MobileLite mediahub went in there as well. The picture camera (Olympus Though) was strapped on the camelback in the front. GoPro went on the harness at the front. This way i had all my media stuff (drone, action cam, picture cam) on my body, which meant they where protected from vibrations. That setup worked well.

    [​IMG]

    Now i have to admit that I might not take a drone with me on the next trip. The backpack didn't botter me much, but it was there for 10 weeks nonetheless. You're saying that the drone footage is good, but i saw lots of failures, all from my doing. This is a semi-professional piece of equipment and I'm not a qualified movie maker. Lots of clips were garbage and even some that made it into the final movie are full of errors (ISO, shuttertimes, color schemes, ...). Sometimes you're struggling for an hour or more to get a good clip of 1-2 minutes, which obviously isn't seen in the edited movie. You might have noticed i hadn't shot vids in the Kazakh desert, or in the Tajikistan Pamir heights (except the one at a camping spot and the seasonal lake). When you're riding at a location where you need all your focus on the ride itself, you just can't be bothered with setting up a drone and flying it for an hour. Those days, that backpack was an annoyance.
    The follow me function also didn't work on the trip. I did lots of tests and tried to figure out what was wrong, but couldn't get it to work. Before and after the trip, it worked just fine. Main problem was lack of GPS coverage. The drone requires a solid GPS lock from both drone and smartphone GPS receiver before it will work. There were reports on the DJI tech forum that you can have problems with Iphone7 (which i had) but it also failed with an Iphone5s. When i got back home, i noticed the cable from controller to phone was damaged, which also caused loss of visuals now and then. Replacing the cable fixed it. If you plan to take a mavic with you, consider taking spare smartphone cables as well. They are crucial and delicate.

    In general, the Mavic is a great piece of kit. It delivers exactly what it promises, but you need to be trained to get the max out of it.

    Any other questions, let me know
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  4. kepech

    kepech kepech

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    OldManJoris,

    thanks a lot for your in deep and helpful explanation.
    It seems, that we all got tricked out sometimes by one of our technical gadgets.
    But with facts like yours, we can reduce the risk of failure.

    Greetings, Peter
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  5. trolik

    trolik n00b

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    Hi OldManJoris,
    excellent report! Perfect reading for long, dark evenings :-)
    I rode this year to Central Asia from Poland, but mainly on asphalt.
    One question: how do You clean your air filter on the road?
    thx in advance
    greets trolik

    2017-08-20_09-07-52_HDR.jpg
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  6. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    Nice pic, i think i have a similar one somewhere :)

    For space saving reasons, i did not take any cleaner or filter oil with me, so used fuel to clean the worst parts. It didn't have to be super duper clean for me, just get the biggest dust buildup out of there. I had a pre-oiled spare filter in luggage in case the first one was completely useless, but didn't use it. Let's say i took my time to try re-use the first filter by careful cleaning with fuel. It worked out well.

    Cheers,

    J
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  7. trolik

    trolik n00b

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    Thx :-)
    I'm going back to reading... :-)
    greets trolik
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  8. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    Let's add a last update.

    This trip was called The Eastern Trail Nirvana, which makes it part of my "TETN" projects. Next to this one, there have been two other bike trips to the nordics. There have been many other trips (camping in african wildparcs, transalp(s) on ATB, multi-day dogsledge crossing in Greenland, Pyrenees coast to coast offroad, ...) but they are in different categories, so not mentioned on this forum. For the TETN project, there's a clear evolution from "don't know what i'm doing, let's stick with marketing crap" heavy bike riding to more common sense and practical light-weigth trail riding. The end hasn't been reached, there will be another TETN-trip, maybe even multiple.

    The 2 first trips that qualify as member of the complete project have their own stories, not told on this forum. They do have a short vid though, which i've combined with TETN2017 videos into a single 16min clip shown below. The first 10 minutes would be new for you guys. Enjoy, and hope to meet you somewhere on the road during TETN201x.



    *Note: in case you were wondering... TETN is actually a word in my language, at least in a local dialect. You would get the correct English translation by replacing the E with an I and the N with an S :jack
    As you can imagine, this was a nice icebreaker on many many occasions.
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  9. dikki1163

    dikki1163 n00b

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    an absolutely fantastic report!!
    thank you
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  10. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    Appreciate that, thanks!


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  11. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    Excellent
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  12. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    Thx!


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  13. Kebabmonster

    Kebabmonster Adventurer

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    Read the whole thing over the last 3 days. I like your writing style, and the photos were excellent.

    You obviously had a great time, and are the envy of many on here (myself included).

    I look forward to your next trip and RR, keep up the good work and thanks for an entertaining read Joris.

    Andy.
  14. DGR

    DGR G650X

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    Great video Joris!
    And as a dutch speaker, I love the thought that you put in the name of the trip :rofl
  15. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    Thanks Andy. And my god that's one of the best inmate names you have there :clap
  16. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    Cheers! Can you believe that i didn't give it any thought at all? It just came natural :)
  17. TheNetworker

    TheNetworker Been here awhile

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    Hello Joris,
    Hello Ben,

    Your trip was my morning and evening lecture over the last week. This was definitky an epic journey with the best delection of route and bikes.

    I enjoyed every post and learn again a lot. Inspiring!
    I own you a beer when im in Belgium.

    Can you share the track?

    We also expand our comfort zone each trip by trip and EAST is very high on our bucket list.

    Greetings from the blue sky north of Germany.
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  18. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    Thanks!
    If you send me a PM with your mail address, that would work easier for me.

    Cheers


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  19. Twinmike

    Twinmike Grandpa

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    awesome report with stunning pics, thank you
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  20. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    Thanks a bunch!


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