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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cyclopathic, Jul 16, 2019.
Most certainly will do.. when they finish the road I can ride my bike to
Random encounters.. this one on Pamir highway about 20-25km to Murgab. Part 1
Was riding from Wuhan valley to Murgab with 3 guys I met before.. Irish, Pol and German (sounds like a start of bar joke I know). The Irish was to fast; I couldn't follow his tracks as my SD doesn't have as much travel and I didn't want to break frame again. Pol and German were behind as he was on rental and 750 AT wasn't setup for him he couldn't stand and rode everything standing.
When we got to pavement (and pavement is relative there.. imagine worse sections on Alcan or Klondike hwy) irish left to get accommodations and other guys went forward.. while I was stopping for pictures, avoiding potholes and generally moving in right direction. When you are riding like this and don't see riding buddies for hours you are not really behind or ahead by much; maybe a few minutes. Unless you take a wrong turn or miss them on gas station.
So suddenly I see what appears to be a bike laying across the road with another standing on the shoulder.. yes this is German and Pol trying to help an Italian bicyclist who broke chain, derailer mount, etc. No-go. He curses in Italian an mumbles something in English. Generally very uncooperative and looking at this you start thinking that some people just don't wanna get helped and there's nothing you can do. On other hand it's high desert and beginning of October so while it's still relatively warm it will be below freezing at night and he needs to get in town before sunset.
German is in charge; Pol and I watching from sidelines. My attempt to take a part cut with (imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger's accept): "you talk too much.. shut up!". After seeing that it's not fixable with parts on hands German attaches line to headtube and tries to tow. Pol is riding next and orchestrating the movement. Unfortunately they are not getting far; at about 25mph Italian gets scared and starts shouting "No, no".. which German can't hear over his Akro exhaust so he naturally thinks it's "Go, Go".
Italian gets really scared and tries to bail out; unfortunately it's not possible with line tied up to headtube. Down he goes hits the deck holds to his wrist and starts screaming. I'm thinking oh shit now we have a broken hand. Turned out it was just roadrush to our luck.
We are making sure he actually puts his gloves and helmet.. clothes to prevent abrasion next time. Since it's not getting anywhere I am leaving to get a truck from the village. After riding a couple full of worry miles I turn around and come back to show how to wrap the line around headtube and have Italian hold the end.. it will disattach when you let end go. At least he won't get dragged if gets scared next time.
Part 2 (yhis is getting really long)
I'm leaving to Murgab in search of a truck. A few klicks down the road I pass a truck parked uphill. Immediately discard it because a) they passed us earlier and showed no interest in stopping (very unusual for these parts) b) it's loaded to the point it would not be possible to load more.
Then about 1-2km down the road guy stops me and tries to ask something in English. We quickly switch to russian and I'm asking: what is the problem? Turns out he is a driver of the truck and he wants me to take him to town.. why? they ran out of fuel.
No I can't take you (rear seat is taken by duffel) but I have some emergency fuel and I will give it to you if you take that crazy Italian bicyclist who has a trailer and carries 70kg of trash to town. Is it ok? Yes yes! Just tell the other guys at the truck that I (gives name) told so.
Ok I'm turning back (I still don't have space so he would have to walk back) and getting to the truck. Tell the guys (there are 7-8 people surrounding that truck and it isn't much bigger than F-250) I'm giving them fuel but under condition that they get that grandson of Mussolini to town. They don't really want to go back.. well there's no gas then and I turn bike around. I look in the cabin and there is a woman with 2 kids one is toddler.. do I have guts to say no if they call my bluff? They buckle and we have a deal.
I unload RotopaX, they unscrew the top of fire extinguisher (they required by law to have one but it got converted for gravity feed for this mid-70 carbureted Zil) and pours about 7L of my A-98 which I was carrying all the way from kazahstan.. I don't think you can get any for hundred miles. No I don't feel bad trading it for bicyclist but somewhat I get sad partying with it; it was meant for the time I have to deal with shitty local fuel and my Italian stallion doesn't wanna start in the morning.
Anyways they finish fuelling and truck starts on first try. Makes me wonder if it's going to be ok Zil was designed to consume A-76. They make U-turn to pick up the guy and at this moment the caravan arrives. This time it's Pol who is patiently towing; Italian is happy he drops the line mid-hill.
I tell them that locals were delighted to help and following the sad look in the eyes of strapped sheep in the truck (she is going to a dinner and she won't be the one eating) we start loading..
Great story! The Italian does look a little wacky.
He kept mumbling about China and Thailand where he was going to; apparently he started from Spain in the spring with his girlfriend but we never figured out why he was now alone. For a while we suspect her body was packed in the bob
Personally I was impressed with German; despite his German superiority and straight talk (I don't think politically correct word ever left his mouth) he is the guy whom you want to ride with if/when shit hits the fan. He parked my bike when I was too drunk and despite being the fastest in group babied Pol who couldn't get on terms with bike.
I have asked him why? and he gave pretty much the same explanation as I would: he was helped he should help back. When his bike expired in Siberia the trucker hauled him with the bike for 500km.. and refused to take any money.
End of Italian bicyclist story:
So while he is farting rainbows I'm getting Italian to the side and telling him that if the guys in the truck try to charge him I have already paid for his ride with gasoline. He mumbled something about not having much money but then he gets the point. German makes a selfie for Insta; I shoot some pics on Pol's camera (above) and we take off to Murgab. In Murgab we visit a blue store (only one on main road) to stock on beer; there's none. German gets a bottle of chocolate Cognac which we open later at evening and forget in guest house next day. Pol (he speaks good russian) goes to find beer and disappears for couple hours.
We are drinking tajik wine with Polish couple (they are on mission to teach kids to brush teeth.. seriously). Not too early but we start worrying at some point. He comes back with beer. Apparently he ran into 2 guys from the truck in the store and they took him to the house (actually he rode his AT with them in the back) to translate the Italian. They gave him a shelter and were to take him to bazaar next day to look for bicycle parts.
I suppose I will never find out what happened to him thereafter; hope he head a good trip.
(Ok it was a long story I was putting it off too long because of that)
Postcards from the roof of the world
Nice pics cyclopathic. From one extreme to another.
Some crazy German guy I met on Pamir
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So one crazy guy meets another.
No I mean this crazy:
(Click on URL to see video (
Orsm videos. You were nice when you said crazy. They are really crazy.
This gal rocks it.
I hear thats an every day occurrence in Edmonton with the homeless!
french journalist with lovely accent. I was bored tried to teach her how to curse in russian.. it was hilarious.
Her with her husband in Azerbaijan
Georgia's on my mind