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Russian border to Ulaanbaatar

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by scottw, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    Got an email a couple days ago from Shaun Munroe, a Kiwi who is on his way across North Asia with two American friends, all on F650s. See http://shaun.munro.com/ for more on their trip.

    Shaun said they would be at the Mongolian border Thursday so I geared up and rode up to meet them. The border is about 200 miles due north of Ulaanbaatar, and the road to it is the best in the Mongolia (OK, that's not saying much), so I made it in four hours. I arrived at about 5 pm and set up my Kermit camp chair to read a book a wait.

    By 7 pm I was about to give up on them and look for a camp site when I heard the sweet sound of a bike in the distance.

    Here's a picture of the Russian town across the border, note the onion domes on the church plus the local cows.
    #1
  2. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    Another shot of the locals checking out the bike.

    :rofl :rofl :rofl
    #2
  3. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    Shaun, Matt and Henning rolled up and recounted their 5 hour ordeal getting through the border. The Mongolians were fine, but the Russian side was a pain.

    Here's Shaun's bike, fresh off of 3000 KM of Siberian dirt roads.
    #3
  4. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    Here's Henning's ride. He's got the Touratech gas tank. He's had a fair amount of trouble with it (fittings breaking, rubbing on the frame, etc.) and wishes he had just opted for jerry cans. Jesse bags, like Shaun. Wolfman tank bag.
    #4
  5. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    Matt's bike. He's got the lowering kit installed. Also a Wolfman tank bag. He has Happy Trails bags and has had a terrible time with them. All kinds of things breaking, apparently. Shaun and Henning have been relatively happy with the Jesse's, though there have been some latch issues.
    #5
  6. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    We overnighted in Darkhan, Mongolia's second largest city. It's about 1.5 hours from the border. Friday am we started out around 11 am and rode south for about 2 hours until we saw a small horse racing festival about 1/2 mile out on the steppe.

    We pulled up to the crowd of about 50 spectators as the jockeys got ready to ride. The riders in Mongolian races are usually ages 6-12, and the races are between 15-25 kilometers, depending on the age of the horses. Here are a couple of the jockeys getting ready.
    #6
  7. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    Here are the riders and their escorts riding out across the valley for the start. The faint spots way out in front of them is a large herd of sheep and goats. The bigger white spots are two gers (yurts).
    #7
  8. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    While we waited an hour or two for the racers to get to the start, the locals had fun checking out our bikes. :huh
    #8
  9. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    The local police chief wanted his picture on my GS.
    #9
  10. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    Here are some of the kids that were too young for the race. The one in back is about 3 yrs old. In Mongolia they start the kids on horseback at <2 yrs old, by tieing then to the saddle.
    #10
  11. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    Another kid rider. You should see these little guys (and girls) gallop flat out across the steppe. Talk about no fear.
    #11
  12. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    And we have a winner... Sorry for the lousy pic.
    #12
  13. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    Once the winner was crowned we drank the big bowls ceremonial fermented mare's milk and got back on the road, a bit queasy but ready to ride.
    :puke2
    #13
  14. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    Here's a shot of the three visiting riders in front of the "Welcome to Ulaanbaatar" sign (in Cyryllic).
    #14
  15. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    Everyone crashed at my place Friday night and we spent the weekend making lists of all the broken stuff that needed fixing/replacing before they head to the Gobi next week.

    Sunday night we rode up in the hills south of Ulaanbaatar for a dinner picnic overlooking the city.

    That's all for now. I'll try to post more pictures if we go for some day trips into the countryside in the next few days.

    Sorry for the multiple posts. I've got to stop procrastinating and get a Pbase account.:):

    Scott
    #15
  16. Dukegirl

    Dukegirl .

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    Great pictures and report!! I especially love the one of the locals on the horses checking out your bikes. Thanks for posting!!! :clap :clap
    #16
  17. Gerg

    Gerg The Destroyer

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    Scott, One word... Smugmug. You'll spend an equal amount to be able to link your pictures so why not support the Boss (Baldy) :dunno

    By the way, very nice pics :thumb

    Greg
    #17
  18. scottw

    scottw Steppe Rider

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    Aha, thanks for the tip Greg. Smugmug it will be.

    I'm still new here and didn't realize Baldy=Smugmug.:doh

    Scott
    #18
  19. Neo

    Neo Been here awhile

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    That is an amazing ride, how long did you go there ( or are you already home?) Any trouble with the language?
    Wonderfull pictures.:thumb
    #19
  20. RockyRaccoon

    RockyRaccoon Found:Gideon's Bible

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    Great report, thanks for sending it! Interesting tidbits on the equipment, too.
    #20