The 2019 "Don't Break A Leg" Around the Black Sea Turkey Run..

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ExodusRider, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

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    So my buddy Mike (@edgeoftheworld) had planned to ride my girl Amelia (2015 BMW F800GSA) from Kiev, Ukraine back to Germany for me.

    VolkaBike3.jpg
    When he left for the trip, I gave him a big remote hug, patted him on the back and said "Have a great trip and Break A Leg!!". 3 days later .. wouldn't you know it, he did just that.. breaks a leg.. LMAO, classic!

    Hope you're healing well there Champ.. post a pic of the leg / cast will ya?

    So now I'm picking up the torch and finishing the run in his honor. Flying out to Kiev 1st of December for a 30-45 day ride.

    The original idea was to ride thru Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland before heading back to Germany. These are the last European countries I have left to cross before having completed all of Europe + Eastern block. But alas, "winter is coming" and the white walkers will be nibbling on my toes.

    When I was riding from Moscow toward Iran in 2017, the idea was to ride through Turkey back to Greece; however, there was a political spat between America so for 4 months neither country processed visas for the other.. weird timing for sure; I had to instead sail 3 days across the Black Sea from Batumi, Georigia to Varna, Bulgaria on a cargo ship back to the west.

    This year, I thought I might stuff myself and do a quick run around the Black Sea thru the bird's motherland. Hoping to end up in Tunisia or Sicily, leaving Amelia there for next year's ride thru Africa.

    BlackSea Loop.png
    It's a last minute serendipity ride; there's minimal planning / packing. Some basic winter clothing, camera gear, and light weight camping stuff.

    Still actually on the clock/ project so will need to shut down daily Mon-Fri @ 5:00pm local time at hotels for wifi to start my work day 9:00 am central. However, weekends are reserved for camping in the wild.

    I already have the e-visa for Turkey ($20 - 90 days) and European Green Insurance Card. I still have my Russian Visa good for 07/2020..hopefully no issues crossing to Crimea. I'll let you guys know how well the region has settled down..

    The rest of the countries are visa-free. Really looking forward to returning the Russia, Georgia and riding through Turkey.

    Any feedback or advice is welcomed. Like I said.. it's an ad-hoc ride for only 30-45 days; not putting much effort into the planning process for this one. I do know I'll need to replace the steering bearing but she should be good to go after that.

    Wish me luck.. and oh yeah.. "DON'T break a Leg?? :imaposer
    #1
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  2. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    good luck and don't break a leg!

    IN for the ride.
    #2
  3. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Yeah babe!
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  4. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    Here is how my ride ended..and the cast :)
    IMG_20191029_144602_877.jpg IMG_20191029_095230_865.jpg IMG_20191028_180533.jpg 72602853_2269632139830387_8459819102482635924_n.jpg
    Watch out for those cobblestones in Lviv. I have a new cast now and I'm in it until December 23rd. But I am still planning my trip for Europe in August :)

    Attached Files:

    #4
  5. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    You should double check the process for going into Crimea from Ukraine. Not sure if it is easy or not because of the ongoing conflict.
    #5
  6. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Whiskey. Guitar. Cast. My first thought was Combat Rock.

    IMG_20191028_180533.jpg
    #6
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  7. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

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    Some times.. you just gotta get boots on ground and find out from the locals... will keep ya posted..
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  8. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    There is an obvious issue with your route: the border crossing between Ukraine and and Crimea is only open for Ukrainian nationals. And it's a crime to visit Crimea if you are planning to go there bring cash IIRC Visa/MC will not work.

    There's a ferry running from Odessa to Batumi. It's about $260 and a nicer one comparing to one across Caspian but it will be full of Ukrainian truckers and tickets could be an issue.
    #8
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  9. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

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    Good info.. will investigate more. Thanks
    #9
  10. sergha4

    sergha4 n00b

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    The border crossing between Russia and Georgia is carried out only in Verhniy Lars (Vladikavkaz).The border has been closed from Sochi through Abkhazia to Georgia for more than 20 years
    #10
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  11. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

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    Thats too bad, i had already passed thru there once at Vlad.... was hoping to go thru Sochi... starting to be an adventure already..
    #11
  12. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

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    Following along!!
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  13. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    I was thinking more like the Monster Mash, but Im giving away my age.
    #13
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  14. Navel

    Navel Omphaloskeptical

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    great that you are back on the road again, please dont break anything!:lurk
    #14
  15. istadniy

    istadniy Ivan the Quite OK

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    There are a lot of problems with going around the Black Sea in its eastern part.
    1) As was said before - someone who is not a Ukrainian citizen can't get into Crimea from Ukraine (there is/was a supposed process to apply for an exemption, but there was an inmate who tried that and it does not work). If you really want to get into Crimea, you can do so across the Kerch strait from Russia, but doing so is a crime as far as Ukrainian law is concerned. And this, obviously, does not help in circumnavigating the sea.

    2) You cannot even go along the shore of Sea of Azov, because that would mean crossing an active warzone on the stretch roughly between Mariupol and UA-RU border. The nearest you can be to the Black Sea and cross from Ukraine into Russia are the border crossings up near Kharkiv.

    3) Once you are finally into Russia, going along the Eastern Black Sea shore is also impossible - Georgia views Abkhazia pretty much as Ukraine views Crimea. So you have to go further east away from the shore to the cross into Georgia.

    nnn.png
    #15
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  16. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

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    Ttue.. starting to find that out as well.. great informative post!
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  17. georgian cliff

    georgian cliff Adventurer

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    Agree with the post above - there is no option to go from Abkhazia to Georgia. The problem with the Vladikavkaz route is snow - there is snow in Kazbegi / Gudauri ski hill area and ice makes this route impossible on a bike. I fear you might encounter more than a "broken leg".....

    If you can get to Odessa, take the ferry to Batumi - still expect a cold, but doable route.
    #17
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  18. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

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    Aye captain.
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  19. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

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  20. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Yes north slope is pretty straight forward except a couple semi-tunnels will be major PITA if it freezes up (I was there in rain and you just point bike forward and hope you have enough suspension to eat up potholes) but going through town and below steep enough with switchbacks to worry if it ever freezes up. The Caucasian Military Road was built back in19th century; you can see old sections on the sides here and there and in some places they're still used.

    Also watch for police traps at the top of pass and below through town.. there will be at least a half dozen of them.
    #20