The Crimson Trail - Ashes of Empires

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by The Rolling Hobo, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. The Rolling Hobo

    The Rolling Hobo Been here awhile

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  2. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    #62
  3. The Rolling Hobo

    The Rolling Hobo Been here awhile

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    Nice! I'm sure you'd have a great story to tell about your ride, with way more in depth info on the Cold War stuff. Unfortunately I'm just a dude who likes derelict places ;) Drop me a line if you're in the area, I'd be happy to point you to the right places and share some nice tracks on the way.
    #63
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  4. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    Thanks for the update! Worth waiting for.
    #64
  5. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    More. We need more:y0!:y0!:y0!:y0!:y0!:y0!:y0!
    #65
  6. Rough ride

    Rough ride Been here awhile

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    you probably have mentioned this. but what tent do you use?
    #66
  7. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    Brilliant writing and photos!! A truly wonderful ride report!
    #67
  8. Dorsland

    Dorsland Long timer

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    Reading this one with interest.
    #68
  9. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Long timer

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    The Hobo has departed for a two month ride this week so I'm guessing this report will be quite delayed
    #69
  10. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    Good for him. Bad for us:lol3:lol3:lol3:lol3:lol3
    #70
  11. Oldfatbeerman

    Oldfatbeerman Enroute to a PUB

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    #71
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  12. Oldfatbeerman

    Oldfatbeerman Enroute to a PUB

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    It seems that life / work / travel is not allowing Jussi ( Rolling Hobo ) enough time to update this RR or his adventure blog regularly , I made comment on his blog back about 2 months ago and he was inspired to do a one day update which is also the most recent day posted of the RR here . We will all just have to wait until he has the time and inspiration to let us all follow along vicariously with his travels :*sip*.
    #72
  13. The Rolling Hobo

    The Rolling Hobo Been here awhile

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    DAY 4 / DARK CLOUDS
    23.7.2015 / Vecaduliena, Latvia – Kupreliškis, Lithuania / 241 km, 960 km total

    The morning kicked off at a leisurely pace, and we didn’t hit the trail before around eleven in the morning. Fortunately the riding was more of the same fare we’d had from entering Latvia the previous day. The world consisted of gravel roads and dual tracks twisting and turning through fields, forests and hills. I managed to find my groove and thoroughly enjoyed the tight flowing sections of dual track, navigating through mellow pine forests. It was exciting riding, with no buffer outside of the trail, but instead just a wall of trees rigidly waiting to punish riding errors. The Swedes were in good form, and the big bikes kept up to the pace well on the non-technical terrain. And best of all, every trail connected.

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    Judging by the rattle of my chain, it needed some more tension and we took a small break on the trail. After sorting out the chain tension, we sat around chatting for a while and I noticed a strange vibe in the team. Per seemed very cranky and was anticipating problems with his bike. He was sure that his clutch would spill disaster on his ride, and he clearly found the lack of stove gas a huge problem too. I tried to reason with him, but to no avail. It seemed, that since the mysterious problem with his coolant had vanished, he needed something else to worry about. So I suggested we’d cut some of the trails and head directly to the closest town of Koknese for a hot meal, to which everyone agreed.

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    After lunch, the mood improved immediately. I suppose we’d all just been hungry and tired, to which people react differently. After all we were into our fourth consecutive day of riding and no one was ride fit yet. But we all hit the road in good spirits, despite not managing to find any camping gas in Koknese either. Out last option was a large supermarket complex outside of town, but despite having several different gas cartridges, they didn’t have the threaded canisters we needed. As we got outside, the first drops of rain on the trip landed, and the guys decided to suit up into rain gear. The weather was still warm, so I didn’t bother putting on GoreTex, instead deciding to risk it. To the great amusement of the rest of the team, Per donned a red and yellow waterproof onesie with racing checkers on it.

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    After three hours of sporadic rain, the weather changed right on the border between Latvia and Lithuania. The border was essentially a glorified ditch with a bridge over it and sign marking the change in states on a field.

    Just as Estonia is different from Latvia, so is Lithuania. Judging by the roads, Lithuania seemed wealthier, but the villages had a distinctively Soviet feel. They reminded me a lot of Russia. Buying provisions for the night, I noted that even stores were a spitting image of their Russian counterparts; dimly lit rooms with a U shaped counter and a grumpy old lady behind it, standing guard over the beer and vodka. The Swedes found it rather exotic, especially since there was a crew of locals drinking outside the store. By the looks of things they’d probably been there for a while.

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    Our camp for the night was tucked behind a derelict barn, on a field basking in the evening sun. It was a nice spot, hidden from prying eyes and a light breeze kept the insects at bay while drying our gear. The sky was mostly clear and after setting up camp, we just relaxed in the warm evening sun, chatting away while the Swedes finished the rest of their wine box and vodka. It was a great finish to a fantastic day, despite the odd tension and a couple hours of rain.

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    #73
  14. squadraquota

    squadraquota mostly harmless

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    Good to see you are back! I'll be Looking forward to the next installment, thanks for putting in the effort.
    #74
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  15. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

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    Thanks!
    #75
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  16. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    :thumb

    Thanks for the long-awaited update!
    #76
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  17. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    What was lost, has been found!
    #77
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  18. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list Supporter

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    Sweet! Man I thought you'd fallen off the face of the earth. Welcome back!
    #78
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  19. The Rolling Hobo

    The Rolling Hobo Been here awhile

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    DAY 5 / THE RABBIT HOLE
    24.7.2015 / Kupreliškis, Lithuania – Kaunas, Lithuania / 222 km, 1182 km total

    There’s nothing quite like waking up early to a sunny morning at camp. Crawling out of the tent with the first sunshine on your face, and taking in the fresh air of a new glorious day on the trails. I was anxious to get moving and was happy the Swedes were in good form, so we broke camp and rode out fairly early.

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    The trails were pretty good, and we made good progress in great weather. We briefly needed to stop for a little roadside maintenance, as Perra’s Zumo mount had become loose. I’ve never been a fan of the Zumo, and instead relied on the Montana, which is bomb proof on the Garmin cradle and RAM mount.

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    Our journey south continued on trails without incident, until we hit a short wet section churned out by forestry machinery. It was nothing exceptional, and easy riding on the 690, but the Swedes were having a hard time on it for some reason. I was expecting Johan to be suffering with his slick tyres, but to my surprise it was Perra who was pissed off about the section for some reason. As he was getting increasingly cranky, I wondered what the problem was, and opted to try the lunch diversion again. Both guys were happy with the plan and made for the town of Ukmergè.

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    A pizza and a beer put a smile on Perra’s face and the mood improved. Unfortunately, it soon took a turn for the worse, as Perra was suddenly getting worried about his front sprocket. To me it looked worn, but nowhere near overly so, and I figured he was making an issue out of nothing. Either way, to calm him down, I suggested we’d ride directly to the closest KTM shop in Kaunas.

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    The route was boring tarmac, and the issue with Perra’s continued imaginary bike problems was praying on my mind. It seemed to have spiralled out of control, and adding insult to injury was the fact that we were wasting perfect weather. Unfortunately the situation didn’t improve in Kaunas as there were no sprockets available at the local KTM, nor did they stock the chain slide I was hoping to replace.

    The morning had been very nice riding, but our detour had cut off a section of there Crimson Trail I would have liked to ride. Especially since there was a surface launch site on the trail. However, I was doubtful that the Swedes would agree to roll back to the track from Kaunas to hit the trails. I was getting the feeling they might be finding my style of travel rather spartan and void of creature comforts. So I asked whether they would like to take half a day off in Kaunas. I figured a shower, a hot meal and a night out might improve the mood. They bit on the plan and and we checked into the very nice Hotel Kaunas, which also had safe parking for the bikes.

    I wanted a single room for myself and a twin for the Swedes. Unfortunately the hotel was fairly full and all they could offer was a triple room. As usual, the room soon looked more like a man cave than a hotel room, with nasty smelly gear strewn around. I was working on sorting and backing up my photos while the Swedes took showers and left out to town. It was a Friday night so I expected it to get messy. The first pictures of beers and cocktails popped up on my phone fairly quickly, and I wondered whether I’d be rolling solo the next day.

    While having the room to myself, I managed to get hold of my much better half on Skype. She was mountain biking in Scotland with our friends, and having a great time. Apparently the trails in Torridon and Skye were fairly technical here and there, which made the riding challenging. It was wonderful to hear her voice, and I’m sure we both wished the other one safely back home in one piece.

    The Swedes staggered back to the hotel at around midnight. They were pretty loaded, and it was nice to see both of them in a good mood. They broke out a bluetooth speaker for some tunes and proceeded to empty the minibar. Unfortunately it was particularly well stocked and they were on a mission to drink all of it. It was amusing to watch the spirits, champagne, wine and beer receiving a slurred individual review as they were consumed. However, it was starting to seem probable that some of the consumed goods might re-emergence, so I suggested we should call it a night, or at least turn off the music. The Swedes wouldn’t hear of it, and instead collected the rest of the booze and took their party to the bathroom. I put on my earplugs and finally fell asleep at around four in the morning, with a huge grin on my face.
    #79
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  20. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    :lol3
    Hey what is a vacation without a hangover? Sound like one in the making for sure, eh?
    Just wanted to tell you that your "traveling light" ethic has its positive effects. I have gone to sharing your website's gear pages with pretty much anyone who mentions weight concerns in the same sentence as the words "moto travel". :thumb
    I don't camp all that much off the bike, but do on occasion- so have been looking to get some lighter gear along the way- thinking I'll pick stuff up here and there, as situations allow. Just bought a Klymit Static V air pad as my first bit of lightweight kit.

    https://www.klymit.com/static-v-camping-sleeping-pad.html
    #80
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