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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Thomas B., Apr 24, 2016.
Thanks Oh2RideMore, we try to stay alive.
Of course we lost our way later in the afternoon. The OSM still knew the track, but it became smaller and smaller. We did finally arrive in a village, but it was not the one we wanted to go to. We found out where we were and with the help of a local who spoke no English and a girl that knew about 2 english words we knew which direction we should take. We got the advice to ask at the gers on the way where to go next. The next day we reached the southern route, which we didn´t want to take, and followed it east to the next town.
Sandra laying down a Stone for good travels
Looking at a temple on the way
Our next goal was the sand dunes of the Gobi so we took off on some tracks we saw on our map with no idea how it was. The landscape was flat and riding was fast. After setting up camp for the night some distance from the track, we were sitting there with a beer and some pringles (I know, very decadent) all of a sudden an old man was standing next to us with his motorbike. He got off and wandered around our bikes for a while looking at them. Then he showed us his ger that was standing on a hill in the distance and offered us to go there with him. We showed him that we had all we needed and would stay here, but thanked him for his offer. He was ok with that and took off without saying goodbye. After half an hour he stood beside us again. He had come all the way back to bring us a bag full of dried yogurt pieces to eat. After giving them to us he got on his bike took off with out a goodbye and was never seen again. And we had a snack for the next few days.
Horse Transport on the way
Girls flirting with me during lunch
Camp with beer and pringles
dried and fried youghut we got
Going further into the Gobi we saw more and more ponds and wet sand as a result of the rainfalls of the last days. At one point we had to turn around because a river in front of us was too big. Then we came to a big pan that looked a bit soft, but dry. I told Sandra The next day riding was smooth until a river showed up on the screen of my GPS. I asked Sandra if she knew how to get over it, because it looked too big to cross. She had no idea if there was a bridge or something so we said let´s go and have a look. It turned out that there was a bridge, but only for pedestrians. Good when your not wide. We could go over it.
that I would ride into it to see how soft it was. First it was ok but I told Sandra over the intercom to wait until I was further. It got softer and it was still wet underneath and I was thinking of turning around but went on. I was hoping the whole time that I wouldn´t sink in too deep so that I couldn´t get out. After a long long stretch I finally reached firm surface again. I tried to reach Sandra over the intercom, but she was out of reach. I didn´t want to go back and hoped she would come without my “go”. After a long time of listening I heard her KTM struggling with the sand but coming nearer. When she reached me she turned off her engine and all I saw was her flat front tire in the mid day heat at around 40°C. Oh what a joy. So I got to work to fix the flat. After all was done we went on. The ground was harder and good ridable. During the night we spend in the prairie We had thunderstorms going over us again and it rained hard. Even during the next morning on our ride to Dalanzatgar, the main town in the Gobi, we could see a thunderstorm going on behind the mountains we were riding along. We checked into a hotel with the plan to ride to the big dunes the next day, but being unsure because of all the rain that was going on. In the afternoon another massive storm went over the town with a lot of rain. After that the decision was made. We would skip the dunes and head for Ulan Bataar.
Fixing a flat in the mid day heat
Camels on the way
Trying a bottle of Chinggis
Hey Thomas and Sandra
Nice Ride Report so far I understand aou are in Ulan Bataar now. I will follow you in this Riding Report from Switzerland. Thanks for
Regard from cold and sony Switzerland
As you can see on Page 3 already we are alot further. Then in Russia, now in Japan. I know I am far behind in the ride Report.
We are actually flying to Vancouver tomorrow. Hang on and you will get the rest of the Story.
Gruesse an die Schweiz.
let me know if you need any help with anything in Vancouver. i will send you a pm, with my phone number.
Ok, wish you a nice flight to Vancouver, bit is it not cold at the Moment in Vancouver? So now the son is coming out here and a will go
for a Little ride with my XR650R.
Grüsse aus der Schweiz.
Arriving in UB in the Oasis GH we were greeted by a bunch of other motorbike riders. During the following days, while doing service on the bikes and rearranging luggage for the next stretch, we heard what the plans of all the others were. Interesting was what Vics, an Indian, and Tony, a guy from GB, wanted to do. The western BAM. Most of you on ADV will know what that is. I had also been thinking of the BAM, but wouldn´t want to do it with Sandra alone. Now it was possible. A couple, Gaby from Argentina and John from Australia, on a BMW were also interested and during one evening we all decided to do it together. We would be waiting for Dave another Australian that Vics and Tony were traveling with, who was out of town at the moment. So off we went to Russia, along lake Baikal, and all the way up to Sverobaikalsk, our starting point of the western BAM. After we all had changed tyres we left the town in the morning. We got an early start as the weather had been dry the last days and was supposed to stay like that for another few. But rain was coming and we wanted to get as far as possible in the dry.
Oasis Guest house in Ulan Batar
On the main square in UB on our way out
First camp in Russia just over the boarder
Visiting tempels on the way
Camping on the shore of lake Baikal
tracks on the way to Severobaikalsk
Well Bruno to be honest it could be a Little warmer. We were in Vancouver yesterday and it rained by cool temperatures.
At the Moment we are sitting in a Train down to Washington state.
We are still waiting for our bikes to arrive in Vancouver which should be around the 11. Nov.
Then it will be cool. But we hope for the best
Yep, November weather can be a bit crappy, but it seems we are having our November weather in October this year so maybe it will smooth out by then... Most years we can do year round riding on the coast with odd motorcycle camping trip thrown in... That been said, once in a while an Arctic influence shows up, then we have to wait it out and go skiing or snowshoeing instead..
very masculin statue from the soviet era
Arriving in Severobaikalsk
morning of our departure in the Hotel Yard in Severobaikalsk
The first day was pretty easy with some new bridges, some puddles, and fast gravel tracks. 365 km on the first day was not bad, but we would get slower. It was becoming late and we looked for a place to set up camp. That is not always easy on the BAM. Often there is dense wood on both sides of the track and it is impossible to leave it. We finally found a small space big enough for our tents. It wasn´t ideal between the track and the train, but it would do. Then started the evening routine. Start a fire to keep the mosquitoes away a bit, get out of the wet boots to dry the wrinkly feet once in the day, set up the tents, cook some food, and enjoy a beer or some vodka by the fire and talk some bike talk.
new Bridge on the BAM
Some wet spots in between
Me in Action (2 pics from Gaby)
and Sandra splashing around
First Camping on the BAM
directly beside the track
What is the BAM?
I'm a noob!
If you have the time, read this thread by Colebatch and the crew. It sort of sets the scene for what the BAM is to ride. Warning, It will take you a while to read, but it's a great story.
Or look here to see it's history.
Otherwise, just keep reading to see where we get taken...
Great to see you giving it a go, but the "camp site" looks a bit uncomfortable...
Thanks for the link to the other rr, and the history of the BAM dazzadm.
Thomas and Sandra, you guys are my heroes, so inspirational.
Be safe and enjoy.
Sorry Wierdrider, I forgot that not everyone on ADV follows the same RR. But it got cleared I think.
Thanks dazzadm for clearing this. Took some work from me.
Well we had better camping spots, but it was ok. On the first Picture you can see how close the railroad was. It´s the post in the middle between the trees.
But we were tired enough to sleep well-
Well thanks Wierdrider, but we are no heroes. Just normal people that like to break out sometimes to test themselves and see different countries in different ways. I am glad you like it.
The next day all of us wanted an early start to take advantage of the good weather so we agreed to get going at 7:00 am and everyone was ready at that time. We did the same on all the days on the BAM so we had long days and covered a lot of ground. The day started with some fast tracks to warm up. At around 10:00am we reached a village and stopped for refueling and breakfast. We then got slowed down by more and more rotten bridges. Some you could just have a look while slowing down and pass them, but others we had to walk first and see if they were doable. Walking over one I broke through one of the blanks with one leg and my whole leg went down. On some bridges we had to balance the bikes over one by one. One pushing the bike and 2 or 3 supporting it. That took time. In near future some of these bridges will not be passable any more. And there were more rivers to cross too. Some just ride through. Others deeper, with current, and/or big rocks. Here every bike was helped by others to get through.
One rotting bridge
And a river (taken by Gáby)
And then Viks, who always liked to go ahead a bit faster, was gone. The track split into 2 and we didn´t know which one he had taken. There were no tire tracks to be seen as it was dry there. After some waiting and listening, Dave found a piece of cardboard and made a sign that we left in the middle of the road in case Viks came back to find us. A little later we found him beside the track waiting for us.
In the afternoon we came to one well known obstacle of the western BAM. The vitim bridge.
For those who don´t know this is a ca. 600 m long and 15 m high bridge over the Vitim river. It barely has the width of a truck and no security rails at the sides. It is actually not difficult to ride over it. It In the afternoon we came to one well known obstacle of the western BAM. The vitim bridge. is just in ones head that if something goes wrong you fall into an ice-cold fast flowing river with no big chance of surviving. But that´s all. Sandra and I were riding in front that afternoon and were the first at the Vitim. We stopped looked at each other, I asked her: is the gopro on, she said yes, and I said I´ll have a look, and went onto the bridge. It was a easy ride. I even had time to stop in the middle and have a look around. On the other side I told Sandra over the intercom it was no big deal and she should come over. I´m not posting my ride over. If you are interested, there are plenty on youtube, so go and look there.
Of course I took pictures of the others coming over a group picture was taken after everyone was over the bridge.
One still of me going over the Vitim Bridge
Sandra coming over
Viks in a different angle
The group shot