Russia – the road back home

02.0.2018
I had a good night’s sleep in that spacious bed, shame I woke up on my own 😀
It took me about 2 hours to get to the M9 which brings me directly to the border. It’s a good piece of road with some road works here and there. It might have something to do that it’s Sunday today but the road was really quiet. At some point a Police car overtook me and I did what everybody does when someone faster wants to overtake you, I drove on the hard shoulder. Normally the other driver puts shortly the four-way-flasher (hazard lights) on but the Police is much cooler and put the flashing lights (red and blue) on J
The closer I get to Latvia the more bikers are coming my way.
I’m really looking forward to ride through Latvia and Lithuania tomorrow. Both countries are not that large and so I’ll ride through both and some of Poland in one day. But I can always come back…

 

01.09.2018
Just when I wanted to turn in all the Truck stops disappeared on me. Like when you need to find somebody in a shop to ask some questions – sipp and their gone. Or as Dieter Nuhr once said: It’s like when you turn the light in your cellar on and all the cockroaches disappear 😀
Anyhow, I had to search for a Hotel which took me about 1.5 hours. At last I found an IBIS Hotel while I was searching for another one but after 12 hours on the bike I didn’t care. I would have taken the Hilton too, well if I could afford it.
Again I was lucky to have really nice weather with over 31 degrees Celsius. I must make notes while I ride! Every time I’m on the bike I have ideas for the blog but when I stop I already forgotten it – Not a word about age or I make sure I come and haunt you 😀

 

31.08.2018
After Chris told me via WhatsApp that the M7 is only a single lane road and the M5 is not I thought about it but decided against it. This morning though I thought about it again and let Russia make the decision for me J
Say what? 😀 I just waited for a sign to Moscow and took that road, which was the M5. What I hadn’t thought of was that I get really far south again and with that warm weather. Yes yes yes, I “had” to ride in 30 degrees today. A nice change to the rather wet and cool weather from the north!
It has its downsides as well:
1. I gave to ride 120 km more
2. The ride is more boring because of the two lanes which come and go – more going then coming though 😉
Today after almost 760 km I call it a day. I thought I could ride further but I had enough and either way I still have two more days in Russia anyway cause it is roughly 1600 km to the border with Latvia.
Max and Chris must be in Moscow by now. Hopefully they have a great time!

 

30.08.2018
I’m really starting to dislike time zones. Yesterday I went through 2 which OK cause it gave me more time to ride but I didn’t notice the last one and got up at 5 instead of 6.
The landscape keeps changing though for a while today I found it boring for the first time. Later it got great again. Part of the road was curvy and went through mountains.
Sunflower fields

While searching for a Hotel I got wet, hopefully everything is dry again tomorrow.

 

29.08.2018
I left Novosibirsk around 07:00 and after a long day and almost 1000 km I’m in Ishim. My back is telling me that this 12-hour ride was a little too long but I really enjoyed it.
I just can’t get enough of the Russian Country side. It’s like someone laid a road through the wilderness, not like Germany where everything looks tidy and smooth. Here in Russia I’d like to walk for hours with a dog, shame I don’t have one anymore…
The ride started with FF (ducking fog) but as soon as I put my rain gear on it disappeared.

 

28.07.2018
After a good night sleep everything looks better and brighter, except for the weather…
I still have mixed feelings about riding on my own now. In one way I’m a little sad but in another way, I’m really looking forward to it. But before I can do that I have to take my bike to BMW for a service and wait for its return which will be probably so late in the day that I have to stay another day in this hotel. And I don’t mind that at all because the staff is friendly and pretty to look at 😉
Now for some breakfast…
Brought my bike to BMW and luckily found some new rain gear for me. My old one (it’s actually new) seams to leak at the front up by my throat and so after about 1h of rain the water runs down to my chest. Not that nice really!
I thought it might be rain water from my helmet tripping into the rain gear but I don’t want to take any chances because the weather forecast doesn’t look that good. So now I’ve got a bright yellow one instead of my black and white (I preferred the black and white).
Vasily told me that my bike should be ready at 19:00 today so I will definitely leave tomorrow morning and not today.

 

27.08.2018
We’re back in Novosibirsk and we’re staying in the same hotel (Romana B&B). Today Max and Chris get their tyres and I will hopefully find some new rain gear. If not, I’m fucked because there is rain coming my way. Also need to repack my stuff and check my route home. I wonder why it’s so difficult for Garmin to make their Satnavs work better together with their software. If I plan a route and send to the Satnav it always recalculates everything and quite often fucks it up. I then have to tweak it on the Satnav again which can take some time. Usually that means I have to place in more waypoints so the route goes the way I wanted/did it in the first place. I find this very frustrating especially if you think how much those devices are!

Until now the road didn’t go strictly west but since yesterday I have to case my shadow agin…
Chris and Max left round 09:30 to get their tyres changed and to replace some of the brake pads. They both think that we’ll see each other after Moscow again but I don’t think so, as I managed before.
I’m gonna have a lazy day partly I didn’t sleep that well last night and cause I just feel like lazing around, now that they abundant me 😀
They still rode 350 km today and shuld reach Moscow in about 3 days. We’ll stay in contact via WhatsApp…

 

26.08.2018
No breakfast today 🙁
So we had an early and quick start in the day. There’s not much to write these today because all we do is riding. It rained last night including thunder and lightning but it was dry in the morning.
Again we ride in this vast country with its lush green colours, its soft hills with a lot of trees broken by corn fields. So far, I didn’t have time to take pictures and I’ve been enjoying to much the riding part – oops I guess I should have stopped…
It looks in a lot of laces like a mixture of Germany, Britain and Holland – I find.
We got three sim cards for our phone so we can stay easier in touch and after that hard work we went to McDonalds 😀 I’m usually not a big fan of fast-food but that burger was yummy 😉
A slight change of plan. Max and Chris are leaving today around launch time. This way they have more time to get to Moscow. I’ll leave early Wednesday morning and push on as long as I can. Maybe we meet after Moscow again. There again I’m not sure if that would make sense since we’d only ride maybe another 4/5 days together before we finally split up and everybody is riding home. We’ll see I guess…

 

25.08.2018
The light bulb in my room kept flashing for a while then stopped then flashed again, so I decided to take action…  After I unscrewed the light bulb I had a good night’s sleep 🙂
The sun is already out but the air is still crisp.
A long day again with over 740 km and lovely scenery. Tomorrow we should get to Novosibirsk where if things go not as plant we’ll split up because Max and Chris don’t want to wait for me. Max because he wants go home as fast as possible and Chris has a date in Riga. If the BMW dealer gets my bike ready before 15:00 on Tuesday they might wait but I doubt that.
There again that way I might be home earlier than them because they’re stopping in Moscow and I won’t to that on my own. I like sightseeing but not by myself. I’m weird, what can I say 🙂

 

24.08.2018
Fucking rain!
Because the train tracks run alongside the Lake Baikal and because it’s the main route for trains, every 5-10 minutes there is one or two going past here.
So much for a quite night 🙁 though I didn’t hear them in the night very often.
Yesterday around 16:00 it started to rain and hasn’t stop since. It’s not a heavy rain but it’s like a curtain. We’ll wait for a while but I don’t think it’s going to change anything. We should have been leaving yesterday!
Wonderful my rain gear is not waterproof! The first 5 hours we had rain. The last 3 hours sunshine. So a shitty start and a nice ending. The scenery was very nice. I just live to ride in Nice roads through woody areas.
We’re staying in a truck stop again, had some food and now we’re queuing for the only shower. All in all, still a nice day…

 

23.08.2018
Not sure if I really gonna take more photos, it’s nice here but not that beautiful. For breakfast we wanted pancakes because the place we were yesterday served them but decided to have something else.
We also had to change our room because we’re now staying another day. It’s okay to do so though I would have preferred to carry on. But we still have 4 days to get to Novosibirsk where I’ll get my tyres changed and bike serviced. Max and Chris gonna keep their tyres and take the new once with them. I could do the same but I don’t want to carry the extra weight.
Shame it’s a little cloudy today, the sun only peeks out there and then.
Just when Chris and Max went into their Sauna it started to rain. You could even hear some thunder but it never came closer or rained heavily. I just hope tomorrow it’s better weather even though the forecast says otherwise.
To honest I found this relaxing da bit boring and I think half a day would have sufficed.

 

22.08.2018
For a change I got woken by my alarm. Something that doesn’t happen too often.
We bought something for breakfast in the shop next door and left shortly after we had demolished everything. Since the scenery is so beautiful around here I’m looking forward to the ride to Lake Baikal. Max is also looking forward to the lake but for a different reason, he wants to eat some fish (Omul) who only lives in this lake.
The ride was nice and we already had some Omul. I don’t know if that is the normal way to serve it bur ours was smoked with no side dish. While I recalculated the route back home (just for me) Chris and Max were sun basing and had a very short dip in the lake. 15 seconds I’ve been told cause it’s rather nippy 😀
We decided to stay another day and relax since we are ahead of or schedule. Lake Baikal is the biggest sweet water lake in the world. Tomorrow I’ll try to take some more photos…

Lake Baikal

 

21.08.2018
Welcome back to Russia!
Nobody said that to us so I’m writing it 😉
With a fairly early start we managed to ride 354 Km and cross the border by 17:00. One of the faster ones with only 1.5 hours.
For the night we stopped in a “hotel” and for 1500 Rubel we have a kind of a wooden Ger with a double bed and a rather hard sofa.
The ride here was very nice with soft green hills and some twisty roads.
Vasily from BMW Novosibirsk contacted me to et me know that they’re closed on Monday, again. I wonder if they are ever open on a Monday?
While Max and Chris had something to eat we got invited by two Russians (Georg and Sergej) to have some Vodka with them. I declined the kind offer.
George was telling us that 30 years ago he had lived in Rostock and, if I understood him correctly, cycled home to Vladivostok when he finally had to leave. That’s a long way…

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