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First few days bumping along in a Ural Sidecar

As I type I am bumping up and down in a Ural sidecar somewhere between Irkutsk and Ulan Ude. (This was written in August of 2011 and first posted in unrealadventure.com) The roads here are rubbish so each pot hole is a typo. Luckily the auto correct on my iPhone captures most of them.

We have some bad news about the bikes. Turns out they are stuffed. We are already 4 days out of Irkutsk and we still haven't made it as far as Ulan Ude. We are averaging about 100km a day and it's not for any lack of effort on our part. The bikes break down on a daily basis. More even. If not for Kirills expertise with these bikes and the kindness of locals we wouldn't be as far as we are.

Magadan might be a pipe dream. It is a bloody long way to drive on these rough Russian roads, winter is just around the corner and these bikes, having done nearly 10,000 kms through Kazahkistan, Mongolia, and Russia have just about had enough. John and Kirill are both dealing with it with typical stoicism.

At any rate Magadan is only a place on a map. Something to aim for so as to cause adventures to happen on the way through. Even if we only make it to Yakutsk or not even as far as that, adventures are guaranteed. In fact adventures are guaranteed not in spite of the bikes that like to overheat and break down every 10 minutes but rather because of them. Every time the bikes stop working somebody reaches out to help us. Most of these people we will never meet again in our lives but they will live on in our stories.

There was young Victor and his GF who stopped when he rode past John and I, broken down on the side of the road 40 minutes out of Irkutsk. He rode his reliable Japanese bike all the way back to Irkutsk to buy push rods for us and then back to us again only to this time meet Kirill who had already found the same part in the opposite direction. He wasn't too sure what to make of Kirill, wearing his Nomadica leather jacket and looking every bit a mean bastard with the neo nazi hair cut he got in Irkutsk earlier that morning.

Or Alexander with only one lung from the lovely little village of Shamanka. He had one removed after it went gangrenous but it didn't discourage him from inhaling as much smoke as possible into the remaining lung. Still what a place to live and die. The exceptionally beautiful Irkutsk river meanders it's way past the southern limits of the village.

Little Red Car on the island of Olkhon

Mechanic in Irkutsk fixing out Ural

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Ryan Albrey published on June 23, 2012 12:57 AM.

Somewhere between Irkutsk and Olkhon was the previous entry in this blog.

Like father like daughter is the next entry in this blog.

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