Travel to Russia - for the most courageous. For a foreigner, even a visit to Moscow or St. Petersburg have stress and overcome themselves, although they present Russia in these cities will not see. Today, in the air - superbizon! American Doug votki, a native of Alabama. Although, as recognized by the hero himself, he does not know where he lives: "If it is not in the garage - is on the road».
Once Doug planned to travel around the world. His road lay across the former Soviet Union, a terrible evil empire. No, an American himself admitted that at first it was a Russian bogey, his childhood was at the height of the Cold War. But he singled out for two months to see the children's fears in the face, conquered vast Russian roads.
Motorcyclists - people are very special breed. For his circumnavigation Doug chose iron horse named Harley Davidson 1962 (!!!) years.
Ahead was two months road ...
So on go - tells Doug, I only translate his travel notes.
Okay, so. The first thing I'm going to Toronto, where we sit down with the bike on the plane to Glasgow, Scotland. I spend a week in Ireland, and then straight to Brussels. After Ukraine'll move north to Moscow, and from there to the east, across Russia, Mongolia, and eventually Japan. From there, I lie down on the West Coast of America, and the house is getting close. I have to be home to the first of October. I hope so. Hahaha.
And yes, I know I'm an idiot. I have a hell of a good motorcycle Triumph Tiger, but he was collecting dust in the garage. I do not travel, do not run around the crew, I do not have huge sponsorship budgets. I did not give a free bike for his advertising, and I hardly cry at the camera after a hard day. That's why I'll never be famous.
After a few days in Kiev, I traveled north to the Russian border. Always nervous, crossing them: no one knows what might happen. The road to the border was quite good. I stopped for the night in the border town to push early utrom.Ya decided it would be better than to get stuck in the queue and sleep in Russia is not clear where.
Ukrainian border was passed in 45 minutes, without all the fuss. To only get to Russian customs, I waited for half an hour. We had to fill out a bunch of papers. Naturally, they all were Russian. Some traders still in the Ukraine were trying to sell me insurance Russia for $ 112 for two months. I thought it was expensive and was right: Russian I bought it exactly twice as cheaper, for $ 52.
At the border there was a small conflict with the officer. He did not like my pedal bike. He said that the weapons! Like, I can take it off and give it to someone on the head. This guy was just asshole. With the same success every stone on the way this gun, why you do not take away from the road? The officer did not speak English. Everything he did - went for help to the head. The boss came, looked at the motorcycle, shrugged and said, I can go further.
Jesus! I was literally beaten this way! Hrenov repair mustard shitty asphalt road! They can not make a normal tour, the joints are obtained at an angle down, it hurt a lot when you're on a motorcycle! We had to stop every 50 kilometers to tighten things which strove to fall.
I reached the Bryansk and settled at the hotel, completely beaten.
Two months of this here? Damn !!!
First met Lenin in the journey. It even Ukraine, some village.
This guy ran out of petrol. I shared with him a couple of liters, so that he could get to the gas station. Fortunately, you can always find an empty beer or vodka bottles along the roadside.
I stopped to rest when the boy drove a scooter. Also without gasoline! He was happy when I offered to help him, but said he only needed a good petrol, ninety-five! He did not want to fill in cheap gasoline in his stool.
The queue at the border.
He stopped to refuel. The station has been an icon of the toilet. Ye gods, the toilet was flavorful !!! Iron floor was corroded. It would not fail!
I drove in Bryansk to find an ATM. When returning back to the track, I was stopped by the police. In Russia there are checkpoints on the borders of cities. Cops selectively stop drivers and check documents. That officer interested in the bike. He examined it from all sides, asked a few questions, and then let go. Most of the posts I have exactly what took place, in contrast to Ukraine. There's almost always require a bribe.
He looked at the war memorial in Bryansk. During WWII there was a big fight.
I met a couple of motorcyclists at a gas station. They asked not to Bike Festival I going? I did not know about it, and the guys showed me on a map how to get there. The rally was held in the town of Maloyaroslavets (say it fast three times fast!), And I'm there, koenchno, gone.
First, I had to buy a Russian SIM card for your phone. Today was the birthday of my girlfriend, I had to call her. Finally, I did it and went to the party. It was awesome! They say the biggest in Russia! Thousands of people and lots of booze! And some very interesting bikes. Well, hot chicks, of course!
I even met a few friends. This is Ilya, I saw on motoslёte in Germany.
I hope he will not play on the go.
This motorcycle engine from the Russian car "Zaporozhets».
Only in Russia!
After the festival I went to Moscow. The roads are a lot better, but I know they fuck up again when I head to the east. So I will cherish the time! Ilya, whom I met on the Motor Festival, invited me to spend the night with him. We went for a walk through the capital of Russia.
Leaving Maloyaroslavets, I immediately turned on the main road by misdirection. This requires a small road repair, do not you think?
Red Square. It is impossible to stop, so we just quickly sfotkalis.
Then, when I located Ilya and left the bike, I went back to Red Square to visit Lenin. He's on the ground, the body shown to the public, and then another, and washed every night. Inside pictures is prohibited, even you are searching for photographic equipment! It lies in a glass coffin and looks good. Well, for a guy who died 85 years ago! A lot of protection. Inside, you can not stop, you have to go after the group.
"Kremlin" actually means "fortress". I did not know that. In Russia, a lot of different kremlins.
On Sparrow Hills offers a great view of the city of Moscow and all the bikers come here to chat. Almost all modern motorcycles, this is almost no old school, so it did not really look at it. I would like to be there 5-10 years ago when people did not have all this crap Japanese.
The last day in Moscow I spent on the party. The next morning went to the east and immediately stuck in horrendous traffic jams. It took me two hours just to get out of town.
Traffic in Moscow is hell! The roads are very confusing. Sometimes there is no left turn, and you have to do 27 turns right, then 13 times to pass under bridges, to finally turn left. What to do if you missed the right street and you need to turn around? Fuck !!!
Oh, and there are no street names. Some street width is five or six lanes in each direction. And everyone feels cool racer! It is a very scary shit, I want to tell you.
My GPS does not work here. I downloaded the Russian card, but the device does not understand the Russian alphabet.
When I was close to Vladimir, I met Russian bikers on the road. They asked if I was going to the party, and I again, as before in Maloyaroslavets not chickened out, "Of course going!" - Although heard about the party just. I followed them. We lost a little bit, put on the primer, and then left on the pavement, there is also lost. And, finally reached the gathering. It was a small party, just a couple of hundred people, but it is to their liking: you can meet everyone. The entrance was fee - 500 rubles, and this sum could have any number of the entire weekend! Great offer, I believe!
On Sunday I got to Nizhny Novgorod and met Ilya and Dmitry. Others. They showed me the city, which was closed to foreigners during the Soviet period: it made submarines, and no one could come without permission. It was sucks!
Me and my buddy.
View of the Volga.
I bet he turn softer than the Harley!
The next day it was cloudy. Dmitry reassured meteorologists said it would be cloudy, but no rain. I knew that definitely get wet!
I tried to reach Kazan, but rain forced the leave the course before. I was cold and wet. Around six in the evening I stopped at a roadside cafe for coffee. There I again met motorcyclists (CSOs Australian numbers!). We got to talking, and then it was too late to go somewhere, and I rented a room here, by the road.
It looks like a motel in Russia? In room two to four single beds. If you come alone - arenduesh the room, all the beds! I was offered a room with twin beds, and I asked him why I should pay for both? Anyone hooked up to me, I do not mind. I was told that because it is not accepted.
It was a rainy day in hell.
I left at six in the morning. Sunny morning. I enjoyed the road and ogodoy. We had to drive 650 kilometers to the city of Perm. A long way, but I woke up especially so early in time to get there before dark. The first 200 kilometers were fine. And then it started to rain again. Mild, but very unpleasant. Once again, it became very cold. I even saw a prostitute on the roadside, which put on a fur leggings fishnet stockings. Or is it just the legs are hairy?
In Udmurtia, the road turned into shit. This is also called "repair", I saw the signs! This went on for a very long time, not only in the country but also in the town, which I had just passed. Dirt and potholes all the way through the city! And still very heavy traffic.
Now I'm somewhere in the middle of nowhere, gasoline is running out, and I'll see the sign "rough road". Fuck !!! It's hard to explain just looking photos.
This truck was one of the brave men who made their way through all this dirt. It is difficult to determine the depth of the ruts and puddles on the eye, but my bike was half axes in the water. This went on for about 15 kilometers.
Why do not they want to fix it? Yes, the devil knows! In the end, I just fell off the bike, just in one of these fucking puddles!
It was necessary to make more photos of the road, but it was not easy: every time to stop, to get the camera ...
After ten kilometers I found a gas station and stopped at her to wash. Of course, they had no water, so we had to wash in a more or less clean pool.
Right before refueling was another police post. Of course, I stopped to see the documents. I'm covered in mud. "You do not have wings" - says the policeman. "Thank you, Captain Obvious! This chopper here and should not be! ».
Meals on. After 50 kilometers slows me down another cop with radar jumping out of the bushes. What the devil? I know that does not exceed the speed. Okay, here's my fucking paper. "Why not have wings on a motorcycle?" - Again the same question. I answer him that broke it to the devil on your fucking way! He does not understand what I'm saying, but let go.
So, at ten in the evening hours and a hundred kilometers from the city of Perm. I want to sleep! The town has two small hotel, both say "no place", although parking is absolutely empty. So I arrived in Perm after midnight, in the rain. I met Sergei, whom they have taken. And I finally saw the shower! Oh, it was divine! I washed from the dirt almost as long as waiting for this moment! 18 hours of driving. I was completely broken.
In Perm, I wanted to see with his friend Vladimir, which met in 2006, one year on the road. But he went on a fishing trip, so the contact gave his friend Sergei, saying that I could stay with him. One important thing about Russian: even if you do not know of a person, but you're a friend of a friend, they will automatically become your friends. And do absolutely anything for you.
The next morning I gave Harley the sink, and at the same time asked to check if everything is okay with him, did I not lost or broken in transit. Sergei's wife and daughter went with me for a walk around the city, while he was at work. Perm is another former closed city.
New monument to the founder of the city. I asked why they spend money on monuments, instead of repairing the road? I was told that the building sites easier.
There is still a lot of cold wooden houses. In the area where he lives, Sergei, there are very many, but instead gradually grow large expensive houses behind high fences.
Choose your dinner for free poultry market.
These guys are so used to people that need only show them food - they will be in your hands. Just grab a couple and put in a bag. At home you will find a great BBQ!
We drove out of town. Not far from Perm is the border of Europe and Asia.
On Friday I was still on a biker get-together. Quite a big event, with lots of bikes and hot chicks. I do not remember the name of the city, but it is close to Ekaterinburg. Of course, there was a riot. Russian OMON riot police it. All of his great men, and cocky. I saw five huge police felled one is not very good guy, almost jumping on it. Well, it was not me!
Imagine: you look in your mirror and see an armored truck that says HOMO (a mirror image of the riot police on latinnitse - HOMO. Approx. Macos). It makes your ass shrink only one thought!
Okay, back to the calf!
Oh yeah, there were more and motorcycles!
I continued to move east, in the direction of Omsk and Novosibirsk. The road was in place in order, but, basically only a little better than before. And there is nothing around, only the forests and swamps ...
Wherever you are traveling in Russia, everywhere you will meet these people sitting on the sidelines and selling some nonsense. These people would spend all his time sitting on the ground trying to sell your bucket something that they're selling. And More Come see the old ladies selling on the roadside villages, you will see and it is the young people, even a hundred kilometers from the nearest village.
The police ambush in front of the motel, where I spent the night. I had fun watching them as they stopped the car. Even a couple of buses stop!
Met Hans from Germany. He reached Magadan and returned back to Europe.
After Krasnoyarsk road ended. The best way to say "turned to shit." Holes, stones, gravel, even more holes! The broken asphalt, sand, dirt, mud ... fun!
I think that now Russia has more off-road than ever before. Because when they were built, they were new. Until now, I can not believe how I did not break anything, neither myself or the bike.
This highway M53, the main highway!
In the courtyard of the police station was a bunch of motorcycles. I was told that sometime in the day they will sell at auction. I also want to "Ural" for twenty bucks, gee. So, the next place "in the middle of nowhere." Of course, the police stopped me. Inspector clearly had a thing about motorcyclists. I think his wife ran away from him to the biker, so he was angry, and despite the fact that all the documents were in order, I saw that he was dissatisfied with something. Just dig me, asshole. Maybe the road dust hit him in the brain or it is always so.
Siberian Starbucks. What is missing is a pair of girls sitting with a cup of coffee at his books. Yes, coffee is much cheaper. Would you like to get coffee? They took the cup from which just had the previous visitor, poured a little water, rinsed and poured fresh coffee. Not taking the extra money for the dust.
That's funny. Leaky asphalt they "darn", scattering the stones, and then passing them grader. Pylischa is a pillar, the road becomes better not. I would not believe that this is possible, if he had not seen!
After Tulun road becomes much better. It's still broken in the villages, but the outside is good. Okay, better.
I went back to the "civilized" world of Siberia. Irkutsk.
On the local market you can buy anything. Even animals. Even hand-owl. I need a hand-owl! At the market, I came by taxi because it was far from the place where I was staying, and find it difficult. The driver was a woman. Probably the only hot chick driver around Irkutsk! When we got to the place, I paid a little bit and added to tea. Than just shocked her. Apparently, this is not accepted to tip taxi drivers. Back I decided to go on foot to explore the area. She saw me, stopped and drove back for free!