October 27, 2006 GMT
Bumping and grinding to Chita

The sun beat down on gravelled ground
On and on we rode


Through makeshift lenses viewed the land


and cautiously we trod...


After the accident, we were more careful....no more 60 m.p.h on the gravel. Nikolai as the injuried party, was especially nervous.


I was unable to find any visor to replace my scratched one. With the visor up a lot, it meant I was inhaling a lot more dust....what's that song...Dust Gets In My Eyes?...


My rear view vision was impaired by Nikolai so he kept me posted when these cars approached. They passed us at speeds in excess of 70 m.p.h


and travelled in packs


sometimes to their own detriment


these guys were saved from plunging off the road by the armco.


But had been waiting a week for a tow truck...no AAA in Russia.
They were given food and water by passing traffic. We only had coffee and
sugar for them.


But provided some distraction.


Tight parking outside this cafe


But inside...


was the best food in Russia!


Found a camping spot next to the trans-Siberian railway


Lovely view!!!


Next morning, ominous approach of the Siberian winter!!


After drying out in the sun we go from this....


to this


Another long day in the saddle - only 150 miles today -but we had coffee and kielbasa.
Hey Igor...checkout the 'twisty' thermos...hahaha!!!


Coldest night so far


Time to switch to decaf?


Around lunchtime, a grinding noise warranted investigation


Plastic chain guard snapped in two...must have been a rock kicking up


Couple of cable ties fixed this.


But while down there fixing the chain guard, I noticed something that was much more alarming.


One of the main engine bolts had vibrated out. The photos don't begin to indicate the pounding the bike was taking. This was a serious problem. I didn't know how serious until I got to Chita.

We always drew a crowd...


'Plenty of pussies, but only one dick!!!' observed Nikolai


We knew the last 60 miles to Chita was paved and by now, with the pounding to the bike and ourselves we were ready for any kind of pavement.

Soon after we passed this sign...


We hit this beautiful newly paved stretch of road...ahh, bliss!!!


But it only lasted 10 kms. It gave us a glimpse into a future crossing of Russia.

Alas, back to the grind


With 60 miles to Chita, we finally hit the paved road again. Stopped for a celebratory coffee. This is me 'milking' my camelbak!!!


With just an hour of daylight left, I put the hammer down


The road was bad because it was so uneven. At speed, hitting these undulations with a passenger put serious pressure on the suspension.

But with night falling, we made it to Chita where the Chita bikers magically appeared to welcome us and lead us to the appropriate hotel.


Welcome to Chita. Thanks to Micha and the boys!!


Two up from Vladivostok to Chita? We must be crazy!!!


Posted by Richard Lindley at October 27, 2006 08:59 PM GMT

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