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black_labb

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I haven't been that active on here for the last month or 2 because I've been planning a bike trip.

The title pretty much says it all. Probably sounds like hell to some people but I'm looking forward to it. There may be a lack of variety of beers in the small town.

I'm headed over there mid june so it will be summertime and I'll have plenty of daylight.

I'm basically following a service track for the Baikal Amur Mainline, a railway track that covers the eastern half of siberia about 300km north of the Trans Siberian. The track goes through some pretty mountainous terrain with plenty of rivers and lakes (very good fishing!). I'll also be taking a track up the east side of lake baikal which will be pretty impressive.

Anyone been to Siberia before? Particularly lake Baikal area?

I've had a couple pretty decent Russian beers but are there any I should look out for in particular? I know there are some pretty good baltic porters from St Petersburg but that's over 6000 km away from my closest point. I'll probably see a couple of them around though.

I'll be doing a blog, the intro is here www.crazyguyonabike.com/bam2013
 

spog

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Okay,here's a poll. 1 your keen as mustard 2.your fkn crazy. 3.both. All that aside you are gunna a sore backside at the end ,but good on ya all the best I will check your blog to see how you are getting on. ..cheers...spog..
 

Bribie G

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An old boss did the Trans Siberian, and it was about 42 degrees when he was there in the summer.
 

black_labb

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spog said:
Okay,here's a poll. 1 your keen as mustard 2.your fkn crazy. 3.both. All that aside you are gunna a sore backside at the end ,but good on ya all the best I will check your blog to see how you are getting on. ..cheers...spog..
Thanks,

Bribie G said:
An old boss did the Trans Siberian, and it was about 42 degrees when he was there in the summer.
a week on a train would be bad enough, but a week on a train in 42*c would be hell. If I get heat like that I'm going to be standing in some river fishing naked with a beer in hand, hoping that a train goes by.
 

mckenry

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great stuff black_labb. Wherever I go, I always try to get at least a couple of days biking in. 3 weeks would be really cool.
 

Mardoo

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If you haven't watched The Long Way Round it might help you reconsider the naked fishing ;0)
 

black_labb

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mckenry said:
great stuff black_labb. Wherever I go, I always try to get at least a couple of days biking in. 3 weeks would be really cool.
3 months it is, should have some time to see quite a bit.

Mardoo said:
If you haven't watched The Long Way Round it might help you reconsider the naked fishing ;0)
I've been meaning to watch that. The road of bones is similar to what I'll be riding, just shorter and more manageable.
 

Mardoo

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black_labb said:
I've been meaning to watch that. The road of bones is similar to what I'll be riding, just shorter and more manageable.
It's a good watch. You may find the preparation episodes more interesting than I but I'm sure you'll find the road of bones bits pretty cool. Big Mosquitos!
 

Josh

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Ben Kozel went there in "Five Months in a Leaky Boat". Very interesting read.
 

srcossens

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Sounds great Black Labb. I would do the ride with you, but unfortunately I have work. I did a two week ride around Belgium, Netharlands and France a few years ago. That was to go and see the 7 Trappist breweries. I don't know how much you will be travelling each day, but make sure you get a rest day in every now and then, just to take in the sights. You're doing it a lot harder than myself as I was staying at B+B's.

I have also been to Lake Baikal on the way through to China on the train. That was mid winter though, so it was a brisk -40c!! It was pretty much, walk 1km down the road, then go in to a cafe to thaw out and start again. In Irkutsk, there is a Pilsner Urquell brew pub. They didn't have much there in the way of variety, I think all they had was normal Pilsner Urquell and a black Pilsner. My drink for the night was the black pilsner as I had had enough PU in Prague. Just watch out for dodgy people as one friend got talking outside to some shady looking characters. The bar girls got me to go and get him as they didn't trust them. They called a taxi for us as well because they didn't want us walking the neighbourhood even though we walked there.

The visa's weren't much trouble either, even when the hotel took it to authorise it or whatever they do. Ours was a tourist one though, but I would assume a business one would be the same.
 

manticle

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Good shit.

Totally reinventing your daily life experience gets A1 moral support from me. Hope it's a cracker.
 

black_labb

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Mardoo said:
It's a good watch. You may find the preparation episodes more interesting than I but I'm sure you'll find the road of bones bits pretty cool. Big Mosquitos!
I watched the prep episode the other night, am going to watch the ROB one tonight I think.


Josh said:
Ben Kozel went there in "Five Months in a Leaky Boat". Very interesting read.
Might be a book to read before I head over, good tip.

ScottC said:
Sounds great Black Labb. I would do the ride with you, but unfortunately I have work. I did a two week ride around Belgium, Netharlands and France a few years ago. That was to go and see the 7 Trappist breweries. I don't know how much you will be travelling each day, but make sure you get a rest day in every now and then, just to take in the sights. You're doing it a lot harder than myself as I was staying at B+B's.

I have also been to Lake Baikal on the way through to China on the train. That was mid winter though, so it was a brisk -40c!! It was pretty much, walk 1km down the road, then go in to a cafe to thaw out and start again. In Irkutsk, there is a Pilsner Urquell brew pub. They didn't have much there in the way of variety, I think all they had was normal Pilsner Urquell and a black Pilsner. My drink for the night was the black pilsner as I had had enough PU in Prague. Just watch out for dodgy people as one friend got talking outside to some shady looking characters. The bar girls got me to go and get him as they didn't trust them. They called a taxi for us as well because they didn't want us walking the neighbourhood even though we walked there.

The visa's weren't much trouble either, even when the hotel took it to authorise it or whatever they do. Ours was a tourist one though, but I would assume a business one would be the same.
Sounds like a pretty good trip, I rode through Belgium amongst other places a couple years ago but didn't get to many belgian breweries. I had some knee issue (didn't adjust the bike seat to the correct height when putting the bike together). I was really looking forward to rochefort and westmalle, but ended up going to Achouffe only (though it was an excellent tour).

I don't expect to get to Irkutsk, though it was my original plan. I'm heading up the east side of the lake from Ulan-Ude.

manticle said:
Good shit.

Totally reinventing your daily life experience gets A1 moral support from me. Hope it's a cracker.
Thanks. I wouldn't say reinventing my daily life, I've been doing trips like this somewhat regularly over the past few years. Only difference is this time I'm really far from anything for the whole trip, just tiny one shop towns every few days and not much else.

I won't be able to do stuff like this forever so I'm taking advantage of it while I can. I'll have to finish uni and get a serious job soon.

I picked up a pile of fishing hooks, line and a couple other bits today. I can't wait to pull my first trout or whatever out of a river and cook it for dinner over a camp fire (then have to get back on the bike and ride another km so my camp site doesn't smell like fresh fish to the bears)
 

Mardoo

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Wow, it sounds great. Talk about a few million breaths if fresh air!!! I hope it's chock full o' awesomeness. Look forward to reading your blog!

Good bike repair skills and a few key tools and parts will likely be pretty crucial. Guessing you'd have that sorted if you've been doing these for a while.
 

black_labb

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Mardoo said:
Wow, it sounds great. Talk about a few million breaths if fresh air!!! I hope it's chock full o' awesomeness. Look forward to reading your blog!

Good bike repair skills and a few key tools and parts will likely be pretty crucial. Guessing you'd have that sorted if you've been doing these for a while.
I'm pretty good with bike repair. I'm mechanically minded (studying mechanical engineering because I enjoy it), have built up a few bikes from the ground up and have even built some hubs myself when I had a lathe some years ago, but they were for a bmx bike. My main concern is bearings and how they will cope with river/puddle crossings. I'll be taking spares. Everything else should stand up fairly well, or at least as well as can be expected.

I expect to be able to write a decent blog, there shouldn't be many distractions keeping me occupied and unfortunately probably not enough good beer to prevent it from being somewhat intelligible.
 

black_labb

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Been on the road for 23 days and been really enjoying myself. Beer is a bit mediocre but that just means I have more room in my bag for things that are more necessary.

Almost had that day where I stood in the river naked with a beer it was so hot but I saved the single beer I had for later.

WWW.Crazyguyonabike.Com/bam2013
 

booargy

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Bloke why do this to me? Now I am going to have to do another trip there.
 

Clutch

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Nevermind the Russian beers, look out for the fuckin' Russian bears!
 

black_labb

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Hows this for the end to a rough as **** day on the bam. Get a gastinitsa (motel type thing) just out of town and told to lock the front door as i am alone there. A buff man comes knocking soon after and I explain I dont have he womans number but they should go to the shop as it should still be open and the woman there knows the number.

Half an hour later anoher knock. I assume it is he woman with the man so I open it. Its him but no woman. I explain again that I dont have the number and he needs to go to the shop. I notice his right hand is bleeding and he smells of vodka. I offer a bandage but he declines. He tells me to go to the shop on the bike as it is sitting in he hall. I say no and he throws a sloppy punch which was easily deflected. More discussion and another punch and a kick my direction. The punch was sloppy ande again deflected, the kick results in me grabbing his leg and pushing him off balance. I tell him to go to he shop and I guide him outside to point its direction and tell him it isnt far. He seems to calm down and I point ita direction and close and lock the door.

I go to wash his blood off me but hear some banging as he beeaks some windows where the lights are on. In the bathroom all over my clean clothes I had just washed and in he room im supposed to stay in. More knocking and then he leaves. This is getting serious.

I gather my glass littered clothes in a bucket I found and grab the top of the toilet sistern and a whole sistern I find in the corner as weapons. I have a knife but I dont want to use it, it can be used back against me quite easily. Also boil the kettle full of water.i put my bike in my room and close the doors either end putting something agqinst them so I can hear if they get into he building and if they do we her they are in the hall. I lock myself in my room prepared to not sleep. Later there is a knock at the door. Who is it I say, no reply.again no reply. Then a pretend meel voice saying something like mister mister please let me in in russian.i dont think so I said and went back to my rom locking 2 doors on the way.the banging gets louder confirming its him.there is anoher man withihim now.

I keep the kettle boiling and get my bottle of methylated spirits out and a couple lighters. If the second payne of glass to my room is broken I will pour it into the coffee cup and get prepared.It crosses my mind that I am basically preparing lethal force against someone. As an individual without the phone number to the woman running the place I have no choice.

Just when I think things are calming down I hear a long pole or similar being used to break sone more glass. I assume it is my window but I dont check for fear of being seen and making myself a target. I pour 150ml of methylated spirits into the cup and put the saucer on top. I call put that I dont want trouble and you dont want trouble. Every noise I hear I remind them that it is a problem for both of us and if aomeone comew in here only one of us will be here tomorrow. With the amount of adrenaljne pumping throuh my veins right now I qm quite serious. I make both coffees and keep the kettle hot.

Currently I am still sitting here with my metho close at hand the keytle to my left and the lid to the sistern to my right. They stoped speaking about half an hour ago but I uear footsteps occasilnally. Either they are going to sleep in the yard kn logs of wood or similar or they are planning something. Expect more updates, I wont let myself sleep until someone trustwprthy knows what has happened. Currently it is 3am. The first meeting with he guy was at 10pm
 

punkin

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Jesus, what a night.

Hope all goes well for you.

What's Russian for 000 ?
 

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