Ukrainian Holidays. Part 2

Almost every day I set my watch forward. I was moving through time zones to the East. There are 11 time zones in Russia, but as I passed them gradually, so I didn’t feel acclimatization and discomfort. By the way, did you know that China is situated in 4 time zones, but the time everywhere is set like in the capital – Beijing.DSC066871 300x225 Ukrainian Holidays. Part 2

We left Omsk and continued our way to the capital of Siberia – Novosibirsk!

The road was perfect, quality of asphalt was very good, the nature around was amazing! But there is one small problem: there is no real enthusiasm to describe the roads of such kind. You ride, sometimes fill in the fuel, eat, think a lot. It’s really boring… and you catch yourself on the thought that you want this good asphalt to finish in the nearest future… But it looked like it would never finish. I was glad that ahead would be the rode Chita – Khabarovsk. I wished to be there as soon as possible…DSC0669912 Ukrainian Holidays. Part 2

There was a clock on the Afrika and it was 1 a.m. when we reached Novosibirsk. The city itself is very huge and beautiful!!! Skif said he had a friend at whom we might stop for the night. We decided to go to him. The only problem he didn’t pick up the phone and Skif knew the road not very good… We were riding around Novosibirsk for 3 hours and at last found the right address. We stopped at the gates of his house and heard the music, saw the lights switched on – looked like home party. We knocked the door but nobody answered. We knocked for more than half an hour, but no result… No dogs, no hosts. It was already morning and we decided to climb over fence. We opened the gate, parked the bikes but nobody noticed it. We decided to stay on the porch. I fell asleep immediately. Late morning we were woken up by the host – this was really a surprise for him! He was very glad to see us as all the motorcycle tourists are very friendly to each other. He just left the house for several minutes and was held by someone where he was invitedJ.

We woke up at 2 p.m. and decided it would be difficult to reach Krasnoyarsk in one day. So, it was decided to go to Kemerovo. Sashka called Igor Shem to notify him about our visit. The contacts were gathered when Ashot rode to Vladivostok in 2007 and Skif to the Baikal Lake in 2005, so that’s why we met lots of people in the big cities.

At the time when Ashot and Sashka gathered their things I dried my clothes and even washed the boots – the first time during the whole trip! They became so brightly white that I considered them to be too stale, not by Fen-Shui: the bike was grey, but the boots were white… Fucking aestheteJ. We started after lunch. The road was just the same as from Omsk to Novosibirsk. So we rode, took pics, Ashot tested the camera on his helmet, I was thinking a lot. 300 km passed not noticed at all. Several times we stopped to check the map and GPS for us not to lose the right direction.DSC067061 300x225 Ukrainian Holidays. Part 2

(In the road do not neglect the old style source of info – usual map. If you even have the best program in your GPS navigator, nevertheless the map will stay No.1 in routing. Also don’t forget about compass)

Igor Shem started already to meet us – we received a call from him. We met, bought some products (mostly beerJ) and went to Shem’s summer house. This was not usual summer house – this was a masterpiece! His Dad was a master in wood carving, a fanatic one. It was just enough for him to take the tools and a piece of wood and he would make one more masterpiece – the same as we did with our bikes before the trip! It looked like a fairy-tale izba!!!DSC067351 300x225 Ukrainian Holidays. Part 2

The bath was ready, his Mom laid the table and cut the pig fat. It appeared so that in Siberia the pig fat is also very popular. We tried different tasty dishes, washed in the bath, drank cold beer, chat under the stars and I fell asleep. But the guys waited for one more crazy biker, who returned from the route Irkutsk – Moscow – Irkutsk. Why was he crazy? AS he rode Honda Gold Wing!!!J He came late at night when I watched the dream in Yekaterinburg.

In the morning everybody of us felt not good themselves. Warm fish-soup and pig fat returned good feeling to us. But I had no a real wish to continue the trip today, didn’t know why… I liked Shem’s very much! His Mom was a very positive lady, she had a very sensitive sense of humor and she was so kind! Sometimes it happened when you didn’t want to start, very rear but sometimes. That was that day. And you must understand when was the first such a dayJ The guys were ready and I still was walking around to find the place where to put my phone charger. Usually 3 people don’t wait for the one, but I was awaitedJ, but not so much. If it is needed I may gather very quickly! We said good-bye to the hosts and continued our route. Pet’ka started ahead as he was engaged in the organization process of moto session on the Lake Baikal where we were already invited. But we were not in a hurry as we were the touristsJ.

It was Krasnoyarsk today in the evening according to our schedule and we were awaited there by Uncle Kolya, with whom I got acquainted in 2005. The road Kemerovo – Krasnoyarsk was good, a little more cities and villages. Kemerovo is like Donetsk in Ukraine – the miners’ city with lots of satellite towns. We have Donbas, they have Kuzbas.DSC067591 300x225 Ukrainian Holidays. Part 2

I noticed one peculiarity, not so good. The weather was fine, I rode the bike and would have thousands of km ahead, I listened to the music in my helmet, someone awaited for me and I even knew where… But the mood became bad, the head became full of terrible thoughts and it was impossible to throw them away. At that moment I thought: what were the feelings of a man if he suddenly cut into the coming from the opposite direction car? And what would be further?… Crazy me and crazy my thoughts… RESET!!!

We rode rather fast that day. The guys had the back sprockets with 45 teeth and I had 46, so I should start my engine more. They used to ride with the speed 130 – 140 km/h, but I like 110 km/h. I tried not to be lost, but sometimes they await for me and when I reached them they shouted: Could you ride faster?! Don’t remain behind! But I didn’t have time to answer as they started ahead, so I told myself: we were not going to have this trip together! If you don’t like my way of riding – start ahead without me. But at the next stop I forgot that was angry – easy-goerJ. And again they became almost my relatives, who had the age for both about 100 years. Moto-dinosaurs! J

We reached Krasnoyarsk in the evening. Uncle Kolya already waited for us. He was very positive and kind big Man.

- Follow me! – he commanded.

- Yes Sir! – we answered and went to his cottage house. I was more than a lucky one – almost 200 meters from his house my adhesion rope snapped. I didn’t even worry by several reasons and one of them was that I repaired it already and might d it again without any problems. Uncle Kolya’s wife already prepared the best dinner and we didn’t leave the table till I started to fall asleep in the armchair. The guys sang songs accompanying by the guitar, Ashot told funny stories and Uncle Kolya bred us. I was on my way to Yekaterinburg… in my dream.

The next day we spent very fruitfully and funny. We visited service station where my adhesion rope – Uncle Kolya insisted! According to the schedule we had a sightseeing around the city. Unfortunately there was no the Man with whom we planned to get acquainted, but his Son met with us and showed what his Dad was interested in. This was the museum of old techniques which Dad and Son repair for al most 10 years. Tow of the exhibits were sidecar bikes Zundapp and BMW with full of integrations. Moreover all the motorcycles were functional!

In the evening we planned to visit bath and kebab and we really did!!!DSC067511 300x225 Ukrainian Holidays. Part 2

One small story from Uncle Kolya. Once the guests from Belgium came to him and they told him their story. A couple of years ago one tourist was on his way to Vladivostok. On his way he met the same crazy moto-tourists. He visited moto-session in some city and got acquainted with the girl there. He continued his way in 2 days have a photo of that girl. Now they are married and live in Belgium but think about the returning to Russia – it’s more interesting and funny here! I’ve never been to Belgium, but may confirm that this is not boring to live here!

In the morning we shook the hand of Uncle Kolya and continued our way to Irkutsk..

Asphalt. Gas-stations. Music in the helmet. Thoughts about parents who were worrying about me.

After lunch the mood was made worse. I decided to change leading sprocket with which I started from Kiev. The new set sprockets+chain I had with me but I decided to install it only when the old one would die completely. I also took with me a spare sprocket – Zhenya Ash gave it to me in Kiev. It was a little used but it should be enough for me to reach Khabarovsk. And that meant that I prolong the life of my new set. At the time when the guys went to the café I unplugged the old sprocket, but couldn’t understand why that one was not suitable for my bike. The one which Ash gave me was from Transalp 650, but when I compared them it appeared that planting slots were a little different. Shit! So I installed the old one back and decided to think about where to find it in Irkutsk and if no, so I’d have nothing to do but to install the new set. In the time when “I had sex” with the sprockets the guys finished their lunch, but they didn’t bring me anything to eat and were ready to continue the way. No problems! I had some special food with me!DSC067811 300x225 Ukrainian Holidays. Part 2

(You should have some nutritious food staff which will never spoil on the sun or any other weather. As for me I had pig fat and meat dried by special recipe of my Dad. It is also good to have black chocolate and sugar candies

I cut the dried meat and put it in the small bag on the handle bar, prepared the water pouring it out of big canister to the small plastic bottle and installed it on the tank bag (I recommend to take in such trips hydrator – this is a special capacity for water as a rucksack on the back and which is not warmed by the sun as it is in the special pack made of foil. There is a long tube connected to the hydrator and you may drink water without stops – I didn’t have it unfortunately…). So I had lunch on my way, it was very nutritious, I listened to the music. Looked like I was in the kitchen at home!J

The first part of the road without asphalt started. There were not so long roads of such kind was but they appeared very often. Dust in the air, the equip became grey in the first 10 km. I remembered our training with Vozyk on the roads of such kind and now I await for the guys. They rode not fast, riding around every pit and hole, but I chose the different tactic – faster you ride, so less you feel the unperfect road. I had the speed about 100 – 110 km/h, was standing on my legs and put my body a little back.

During one of the stops I asked Skif to charge my old Nokia as my charger died. We had some rest and continued the way. We met with guys from South Africa driving Jeep around the World. I aked them:

- Where are you from?

- We’re from South Africa.

- You came from Africa and I’m on AfricaJDSC067881 300x225 Ukrainian Holidays. Part 2

We laughed, chatted, gave each other our contacts and continued our ways. It was very pleasant to meet people with the same disease – our disease of the road!

In 100 km I decided to sms to my relatives, but couldn’t find my Nokia! Nowhere!!! The guys stopped and we started to think together where it could be – I already had the same situation. Checked the pockets – they were empty. And suddenly we remembered that I put it to charge at Skif’s bike. But the charger was there without the phone… The first thought was to call from the phone of Ashot to check where it could be. The outgoing ring worked, but we didn’t hear anything. So, there would not be a magic – I lost it. I didn’t want to return, moreover it would difficult to find it in the grass… but I had sms messages from Malinka there and my relatives would call to that phone… Fuck!!! .

We reached the village Tulun. Sashka and Ashot proposed to take the hotel room but I didn’t expect such expenses. We decided that I would sleep on the floor in their room. And at that very moment we received sms message from Ashot Salvador: “Zhenya Lesnik from Vladivostok perished. Burial will be on Monday”. We were shocked… Zhenya was our friend, I met exactly him at moto session Tarasova Gora in 2006 in Ukraine and I rode exactly to him in Vladivostok… why did it happen?… God, save his soul…

It became a little colder, probably it was rain somewhere. I hoped to see Baikal that day. It took us not so much time to reach Irkutsk from Tulun and after lunch we were met by guys from moto-session “Baykal Bank 2009”. There were lots of people there. All the party was held on the bank of the river Angara – the only outlet river from the lake Baikal. All the other 300 rivers are filling Baikal. We decided to settle in the hotel was not interesting, so we put our tents on the territory of the camp. I got acquainted with the biker Dmitriy Petrukhin – mototourist from Kazakhstan riding his BMW 1200LT – he rode this bike through more than 60 countries. He was very positive Man and we spent the whole evening together. We were presented the gifts from the organizers of that motosession as the guests came from far away. I was presented a tube with lubricant for chain. They didn’t know that I had an automatic lubricator on my Africa, but I didn’t refuse to take that tube and as a result it helpful in the road, not for me. We got acquainted with the guys from Ulan-Ude and Irkutsk. All of them were funny and positive. We rode Petrukhin’s BMW, swam in Angara with the temperature no more than 15’C.

The morning came too early. Petrukhin rode to Nakhodka, where we planned to meet again. He would go to Chita by bike and than by train – his bike didn’t like off-road. We were invited to the summer cottage of Petr from Irkutsk – it was right on the bank of Baikal. At last I would see it!!! On the map it looked like Irkutsk was on the bank of Baikal, but it was not so – it took to reach that lake about 60 km. We gathered and left the territory of the camp.

We decided with Petr that we’d meet on the road to Irkutsk. Garmin led us directly where we planned to go. I was again satisfied by this device in the big unknown cities like Irkutsk. If someone played Need for speed Underground game – you just follow the direction in your navigator to your next mission. The only thing – there were bonuses for those who rode close to the cars. In the usual life that was not accepted unfortunately. At that moment I thought I had lots of friends who play computer games on-line and noticed if the one in his life is shitter in some time his Avatar will become the same, nevertheless from the very beginning he is so positive. He becomes like his owner – a reflection of him. And to tell the truth I don’t really understand such guys which spoil their life playing virtual games, create their hero, try to conquer the World virtually. But it happens like in the real life – he doesn’t have friends in the real and virtual lives, he runs alone in his virtual world… the same like in the real world. It’s a pitty such people still exist. Poor they are. But everybody chooses his life himself…

We were waiting for Petr and one car stopped and several guys left it. I noticed one whose appearance was very known – it was Roman Martynyuk! Such a meeting! He and his friend went to Magadan by their 250 cc bikes where were no people, no roads but there was smth real. Roman is a professional and I was envious of him a little. He tried such roads that we just dream of. He was very interesting and positive guy! By the way in spring 2009 when he looked for the fellow traveler to his trip we almost decided to go there together, but I had AfricaTwin and it was needed to have light enduro bike to his trip and we decided to go our own roads. We took a picture to remember this moment, Petr came and we started to his summer cottage on Baikal.

In 20 km I noticed the blue surface of Baikal. The feelings were sharpened, I felt the smell of trees, stones, air and water. It was not a surprise why the shamans of those times decided to settle exactly on Baikal. Omul – this was the fish which I dreamt to eat for a long time. This fish lives only in the lake Baikal. I dreamt days and nights how I eat this fish with cold beer! Be careful with dreams – they are fulfilled!!!J We entered the bazaar with souvenirs and fish – the same as we have on the Southern bank of the Black Sea in the Crimea. The same as it was in the Crimea – on the one side the blue surface of water and on the other side – bazaars, café, hotels. The only difference – there were no beech guys with naked asses as the water in the lake no more than 11’C in summer. I entered the fish bazaar and lost my mind… My favorite dish is fish and there was Omul for almost free and in the amount which was hard to understand… cooked differently. I amd writing right now and remember the feelings slaver flowJ. We bought fish and beer and continued the trip to Petr’s summer cottage. Bath and dinner awaited traditionally us there – as usually in Russia. We drank home-made vodka of cedar nuts – very delicious and useful. Petr’s father was a priest. Not far from the summer cottage there was a church where we went to be blessed by his father. I bought the icon which I installed to my bike. I always answered when I was asked: Did you travel alone? – No, there are three of us: me, Africa and God. On the road back there were four of usJ.

We slept like kids after bath and dinner. We woke up only at 11 a.m. That was the last day of our trip together with Sashka and Ashot. It was a feeling of sadness. One thing to say goodbye to your friends somewhere close to Kiev or in the Crimea and there was 7000 km together and further the road alone. I actually planned my trip alone but nevertheless I felt not so good myself, moreover Ashot frightened me by bears and his recommendations to return back till it was too late. But I tried not to hear the voice of older friends. That was not right, but that was me.DSC068381 Ukrainian Holidays. Part 2

I still didn’t decide the question with sprockets. We went to Irkutsk to service station and looked for the sprockets for AfricaTwin, but there were no any. I decided to throw away the old set and put the new one – DID X-ring Gold edition. Beautiful!!! So I had 16 – 45 teeth from that time. The standard speed would become faster to 120 km/h. That was when the arms of speedometer and tachometer were almost on the same level. I named it cruising speed. That was Fen-Shui. That was the word-parasite. Nobody complained and it was useful for me to have this wordJ.

(I insist to buy the best set chain+sprockets when you start for a long trip. I didn’t find smth better than DID. In general it is in service for about 40 – 50 thousands km in case you service it in time. The sprockets actually may be of any kind, but not aluminium. In general you’ll use one chain, one back sprocket and two front sprockets in 40 – 50 thsnds km. So, it is logical to buy one more additional front sprocket with the usual set. As for servise for the chain – it is very simple. You should find half a liter of diesel and a brush. And the lubricant. If you have an automatic lubricator, so you have it and if no – a tube with lubricant. Lets learn the first and than the second variant. If you have an automatic lubricator you wash the chain much rear, you just fill in the oil into the lubricator approx once per one thousand km. A drop of oil falls on the chain and there is no need to re-lubricate it and you may wash it once per 4 -5 thousands km. If you use usual tube with lubricant, so you should wash it more often.

To wash the chain you should hinge the rear wheel on the central stand or anything else, dip the brush into diesel and wash every roller and gland from dirt. After it will be ideal if you use compressor with water. If no central stand and water it will be difficult to fulfill the cleaning process and it will be rather dangerous. If you have it – you just start the engine for a 1st gear for a couple of minutes and all the rests will fall down from the chain. If you have an automatic lubricator – scot oiler – no problems, you just check whether it works. If you don’t have it, so you use the tube with lubricant: you should drift on the inside part of the chain the lubricant oil, turn the wheel and repeat the operation on the next part of the chain till you lubricate the whole chain. You should wait for about 15 minutes before start. With scot oiler you start immediately you finished washing process of the chain. Choose yourself )

We left Irkutsk – that was the last day with the guys. There were 650 km ahead to Ulan-Ude. Boris Grebenshchikov sang in the helmet “Cannot remove my eyes from you”. Garmin was in the regime of slide-show – me and Malinka were together all the road and that was beautiful!!! To be continued

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