A great riding day
|Travel From||–||Moscow, Russia|
|Ending Location||–||Vladimir, Russia|
|Miles Driven Today||–||164 Miles|
|Total Trip Mileage||–||5377 Miles|
|Countries visited Today||–|
|Countries visited on trip||US, Canada, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Estonia, Russia|
We departed Moscow at 9:00 AM sharp. At first, traffic was manageable, but it quickly became heavy, followed by a lull, where we were sailing along, about 15 miles from our hotel, and I began to think that Moscow traffic was behind us. And then, we hit it. A massive traffic jam, many miles long, and we were prone to follow the traffic laws, and ride in our lane, changing lanes when appropriate, or even inappropriate, but still legal And then…
A group of about 20 motorcycles, perhaps more came upon us from behind. They were lane splitting, and few of them had big bikes with luggage, so they were a bit more nimble, but we let them by without delay. The last rider in line, stopped in the split lane, just in front of us, and waved for us to join him, and his comrades in lane splitting. Mike was initially apprehensive, but then we did it, and it went very well, with most cars behaving and letting us by. Eventually, our big bikes and our more conservative riding style caused us to drop back into line, and to simply ride it out. By this point, we suspect that the van was at least a mile behind us, maybe more.
YouTube and video rendering
It seems that, in this hotel I’m having a great deal of difficulty uploading my videos to YouTube. The built-in capabilities of Adobe Elements will not work at all. So, when I used to be able to press a button, and let Adobe render the video, upload it, and validate it, I’m no longer able to do that, at least in this hotel.
So, I’ve had to resort to uploading the video directly to YouTube, and then to let YouTube make whatever changes are necessary, in order to complete the process. As a result, it might be more and more difficult to upload videos, but I’ll continue to try.
In addition, each time I edit or create a post, I use a series of plug-ins, which work like magic, with API calls, and rich functionality happening out of my field of view. As such, each time I attempt to use one of these features, it’s never clear whether the feature may be “temporarily inoperative” or functioning properly. So, each day will be a test of sorts.
The coffee shop
After the traffic jam, we stopped at was described as a coffee shop, but it was hard to see how this was a coffee shop, except that they sold coffee. It was a big log cabin, with drapes that were old and dreary, but it had a full compliment of LED Xmas lights, hanging from the ceiling, and also LED pinpoint lasers, pointing in all directions. So, each one of us looked like a scene from a Bruce Willis movie, with red and green dots on our foreheads, arms, faces, etc. As it turns out, we were not shot at from behind the coffee blind, and the coffee was quite nice. Phil paid for all of us, but for a moment it seemed like the proprietors were accepting payment from anyone that wanted to pay, but we were wrong. They turned away everyone, after receiving Phil’s cash.
We rode along for a couple of hours, and then at about 11:45 AM, we turned left, down a dirt road. We traveled only 100 yards, and Mike turned us around, and he stopped. I thought this was odd, but all of the sudden, he points to the left, and we find an old Soviet missile, mounted on a stand, sitting there, along this dirt road, in the middle of nowhere.
The three pros
But, while were at this stop, we came upon 3 guys, who were obviously bikers, and who were excited to see our bikes. We talked with them, and one of them convinced me to let him take my bike for a spin. So, I gave him the keys, and let him have a little fun. He took my bike into a dirt parking lot, and started sliding the rear wheel, doing wheelies, and he even did a one-handed wheelie, which is really tough to do on a GS. I mean, this thing weighs 700 pounds when loaded. Another brief chat, and it became clear that they wanted to join the tour, so Marc chatted with them, and then set out to see if he could secure some additional hotel rooms for these three madmen. Of course, I wanted to film them, so I did a quick interview with them. Here’s what they had to say…
Report from the road
Here’s today’s report from the road
We arrived at the hotel at about 5:45 or so. Check-in was quick, but as usual for Russia, they took our passports for about 30 minutes or so, in order to make copies of the Visa page, the immigration document, and who knows what else. But, in Russia, we don’t get to make demands, we simply turn over our passports, and get them back in an hour or so, or maybe even the next morning.
Tonight’s dinner was at a local restaurant, run by an Azerbaijani guy named David. He is from Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The dinner mostly consisted of grilled meats, such as Lamb, Chicken, Pork, etc. It was all quite delicious, and I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that had a few rounds of Russian Vodka.
What will tomorrow bring?
Tomorrow we’re scheduled to ride about 200 miles to Nishni Novgorod. The ride will take us due East, but we’ll dip South, avoiding the M7 motorway, hopefully having a little fun on some of the more technically challenging roads.
Although we’re only scheduled to ride for 200 miles, we’ve been warned that we will not arrive before 5PM, so I suspect that the roads might be challenging, or that we can expect delays, or perhaps the guides have something else in store for us.
Your rapport with the kids is great. I think it may have something to do with you being a big kid.
Really enjoying the blog.
Hey Alex, you’ve figured me out. Yes, I’m really just a really big kid, and they love the bike as much as I do.