RAASIA

About : RAASIA

On August 15, I leave for Irktusk, Russia and will ride through eastern Russia, then south through Ulan Bataar to the border with China. 1,060 miles in 15 days of riding and resting, two thirds of it on unpaved roads, only four or five nights in hotels with internet service.

9/2 – Gobi 5: Zaymn-Uud 46m/74m** END OF RIDE

Gobi 5 Zamyn-Uud Wednesday, September 2, 2009 46m/74m** 1,010 miles down, about 50 to go – it’s hard to tell exactly how far when you’re in the middle of the desert without references.  Lisa decides she wants to ride the last day with me, charges up with coffee and such at the breakfast table, and

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9/1 – Gobi 4 87m/140k**

Gobi 4 Tuesday, September 1, 2009 87m/140k   No breakfast at the ‘hotel’ in the depopulating but still proud town of Sainshand (pop. 19,500) .  While the team regrouped, I stuffed my face with nuts, Gummi Bears, a warm yogurt and an apple, and headed out of town. The mountain bike got so battered yesterday

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8/31 – Gobi 3: Sainshand 91m/146k**

Sainshand, Mongolia (Gobi 3) Monday, August 31, 2009 91m/146k **    Note 1:  Thanks for the all the comments and good wishes, they help   Note 2:  I’m going to do a consolidated “Riders Notes” at the end of the trip, so no more daily details at this point. Today was a day of flat

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8/30 – Gobi 2 95m/153k**

Gobi Desert 2 Sunday, August 30, 2009 95m/153k   Riding in Russia a week ago, I’d wake up to 45f temperatures and ride through the morning as the temperature rose to about 70f.  Now we wake up to 70f, and the sun beats down until it goes up to 85-90f.  It’s much more comfortable in

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8/29 – Gobi Desert 1 97m/156k***

Gobi Desert 1 Saturday, August 26, 2009 97m/156k   13.2 avg mph Just spent 2 days in Ulan Baatar, and will comment on it in a later posting.  Right now, it’s back to the ride.  Lisa’s here!  New energy, new dynamics.  We even rented her a MTB so she could ride along.  The team now

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8/26 – Ulan Bataar 104m/167k***

Ulan Baatar! Wednesday, August 26, 2009 104m/167k Mongolia was controlled by Russia from 1921 until 1990, when a mostly peaceful, popular uprising overthrew the crony government and true democracy was established.  It took them a few years to get there bearings, but Mongolia has been urbanizing and westernizing quickly.  Ulan Baatar celebrated it’s one millionth

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8/25 – Darkhan 84.5m/136k**

Darkhan Tuesday, August 25, 2009 84.5m/136k       Rider’s Notes Follow People from Mongolia have burst out of this land and taken over most of the world three times.  In the later centuries of the first millennia AD, the Huns (think Attila) conquered everything between here and the Rhine river in Germany.  Then starting

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8/24 – Into Mongolida (Sukhbaatar) 76m/122k**

Into Mongolia Monday, August 24, 2009 76m/122k Alexsey and I left Hotel Druzhba in Kyakhta, and backtracked 36m to where we ended the day before.  He got his tea, while I regrouped for the day’s ride. Then it was into the woods with the 3rd biggest climb of the trip back to Kyakhta.  A little

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8/23 – Ulan Ude to Gusinonzersk 94m/151k**

Ulan Ude to past Gusinonzersk Sunday, August 23, 2009 94m/151k A day of faith…     (small note:  the distances indicated for each day are what I rode.  The towns are those closest.  Given the camping, stop points are semi-random.) In the Historical Museum at Ulan Ude yesterday, the last room the guided me to

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8/22 – Ulan Ude Tour

Touring Ulan Ude Saturday, August 22, 2009 0m/0k Ulan Ude is the cleanest town or city I’ve seen in Russia, and I’ve been through at least 15 of them.  At first I couldn’t figure it out – why this place seemed so much nicer than other places in Russia.  Then I saw a team of

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8/21 – Babushkin to Ulan Ude 99m/160k**

Babushkin- Ulan Ude Bike Ride Friday, August 21, 2009 99 miles = 72 ridden + 28 in a car = 160k Rider’s notes follow the narrative. After an exceptional start, this did not turn out to be a good day.  Here’s why: Yep, that’s the frame of my Trek 520, broken.  Details follow, but for

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8/20 – Slyudyanka – Babushkin 106m/171k **

Slyudyanka – Babushkin Bike Ride Thursday August 20, 2009 106 miles, 13.4 mph average       Rider’s notes follow the narrative. This is what a sunrise looks over Lake Baikal from my tent this morning. It’s pretty darn cold.  45 degrees.  You can see your breath.  Alexsey warms last night’s chicken and rice, and

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8/19 – Irkutsk to Sludyanka 78m/125k**

Irktusk to Slyudyanka Bike Ride Wednesday August 19, 2009 78.9 miles, 12.6 mph average speed           Riders notes follow the narrative. Aaahhh… it’s good to be getting out on the road again, even with the difficulties of language, roads, accommodations….. It’s 47 degrees and misty at 7am as I leave Hotel

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8/18 – Lake Baikal

As you may know, Lake Baikal is the oldest (25 million years+), deepest (5,390 ft), and largest freshwater lake in the world by volume. Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world.  It contains over 20% of the freshwater

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8/17 – Touring Irkutsk

After 2 nights on a plane, I went to sleep at 8am in a bed at the Victory Hotel in Irkutsk.  Set the alarm for 10.  Alexsey picked me up at 10:30 and we headed off to a bike shop to get my bike reassembled. Alesey will by my driver and ‘guide’ for the next

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8/15 – Travel to Irkutsk

Saturday, 15 AUG, 3:00pm:  Lisa and my sister Susie saw me off at Charlotte Douglas airport. 17 hours later, via Paris, I arrive in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.  They scanned us all for ‘sickness’ with some sort of wireless ip cameras before they would let us off the plane.  Here’s me getting scanned. The flight was

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Intro: RAASIA, Part II of III

Travel Dates: August 15 – September 4, 2009 Riding Dates:  August 17 – September 3, 2009 Countries:  Eastern Russia, Mongolia Highlights:  Irkutsk, Lake Baikal, Ulan Baatar, Gobi Desert             Section II = 1,707k / 1,060m in 15 days             2 break days – half on

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