Wednesday – Friday, 29 – 31 August 2012 Novosibirsk, Russia to Omsk, Russia (440 miles) Total Trip Miles – 9066. 8.5 hrs hours riding
Weather Temperature mostly sunny in the upper 60′s for the period with little or no rain fall.
Been a crazy last couple of days but I finally made it to Omsk this evening from Novosibirsk. Wednesday started out like most of my Rally mornings except this day changed the entire flow with such a seemingly minor event.
While at my fuel stop just outside of Novosibirsk, I rolled my bike up on the center kick stand only to have it turn over in the parking lot breaking both the clutch lever and adjustment ferrule making it impossible to ride.
After some thought and not having a clue as to where I might get parts, I turned to my contact list provided by Max Karnarsky, president & CEO of Multi-Radiance – the list included biker club contacts across Russia. Max works in the healthcare business like me and was born in Belarus and after coming to the US many years ago, has remained in contact with many folks in that part of the world.
I reached to Kirill in Novosibirsk with the Siberian Bears and he and a friend, Andre, drove out 40 miles within the hour with a trailer to load the bike and return to their body shop…Let the hunt for parts begin!
Before I go there, Kirill also provided me with the keys to a 7th floor apartment in downtown Novosibirsk as my place to stay…newly renovated it was the perfect spot and belonged to his friend, Vitaliy, a member if the Siberian Bears in Omsk. I was wondering to myself why Kirill provided me with the apartment so early and it wasn’t long after I realized why…
As an aside, the reason for no blog updates is I had no web access….
There are no Suzuki dealers in Novosibirsk and very few dealers of motorcycles for that matter…we spent one and a half days visiting bike shop after bike shop trying to come up with a replacement parts solution and as as luck would have it, the last place came up with a used part match that would work.
Both Kirill and bis wife Mikasha were wonderful hosts treating me to breakfast, lunch & dinners and hauling me around town in my parts quest.
Friday morning I was up early, loaded the bike and was off for Omsk at about 10:30 after saying our goodbyes….Kirill even lead me our of the city on his pearl white Honda Gold Wing.
Before leaving, Kirill also gave me the contact information of his fellow club member, Vitaliy, who I was to call as I entered Omsk. After making my call to him, Vitaliy asked me to wait along the roadside and he’d come out to escort me back to town and their clubhouse. Imagine for yourself a black, late model Honda Gold Wing with Russian rock blasting from the sound system with a small-framed man wearing black and a Harley, German-style helmet on this massive machine. While riding through town I could even hear his music from several hundred yards back…believe me – every person we passed turned their grassy to see what just went by!…an incredible sight.
As I mentioned, this has been a crazy week and my luck was going to continue when my bike finally dropped the main drive chain as we worked our way through the streets of Omsk…are you really kidding me! I was able to get the chain back into place and we continued over to the Bears clubhouse where Vitaliy and his friends immediately jumped into action to find a replacement….within the hour I had a new replacement part in hand and with their help and the help of Roland at Cool Springs Motorsports over the phone back in Nashville for some technical advice, and some technical help, I was back in business.
We left our bikes at the clubhouse and took a taxi to Vitaliy’s house to also celebrate his birthday with is family and friends…a very nice ending to such a crazy week.
Over the last couple of days I must also recognize the overwhelming acts of selflessness of the Russian biker community that was extended to me…without them, my situation would have been dismal at best….there is such a huge comfort knowing that in a spot far, far from home there are folks like these you can count on!
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