Samara, Russia to Moscow, Russia – Day 38

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Monday, 3 September, 2012  Samara, Russia to Moscow, Russia (750 miles) Total Trip Miles – 11,010. 14.5 hrs hours riding

Weather Temperature mostly sunny in the mid 60’s with a mix of sun & clouds with some brief rain showers.

After loading up my bike, the Europa Hotel in Samara served up a nice breakfast included in the rate, which is typical for most hotels in Russia – a ham & cheese omelet, coffee, orange juice along with a an assorted meat tray & yogurt.  They were running a bit behind so I ended up getting a later started than anticipated, but starting my day with a good meal has become more & more essential given the long hours on the bike.

Getting out of Samara at 8:30 am took about 45 minutes due to morning traffic and the fact that I had to cross town to get back on the highway.

I only wish the photo above was of a Moscow street!…It’s actually one I took from my apartment window in Novosibirsk.  I had often imagined getting my photo taken on the bike at Red Square; however, this would need to postponed for a later time.  Since having the mechanical delays, I could only get to the outskirts of the city on this day – I talked with several folks that said weekday traffic in downtown Moscow was a problem.

To assure I could make the border crossing the following day at Latvia, I decided to get on Moscow’s outer highway loop around the city to end up on the west side of the city and better poised to make a run for the border the following morning.  Keep in mind it was dark and the highway was nothing more than a 2-lane state road in the US with heavy truck traffic.

With time approaching 11 pm, I decided to look for a hotel to stay the night in the Obinsk area and was unable to find one that I didn’t have to drive a distance.  Well, since I am fully self-contained and decided to pull out the sleeping bag and camp next to the bike at a 24 hours fueling station – sounded like a logical choice.  Ended up sleeping between the bike and curb and with all the trucks, lights and the like I suspect my sleep was something less than optimal, but hey, I as tired from the days ride and it felt quite refreshing to me.  After about 5 hours of sleep, i was awakened by the light taps of rain – that was my wake up call and before daylight I was up and on the road towards the Latvian border.

If you would like to make a donation to give all kids diagnosed with cancer a better chance at living the full life they deserve, please visit Rally Foundation & Rally Around the World or Text “RALLY” to 85944 to give $10 to WIN the fight against childhood cancer. Send this message to 10 of your friends…Be a RALLY 10 to WIN!

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Chelyabinsk, Russia to Samara, Russia – Day 37

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Sunday, 2 September, 2012  Chelyabinsk, Russia to Samara, Russia (566 miles) Total Trip Miles – 10,260. 14.5 hrs hours riding

Weather Temperature mostly sunny in the upper 40’s with rain & high winds the entire day…by far the worst weather day on the trip so far!!

Like yesterday was one of the better riding days relating to weather…today turned out to be the worst to date on this trip…As I left the hotel in Chelyabinsk, that was absolutely fabulous, it started to rain with temps in upper 40’s…no big deal except the rain and temps continued for the entire day including heavy winds that blew constantly out of the north often making it a challenge to maintain control of the bike.  I truly believe I shivered the entire day and the tension in my back and neck muscles was terribly uncomfortable.  I found myself stopping along the roadside to warm my hands & gloves with the bike exhaust.

The weather also made the roads treacherous for travels and speeds were reduced significantly making progress slow…I continue to be amazed at the number of huge trucks that run these small, two lane roads day to day given these conditions…I suspect the winter months bring even more difficult challenges.

This next section may be too much information but it is one of the realities of cycling across Siberian considering I’m spending something north of 12 hrs a day on the bike.  For the entire trip I have been using Gold Bond powder, but after today, I reached into my bag of tricks and went for the heavy artillery – Baby Anti Monkey Butt Powder…a secret Dave Rose and others has commented about prior to me leaving.  Being wet yesterday for about 14 hrs, it was just time – a fella can’t afford to have issues in those areas!!

If you would like to make a donation to give all kids diagnosed with cancer a better chance at living the full life they deserve, please visit Rally Foundation & Rally Around the World or Text “RALLY” to 85944 to give $10 to WIN the fight against childhood cancer. Send this message to 10 of your friends…Be a RALLY 10 to WIN!