We've had a few cracking updates from the ice roads and frozen rivers of Siberia and despite the blistering cold of a winter worse than usual the teams seem to be having a bloody good time. You can certainly tell it's cold mind, whether it's too cold to text or too cold to keep mobile phone batteries alive, a few teams are managing no updates at all and other such as Snow Worries only braved the windchill for updates of about this length "Try not to die :)" - 04:15 - 19/02/13
Here are the best of the updates live from the ice roads of Siberia so far:
A View to a Chill
Our feet are suffering the worst, you just cannot warm them up. But sometimes the rest of you is sweating when you have to kick the bike about 100 times to get it going, then you breath heavy and your balaclava freezes and your goggles mist up and then that freezes, so you have to take it all off and start again!
Met another great local and went out for a meal and some drinks. He was supposed to take us shooting this morning but hasn't turned up so we're gonna hit the road. To be fair he was throwing up last night after drinking a bottle of cognac so I'm sure he's tucked up in bed. We've now got about 400km to go 'till Salekhard...
05:24 - 19/02/13
We arrived in town to a police blockade who were very nice but insisted that we went to the station and then to a hotel of their recommendation (which happened to be right next door to the station). They weren't keen on us going to explore town but we went anyway and then noticed a shady looking character following us all night! We managed to meet a really nice local guy who took us out for some drinks and had a blast anyway! The police have said they'll give us an escort out of town tomorrow and it seems like they're just trying to get us out of their jurisdiction ASAP, whether its for our good or theirs we don't know! There's a couple of minor things with the bikes we'd like to have sorted but due to the police 'escort' we haven't been able to. Hopefully we'll sort things on the road and the zimniks will be fun to the finish line. Famous last words?? Time will tell...
09:11 - 16/02/13
The talk of the town is the meteorite that struck yesterday. We actually saw it scream across the sky in a yellow/orange flash and then heard a series of what sounded like sonic booms. Turns out it impacted only a few hundred KMs from where we were! Crazy shit!!
02:33 - 16/02/13
Baldrick seized his engine, and I mean completely locked up solid! After managing to tow the bike to the nearest town and getting nowhere fast trying to communicate with mechanics, we bumped into one of the other teams who were getting their bike fixed after flipping it. Luckily one of them speaks russian and so with Zaya translating, many cigarettes smoked, chins scratched, phone calls made and 10,000 roubles leaving our pockets work finally began on fixing the bike at 9pm. The next day at 6:30am it was driven back to us by the mechanic who had worked through the night and cobbled together one working engine from ours and one he had lying around the workshop. It's loose as a goose and uses about as much oil as it does fuel but its so far held together for a good day of 350km! All the bikes have been eating spark plugs for fun but Ben and Arran's bike holds the record so far of only managing 30 metres on a brand new set! We rode into the night to try and make up lost time but were halted when the Bog Hopper bike suffered a total electrical failure. But the good old russian police turned up, fixed the bike and then gave us a police escort to what we think is an oil refinery and let us eat in the cafeteria and as I write this I'm laying in bed in the workers accommodation.
05:35 - 15/02/13
Try not to die :)
04:15 - 19/02/13
Adrian teaches Russia a lesson in arm wrestling.
04:43 - 14/02/13
In Irbit, soaking up the cold... and the beers
06:39 - 07/02/13
The Real Arctic Monkeys
the luxury of a heated workshop kindly supplied by the local police to fix the side car wheel and sort the real light was greatly accepted, escorted by the police for 30km then riding for 10km before another escort to the town tonight.
Met a great guy today as we had the tyre changed today, a Russian biker took us to his place for tea and cakes and we showed him the website he loved it but thought we where crazy! He took us back to the tyre shop and wouldn't let us pay.
06:49 - 15/02/13
Almost ran over a policeman last night. He decided standing in front of a hellbent ural with no brakes and a candle for a headlight was a good idea! We are being escorted everywhere by the cops. Windburnt, tired and sore. Tomorrow we will do a final prep then hit the zimnicks! Salekhard, here we come.
03:38 - 16/02/13
Day 4. Have clocked 389 ks so far. Took a "shortcut" down a railway service road. Carnage ensued. Russian made camping gear has proved itself to be superior to Aussy gear at a tenth of the price. Running out of room because russians keep giving us vodka.Most important of all are having a ball!
Putin up with the Tremlin
sunburnt with a sore back, run over hand and a left leg coping with two collisions (by others), but all is well and having a f*%king blast
02:49 - 13/02/13