Page 3 of Bike Tour Eurasia Travel Blog Posts



The days are brisk with a northwesterly flow carrying a partly cloudy hint of future precip. Morning rides find us wearing jackets as temps drop below freezing. The high country is choked with snow and skiing is butter. Ten days together, at home, so surreal, savor every moment of this sweet place and time... fill our hearts with cool mountain air. No matter how often we pack our stuff into heavy bundles and hop on planes to places seemingly distant, there is always a special allure to being in the Tahoe basin. In recent years where at least one of us has been abroad more often than not, our home has come to seem a whole lot more important. When we roll, we roll with the security of knowing that there is a place that ... read more
Old friend

North America » United States » California » Lake Tahoe March 2nd 2010

We want to announce to those who subscribed to our blog that we will be presenting slide shows of our bicycle journey on the following upcoming dates: - Thursday March 4th, 5:30 pm, Tahoe Environmental Research Center at Sierra Nevada College, 291 Country Club Drive, Incline Village, Nevada - Friday March 5th, 7pm, The River School, 7777 White Fir Street, Reno, Nevada -Tuesday March 9th, 6pm, in the yurt at Tahoe Cross Country, 925 Country Club Drive, Tahoe City (Dollar Hill), California Please join us if you can. Smiles to all, Allison and Chad... read more

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam October 31st 2009

Learning to ride with a loaded bike can be humbling. The first time you set out on a tour it is hard to fathom what the bike will feel like under the load of all your gear. The unsteadiness you feel that first time mixed with the thought of the task at hand makes the whole undertaking seem for a moment unimaginable and you are given the opportunity to either quit, go insane, or focus on what you can do for the moment and forget about the future. That process, forgetting about the future, is an ongoing meditation. When you start each new tour the feeling is no less bewildering but you have the confidence that you will again master the feel. A less expected but equally strange feeling is the first ride without panniers following ... read more
Muiderport Station
Amsterdam
From sea to sea

Europe » Germany » Saxony » Dresden October 20th 2009

So a white guy, a black guy, and a Polock were on an airplane that was about to crash.................. and that was about all we knew about Poland when we crossed the border out of Slovakia. Growing up in the States most of us were exposed to a wealth of jokes where the unlucky Polish bloke always ends up doing the stupidest thing possible. After travelling for just ten days in the country it seems more likely that the joke was somehow on us. We heard stories of widespread pollution and indeed some urban areas in the south, where coal is still used for domestic heating, are a dismal sight. This scene quickly gave way however to scenic country roads which took us through small villages and pastoral lands rimmed with the glorious beauty of deciduous ... read more
Shtümpa
Time to ride, Czech Republic
We're alone in a national park, CZ

Europe » Slovakia October 2nd 2009

For the first 8000 kilometers of our journey we had few choices of routes in that, over most of the Eurasian Steppe there are few roads connecting any two places. We would pick our next destination and ride there on the only route we could find. Sometimes this meant small, remote tracks where we were excited to see another car, horse, anything that could confirm our choice at the last intersection. At other times, however, this reality put us in heavy traffic on the only through road across huge distances. Russia was particularly rough as only one main road plies the whole of Southern Siberia and we shared that road with a never ending flow of aggressive trucks and maniac drivers. In Romania we found a New England-esque "you can't get there from here" sort of ... read more
Grieving
Velo path near Hungary-Slovakia border
Getting Directions in Hungary

Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Brasov September 16th 2009

Until a few weeks ago we had been riding through countries so massive that border crossings, when they so seldom happened, seemed interestingly quirky at worst. When we met with our dear friends in the Crimean, we knew that one way or the other we would be crossing several international boundaries in only a few days. We thought this quite irksome as Julie and JP had to be in Bucharest for a flight by the morning of the eleventh and delays were not needed. We planned to take a ferry from the Crimean to Odessa in order to skip the few hundred kilometers of backtracking on major highways that would be required to ride to Odessa. Left to our own devices, the two of us would have probably just ridden this section but the thought of ... read more
Wide load
Welcome to Moldova
Cobblestone in Moldova

Europe » Ukraine » Krim September 2nd 2009

Riding across the vast plains of southern Russia we had a hard time imagining what any government could possibly want with all of this flat, dry land. As it stands now, the federation is the largest country in the world. Trying to picture all of this PLUS the former CIS states is mind blowing given that Moscow is closer to New York than the Russian Far East. Here in the Crimean Penninsula, however, it is easy to see how a superpower would want to lay claim to a destination so removed from its core. This place is truly gorgeous and different in every way from the rest of the landscapes on our route. Riding through vineyards high above the sea in the shadows of alpine peaks we are exhaulted after 5000 kilometers of flat, flat and ... read more
Limestone
Weeeee.....down to the Black Sea
Above the town of Kerch, Ukraine

Europe » Russia » South » Volgograd August 19th 2009

When we studied the history of WWII in school we learned of the triumphs of the allies over the Nazi regime. We watched films and read accounts of the fierce fighting that raged for four years in the fields of central Europe and watched shaky black and white films of soldiers grovelling up the beaches of Normandy while warships launched barage after barage of cover fire and many of us came to regard "D-Day", rather by default, as the most critical event in the war. The role of the Russians was either largely left out or we missed it somehow as we passed notes beneath our desks, but to people on this side of Europe, the Second World War was one of the most devastating and unifying events in modern history. After all, they suffered more ... read more
Mamaev  Kurgan
Posing with Mother Russia
Forest campsite

Europe » Russia » Volga » Ufa August 6th 2009

When the Soviet empire collapsed in the early nineties it was heralded in the west. The thought of centrally mandated collectivism makes a capitalist's blood run cold and many (if not most) Americans view, or were taught to view this shift as a great victory in the name of the human spirit. The communists doubtlesssly had innumerable failings but, as western popular media triumphed through "kill-a-commie" films and the end of the "Cold War" was heralded, many Russians suffered and starved. The loss of a way of life that was a full two generations thick proved stifling and left many without the means to survive. To us, these casualties never had a human face, untill now. Things have doubtlesly stabalized these days but many older Russians still have warm regards for the good old days when ... read more
Gift of freshly picked cherries
Friendly Armenians share their vodka and watermelon with us at the Asia-Europe border
Russian bus stop

Asia » Kazakhstan July 25th 2009

Kazakhstan is by far the largest and most prosperous of the former Soviet Central Asian states. Stretching from the 7000m+ Tian Shan to the Caspian sea it is longitudinally nearly as large as the 48 contiguous states. In the east, pipelines carry petros across the mountains into China. The western most regions, where much of these petros are mined, are technically in Europe. It is the richness of its resources that makes the young state a standout in an otherwise impoverished region and, as one might imagine, more than a few neighbor states are at length trying to get their hands in the pot. The country is currently embroiled in an attempt to craft a national sense of identity amidst Soviet architecture and a very diverse culture. Here in Petropavlovsk, so far north that some Russians ... read more
Omsk, Russia
Russian bike tourist in Kazakhstan
Flat road, nice pavement




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