Well, Damien and I have made it to Estonia in one piece! The bikes are a little beat up from the air travel, but still functioning adequately.
We're currently in Narva, which is on the Russian border - we're going to attempt the border crossing today and hopefully land in St. Petersburg by tonight.
Our first two days were rainy! And mostly uneventful.
I've learned that in Estonia, instead of saying "Hello" or waving, people treat you to a steely-eyed glare. Apparently the appropriate way to return this greeting is to glare back unflinchingly until they look away. Friendly place.
The riding's been good in Estonia. Smooth pavement, good shoulders, lots of bike paths too if you're off the highway. Tallinn would be a great city to do day rides out of.
Anyway, off to St. Petersburg! And perhaps pictures, if we find an internet place that doesn't run on friggin' windows 95.
8 hours, 6 minutes...is that countdown starting to freak anyone else out?
The bike's packed up in a box, and everything (hopefully) I'll need for the next 3 months has been stuffed into panniers. My flight leaves for London at 8:15 tonight. I finally arrive in Tallinn, Estonia, on Monday the 30th, where I'll meet up with Damien and the two of us will begin the trek!
This will be the farthest north I've ever been (St. Petersburg is on roughly the same latitude as Whitehorse), my first time visiting continental Europe (not to mention Asia), my first time on my own in a country where I don't know the language, and easily the farthest from home I'll probably ever be.
7 hours, 59 minutes. See what I mean?
Bah. What better goal than to "reach the ultimate shore," as the great Mongol general Batu Khan put it? It sure beats working.
At this point I'll quote Henry J. Tillman (whoever he is) who once said, "The saying "Getting there is half the fun" became obsolete with the advent of commercial airlines."
So it seems like there was a problem with the mail servers... bad configuration. And we only started receiving officialy emails from the 18th of July.
Regarding the posts while we will be away. The "plan" is to do the "typing" on a portable device (PDA) and post on the website whenever we get internet access.
So you will most likely see a few posts appearing all at once even though they may be a week or so old. Then again this is the 'plan'. I am not sure how closely we will stick to it...
I just wanted also to thank everyone who has been voting in the past 4 days at this site.
Lots of respect and consideration for all of you.
take care & be well
This is mostly a test post. However, things are rapidly falling in to place as we creep closer to our respective departure dates.
For myself, I leave on the evening of Saturday, July 28th. The other notable news item is that I've finally got my hands on my shiny new Urbanite touring bike! Can I figure out how to upload a picture?
Hmm, looks good so far! More tinkering (and posts) are in order.
It is always hard to choose...
We have been looking and getting in touch with http://www.konabiketown.com.
I know them because at work with everyone biking to work, we managed to donate 4 bikes.
So trying to get in touch and see what is going to happen.
We are not limited of course...
The Russia Crossing Team is currently busy preparing their gear, flights (with offsets), visas, immunizations and many other pre-trip necessities.
Summer plans are also well under way. Summer jobs and plans are keeping team members busy. Some are already on cycling trip across the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.
The countdown is on!
- The Russia Crossing Team
Hello and welcome to russiacrossing.org!
Our cycling adventure across Estonia, Russia, Mongolia and China begins on July 29th, 2007.Â It will cover 8000km across some of the World's most remarkable regions for about 3 months!Â
At the moment we are into heavy preparations as well as looking for potential sponsors.Â Â Feel free to explore our website and to contact us should you wish to learn more about our project and/or to join our group.
Come back often and share your thoughts with us.
-The Russia Crossing Team