Friday, 16 May 2008
Chillin' in Ukrania!
Well it's hard for me to believe I've pedaled into the Ukraine. It has been such an incredible journey so far and slowly making my way into the former Soviet world of Ukrainia has been the most amazing yet. I'd been to Russia for a week back in the early 80's and to see how much the people here are digging a bit more cultural freedom now since things began to change in the early 90's is a great feeling. Overall it's quite a bit more tattered than most Americans would like but their making the best of what they have. Ukraine has been is busy jumping thru all the hoops to get accepted into the European Union, they still have a way to go but their future is looking good. The people here are just as nice and welcoming as any I've encountered along the way. Here in the fairly large city of Zhytomer, about a days ride W of Kiev (the largest city) I still get stares walking down the street, like they can tell from a block away I'm not from these parts. The stares turn to smiles,handshakes, beers and smokes as they hear about how I arrived. I rolled off the ferry in Holland about a month ago and since leaving the Rotterdam area I've only taken a day off in Poland (the last update). I'm hanging here for 2 days to rest the legs, do a little bike work and food up! The Krivna is about 7 to the Euro so my expenses are going down thankfully (Europe was killin' me). I'm pulling about 50 mile days because the roads are pretty rough. I spent a day heading south to catch the main route across the country and the highway is marginally better, still do alot of riding in the dirt on the side since it's smoother but there's alot more services. Been getting hotel room for about $5-$15 a night and have camped out in a cow pasture once. Horse drawn carts and farm implements are normal,wheezing old 2 strokes with sidecars are popular, the women are beautiful and the guys drink beer all day just walking down the street, how can you not like it? Unlike my last visit years ago, the stores now all have signs and advertising telling you what their selling and everyone has a cell phone (except me). It truly is to me like being on a different planet, the alphabet is similar to ours but you have to substitute symbols to figure out the meaning. Like playing a word game in the newspaper. The bad stories I've heard about this place are so far unfounded, people are folks where ever you go. I suppose like anywhere you could put yourself into a trouble if you wanted to. Hope the awesome luck I've enjoyed so far holds out. The weather is been fine for the most part. From here I'll make it thru Kiev and then start heading N into Russia, I found my best bet is sticking to the main routes just to save the bike. I've just put on the bigger tires I brought along but continue to be amazed at the beating the thing takes and still is working good. Word is the road gets worse in Russia but better in Kazakhstan. I'm so far kicking ass on my schedule, feeling great and looking forward to the rest of the trip but I also know that I'll have a new appreciation for everything I left behind. I miss the family and friends alot and ripping down the trail on the dirtbike. Thanks to all of you (old friends and new) for checking in and I should be able to update again after reaching Russia in another week. Be cool and see you soon Brian
Posted by briansride
at 11:57 PM PDT
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Saturday, 17 May 2008 - 6:19 AM PDT
WOW! It truly sounds like you are having the experience of a lifetime! I wouldn't have thought the people in the Ukraine would be so welcoming, I think it's testimony to the type of personality you have, being able to get along with anyone. (you know, except maybe far right conservatives). Just a little joke there Tripper!
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go make some more eggs.
Ron (Still looking for more cowbell...)
Saturday, 17 May 2008 - 10:55 AM PDT
Brian I just read your long blog from Zhytomer it was so great to see and to know that everything is going so well for you, and each day you are finding out how friendly and nice people are but they never seem make the news or stories. hope you dont have a problem finding tires if you need them but I'm sure you wont, Ive been checking out a lot of maps on Google Earth to keep up with your travels and now I have another one to check out. not much news from here, Ken is going to Oregon to day to hopefully finalize his situation, I'm going back to Cape Cod for a few weeks June 8th, our temps here are almost in the Double digits, but no problem Im used to it by this time. Take care Brian my thoughts are with you every mile you peddle. Love Mom.
Monday, 19 May 2008 - 4:28 PM PDT
Alright! Great post, so awesome to hear you are doing so well and having such a great time. We knew you would get along with every person you ran across. Everybody speaks the universal language of beer. I guess you heard about Jimmy and the deer from Bob, bummer for sure, but at least he came out of it with only a broken collarbone. I'm sure you will be happy to know the pumpkin is running great with no problems, I put the fan on because the last ride the bike was puking rad. fluid in some of the more technical sections. Keep up the good work with the blog, and roll on brother!! Later daze, James.
Thursday, 22 May 2008 - 12:41 AM PDT
"Shay & friends"
You are kickin ass man..... I get gassed just ridin my bike across town, you've ridden yours more than halfway across the world... Amazing. Keep up the charm and good work.. everyone I know is rootin for ya to finish. Be safe, love ya, call me sometime.
Thursday, 22 May 2008 - 12:44 AM PDT
Hey man I am shays friend just wanted to say I wish i could be doin what you are doing and you're great ambassador for us, the foreners you meet probably think better of americans after seen you.. good luck
Thursday, 22 May 2008 - 12:48 AM PDT
"Jackie and Eva"
You are the coolest dude ever, we are kinda drunk right now but shay has been talkin about your tirp, and we agree you are the shit rock on keep it up
Tuesday, 24 June 2008 - 8:44 AM PDT
For all you wonderful friends of Brians who we have all been so worried about, my Grandson Cody just called me to say that he had an email from his Dad and he is fine,just stopped along the way to help someone with a transmission problem but then had to replace it and is waiting for delivery, you cant take the Mechanic out of the man even 10,000? miles away!!!. he will put in a blog as soon as he can. Margaret.