Brian's Blog
Thursday, 22 May 2008
Cheatin'in the Ukraine
Mood:  a-ok
Well folks I made it to Kiev, the largest city and capital of Ukrainia and an unbelievably beautiful city. Some awesome monuments and a thousand plus year old church complex that looks over the park like setting of the city. Waiting at a red light I met Gennardi, saw him again a few blocks later and next thing you know we were heading over to his parents flat across the river. They were very nice people who welcomed this complete stranger into thier home no problem. Next day Gennardi showed me all around Kiev and since he was heading back to his home in Donets'K in eastern Ukraine I decided to jump on the train too and "cheated" 400 miles east. The train trip alone was a cool experience, everyone packed into a sleeper car, the bike all apart and lashed down at the back of the car. Staying now at his place with his wife Natasha and college aged son Anthony. Their generosity is truly a nice thing to be a part of. Probably kick it here for a day, having at this point of the trip to plot a slightly different course thru Russia thru Volgograd and into Kazakhstan a bit furthur south than planned but more . Knew all along at some points I'd have to rely on the locals knowledge and their concern was I was heading into a part of Kazakhstan a little too remote. all is going well, the toughest part of the trek is still ahead of me from the Volgograd area all the way into eastern China. Getting good maps here and plotting the the plan. I'm having a little difficulty at the moment uploading my latest pics but perhaps by the time you read this I'll have them up. Thanks for checking in.  Later,   Brian 

Posted by briansride at 9:47 AM PDT
Friday, 16 May 2008
Chillin' in Ukrania!
Mood:  a-ok
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
Saturday, 10 May 2008
News from the East
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Via Cody
Hello everybody, this is Cody, Brian's son. He may not be able to make to a computer for a while so I thought I would relay an update. Brian is near Lublin, Poland. He is enjoying the local fare including cold fish and sauerkraut. He should be in Ukraine shortly, which he has heard mixed reviews of from road acquaintances. All in all, he is feeling good and wishes he had more time to reply to all of your comments and emails. Keep them coming, he loves to read them from the road.

Posted by briansride at 12:17 PM PDT
Sunday, 4 May 2008
Mood:  a-ok
I'm about half way thru Poland and it's still going ok. Riding thru small villages all day. I'm taking a direct route to the Ukraine so the place 's I pass thru are probably not used to seeing someone like me pas thru. I've learned the "good day" and "hello" etc. in Polish so that helps but ordering food is sometimes comedy. Everyone here is great so far and very helpful. The chance meetings to ask for directions has many times turned into coffe and cake time or a beer and a smoke and a cool visit. The rain has not been bad but even so when it get's too much I duck in somewhere and just meet more people. I'm doing good, the bike is still not giving me any problems so I hope it keeps going this well. I've loaded up some new pics, hope you like them.  Talk to next time from Ukrania.    Brian

Posted by briansride at 12:07 PM PDT
Saturday, 26 April 2008
Surrounded by Germans......
Mood:  a-ok
Have made it into eastern Germany. The ride across Holland along the bike paths thru the quiet little villages and on top of the dykes was perfect. Sometimes the thought of how far there is to go really hits hard and I miss everyone alot but then you just look at what you're rolling thru and just know you´ll never be this fortunate again. The weather has been holding for me, it' been cold but dry.Have'nt marked all the latest photos but a few are from a gasthaus in Andelst Holland where they gave me a real cheap room (but nice) and had a great blues band plying that nite. Last nite, got hooked up with the guy  Marcel on the recombint bike and stayed at his friends house here in Quidlinberg. Should be in Poland in a few days. So far just good people and nice roads, Having fun and really enjoying this awesome journey. Forgive me for not answering email right away, it's tough getting to a computer. Take care everyone.  Brian

Posted by briansride at 11:33 PM PDT
Thursday, 17 April 2008
we have taken Holland..
Mood:  a-ok

Sitting in Serini and Jerome Smit's Bakery shop in Shiedam, Holland. Serini is an old friend of my brother Kenneth's. Made it to the UK from Fla. no problem about 4/7. Hung out a week there at me Mum in laws and had a great time with all of Sheree's family. Never to far from a pub in England. Had a great ride to the coast thru small villages. Made the boat to Holland after spending a day in Capt. Fryatt's pub with a bunch of great locals.  Arrived in Holland 4/16 in the am. Short scenic ride to Jerome and Serini's and having such a good time decided to stay an extra day. Very cool to finally be on the continent. Tomorrow heading east. Hopefully I'll be able to upkeep the info along the way. This is only getting better.   

Posted by briansride at 6:59 AM PDT
Sunday, 6 April 2008
Mood:  happy
If I can ride a bicycle across America, anyone can do it! Arrived 4/2 in Orlando at my old Air Force buddy Ron Reed's house. Jim Odom, another Air Force friend whom I haven't seen in 25 yrs. flew down from Missouri and we all quickly fell into our daily routine from so many years ago: drink all day and night, wake up, have a nice breakfast, drink all day and night...  Ron's wife Danielle and son Jimmy were their to watch out for us so nobody got hurt. Ron arranged for a reporter from a local paper, The East Orlando Sun to meet us. They took pictures and asked all about the journey so far.  Went out last friday and picked up a few bike and clothing items and rode on an airboat. I can only go so many days before I have to see one more alligator. Also boxed up and shipped the bicycle and gear off Fedex. As much as I'm glad to have made it across the country, I'm truly looking forward to hitting the airport tomorrow 4/7 and heading off to England. So many towns have gone by that were at one time just names on the map. Even the act of boxing up the bike and gear was momentous to me since only months ago it seemed like such a pivotal point of the trip and now it's behind me. Every place I've stayed with friends along the route has been a great experience. I've been welcomed like family and everyone seems to enjoy the energy and excitement of this very cool ride I'm on. Leaving the states and seeing all of Sheree's family in England is going to be a fun launch for the next stage. Thanks to all my old and new found friends for checking in. Cheerio!

Posted by briansride at 6:22 AM PDT
Sunday, 30 March 2008
Getting closer
Mood:  a-ok
Arrived in Inverness Fl. at Chuck and Vanessa Karlesky's house. Chucks an old friend from United (maybe he just feels old) Rich O'Sullivan, another United Oakland vet, who works with Chuck up in Georgia also came down. Hadn't seen Rich in 13 yrs., still handsome as ever. Glad to have the Florida panhandle behind me. The long stretches out West have nothing on the endless forest/jungle here. Passing thru swamps and bayous and a gas station every 40 m or so for days. In Wakulla. camping in the woods behind a restaurant  a black bear was snooping around and didn't seem to mind me yelling at him to scat. When he finally decided to climb the tree beside my tent and hang out I resorted to the slingshot. Kept plinking him until he decide to move on. Just a curious fellow, just do it somewhere else. All along the way I keep meeting good people, all interested in my journey. It's a great conversation starter, the bike loaded down, everyone almost has to ask "where you going on that thing...?" Going to hang here for a day and then only a 2 day ride to Orlando to end the state side stage and pack up the bike and myself to England. I hope to keep the good times rolling into Europe because so far I feel fortunate on how well the trek has gone. Looking forward to Orlando, seeing some old friends there plus getting ready for the next BIG leg of the trip. Thanks for checking in and thanks for everyone's well wishes. Y'all come back now ya' heeah!

Posted by briansride at 5:45 AM PDT
Sunday, 23 March 2008
made it to Florida!
Mood:  a-ok
rode two days out of the New Orleans to Guatier MS. and hooked up with former Oakland buddy Mike Shuster at his brother Jere's place. The Shuster clan took me in and I wound up at his niece's first communion, met every Shuster ever made and in laws. Mike, Jere and I went floating out on the bayou so I could see the requisite alligator and all went well until Jere offered me the controls and I had us stuck in the mud wihtin 10 minutes.  Mike warned him about me but Jere just had to see for himself...  Then we loaded up the bike in Mike's truck and along with Mike's lovely wife Kari and 4 yr old Kylie drove two hours to Gulf Breeze Fl. to their house, picking up Kari's Mom along the way who flew into Pensacola from California. Mike lives two houses down from his sister Teresa's family. Great bunch of people. Hit the beach the next day and attended a birthday party at a friends house that evening. Excellent party, met alot of good folks and had a couple (dozen) beers. That kind of convinced me to not leave this morning, so I stuck around and had Easter dinner with everyone. Bikes ready to go, I figure I'm within 8/9 days of Orlando. I can't believe l'm almost finishing the first leg of the journey and soon will be in Europe. It has been great so far and I really appreciate seeing friends and family along the way so far. It's just going to get better and more interesting, thanks everyone for continueing to check in and I shall talk at you from Orlando.

Posted by briansride at 4:47 PM PDT
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
into the south
Mood:  a-ok
Had a good stay in San Antonio. Rick's family made me feel right at home. Made a few days good progress heading e then started hitting headwinds and cross winds. Very interesting crossing texas. It's cactus  out west and you slowly transfer thru the hill country and into the bayous. My sons Shay and Cody flew into New Orleans and drove west to hook up with me in Lake Charles. It is great to see them. We said the hell with it all, loaded up the bike and drove back to New Orleans. I'll head out of here heading east again tomorrow but hopefully tonight we can head into the french quarter and get arrested.. ..  Having some rear wheel issues so I'm having my new set sent to a friends place in Gulf Breeze fl. Other than that everything is still going well and I'm feeling good.  Meeting alot of great people from all directions of life. Hey! I've pedaled my bike so far I'm seeing alligators! Thanks for looking... Brian

Posted by briansride at 1:23 PM PDT

Newer | Latest | Older

« May 2008 »
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Via Cody