Sabotage or just a result of horrible Russian roads?

20140624_180509

I’m ready for a new day after spending a evening in this exciting big city, that’s of course if I’m able to get out? I’m planning for a good day on the road.

20140624_124634Perfect morning in St. Petersburg
I woke up at the hotel room with a good feeling. I’ve slept well and feel ready for a new day on the bicycle. I’m preparing myself by washing my bag and trailer after yesterday’s dirty and wet day on the horrible russian roads. I’m not able to wash the bicycle in this city, so I will have to look around for a place to do this.

This hotel is quite cosy. I just open my door and there you have 2-3 tables prepared for breakfast. There is a family eating their food at my right side. Behind me, there is a nice counter with juices, yoghurts among other things. The nice lady at work today asks me if I want fried or boiled eggs, if I want ham, coffee, sandwiches and so on. Fried eggs sounds perfect to me. She tells the old russian «mother» of the house what she should cook, and she starts cooking.

20140624_161532I’m ready to leave. Just when I’m about to go out, the «mother» of the house comes over, she quickly look at my dirty helmet and asks me something in russian, then she say’s: «washy washy». I nod with my head and the nice lady takes my helmet and cleans it for me.

How in the world will I get out of this HUGE city
Finally I’m on the road. This will be exciting, how in the world should I get out of this place. I’m basically located in the heart of St. Petersburg and just look around and makes myself an idea of which direction I’m supposed to go. While I’m thinking and prepare the bicycle, people stop and take pictures of my setup. I guess they’re not used to this kind of trailer, and at least not in the middle of this huge city.

I start my GPS and are fully aware of that I don’t have a map uploaded of Russia. This means that the only thing I see is a grey screen with a blue line of waypoints and a small arrow, which tells me where I am and what direction I’m going. I will try my best.

20140624_180509The waypoints get’s me over to a 6 lane road. Should I be stressed? It’s funny how my head has adjusted to the Russian traffic, I’m totally calm. For a while, I was thinking of when I drove a car in South Korea and Saudi Arabia. You just have to keep going, don’t stop, get a good rythm, and it seems to be working.

At some of the traffic light regulations, I quickly look around, some cars gives me the thumbs up, that gives me a good feeling and puts a smile on my face.

Sabotage, or just a result of horrible russian roads?
Aich, what’s happening? I can feel huge vibrations on my front wheel while I’m in the middle of the 6 lane road, full of traffic. Lucky enough, the traffic light 40 meters from me is giving a red signal. It’s not difficult to see that my front wheels is loose, 100% loose…. What’s this? I can’t imagine that someone would do this to me? It must be the roads from yesterday that have been so hard to the wheel and shaken it loose. I fix this in about 5 seconds and are ready for the green light.

20140624_182428I continue on this big road, have a good rythm and feeling. On the right side of the road, there is suddenly 2 girls hitchhiking, when I’m about 2 meters from them, I can see a smile… I smile as well and quickly points towards my trailer, they almost fall appart while laughing… Made my day, and most likely theirs. I was laughing about this several times the next hours.

The road is now over to a two lane. I’m lucky to have a road shoulder to ride on. I must admit that the traffic is worse on the small roads. The speed is much higher and they have no respect when it comes to distance.

Puncture……
I’ve cycled on the same tire as I punctured on, from Grense Jakobselv. This is also the same tire as I had a puncture on when me and Anna where cycling in Italy. It’s punctured again.

20140624_205424I quickly stop and prepare myself to change the tire and tube. The preparations I need to do is basically cleaning. I clean the wheel before I dismount the tire and tube. I quickly put on the new tire and pump it up.

Checking the air pressure on the trailer wheel, decides to put some more air pressure in that wheel as well. You won’t believe what happened when I removed the pump….The valve seems to be broken, all the air is leaking out. I try to pump it up again, but the same thing happens.

Is this really the day where everything will happen? I have a spare tube for the trailer as well, but I want to see if I can fix this. I’m using some of the tools that I’ve brought and try to fix the valve. Finally, I’m able to get some air in the wheel. I’m on the road again. Probably spent an hour on this, and I have 105Km left.

The road today is quite boring, no turns and nothing to see, basically a transport stage. A large trailer is passing me, way too close… I understand why, when I see the bus trying to pass him at the same time…. STUPID, CRAZY FOOLS, come on… give me a break.

20140624_212841Boarder control….
I’m getting closer to the Estonian boarder. I prepare my passport for the first boarder control. I pass all the cars when I arrive at the Russian boarder. Then there is a lady that is pointing me to a pavement on the side. I follow the directions and need to bring my bicycle and trailer indoor to pass.

The woman behind the counter use quite some time to let me through. Trying to scare me? She looks at the picture on the Brazilian visa that I have in my passport, isn’t my passport picture good enough? Finally she let’s me go.

Next stop is the Estonian boarder control. Just have to say… EASY! She quickly looks at my passport and picture, gives me a smile and let me through.

Estonia, here I am! I’m now in the boarder city called Narva. I’ve ridden 150Km today and will now find a place to stay for the night.

GPS Data from today’s ride:

Skrevet av Stian Torland

Elsker turer, utfordringer og fysiske aktiviteter. Har gjort det til ein livsstil å utfordre andre til ting de normalt ikkje ville gjort. Driver Challenge4you.com som er et nettsted som skriver om turer, eventyr og utfordringer. Mine fullførte utfordringer og hovedmål: *Nordkapp-Lindesnes: 2700Km, tid: 18 dager - 2011 *Danmark-Italia: 2500Km, tid: 18 dager - 2012 *Trondheim-Oslo: 542Km, tid: 22t 55m - 2013 *The Iron Curtain Trail: 10000Km, tid: ca 4mnd - 2014