The weather, the distance… Crossing Siberia by motorcycle is an endurance event. It’s even harder when your bike breaks.

Into the storm

Chita, Siberia, August

Lightning struck so close I could smell it and it left my ears ringing. A puncture had stranded me under a raging storm that was washing away chunks of route M55, the town of Chita, and the promise of a warm hotel room, just out of reach on the horizon.

Turning away from the biting wind, I hunched over to keep the innertube out of the rain. It was my last tube, and almost beyond repair. Four overlapping patches later, it…

Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan… riding across one of these is an adventure. Riding all of them can be life-changing

Kazakhstan, August

It wasn’t Igor’s size that made him intimidating, being made more of beer than of muscle. Instead, it was the way every person in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, would bend over backwards to make sure Igor went away happy, even the police. I guess that’s the level of respect you command when you’re a well-connected crime lord in a remote backwater famous only for Soviet-era nuclear weapons testing.

Igor manhandled a heavy black bag into the back of the 4x4. It was about the…

An unexpected gift in the frozen Rockies

It was a beautiful sunny morning but very, very cold, way below freezing. There was no point starting early. I needed to wait for the day to warm up, knowing it wouldn’t be any warmer in the mountains, and I needed to figure out how I was going to fix the bike. …

Riding across Siberia, Alistair finds himself in trouble when his bike snaps. Will he make it to Hotel Vladivostok?

The Maestro and his team

Stick or Twist?

Siberian rain drummed against the window. The Bavarian-themed Beerhaus, a block over from Hotel Sapporo, was just as empty as the rest of Khabarovsk. The rain that had led me to take up refuge there seemed to be keeping everyone else off the streets, too. Eating bratwurst and sauerkraut wasn’t really making the most of my arrival in the Russian far-east, but just being able to understand the menu freed me to concentrate on making a big decision: stick or twist?

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