Anyone want to cycle to Russia

by Ranger Darren   March 24, 2014  

I know this is a million to one shot but thought I would ask anyway:
I'm planning on cycling from the Forest of Dean to Kaliningrad which is
the closest part of Russia at the end of May. My cycling partner that I
was planning this with has unfortunately had to drop out. Therefore I'm
looking for a fit young cyclist capable of cycling unsupported for 100
miles a day for 12 days. I've cycled solo from Lands end to John o
Groats in 10 days before so reasonably confident that I can do the 1200
miles in this time.

I'm currently training like mad and planning the route which should be
reasonably flat from Calais onwards. The route goes through North
France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Poland and a small part of Russia.

I wont bore you with any more details at this point but if anyone is
interested or wants to know more then please let me know.

Thanks

Darren Rolling On The Floor

4 user comments

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Good luck with this, but I wouldn't be planning anything to Russia at the moment, the likelyhood of being allowed in is slim Wink

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8795 posts]
24th March 2014 - 21:47

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About 12 years ago I thought I might like to cycle to Kalingrad. I changed my mind when I discovered that for a visa, I was supposed to state the days I intended to arrive and leave and the precise border crossings I intended to use. Probably no issues that couldn't have been solved by chucking a little bit of time and money at them, but I just decided I couldn't be bothered and cycled around Kaliningrad instead. I started in Klaipeda and explored the Lithuanian parts of the Curonian spit and then went around the Kaliningrader Oblast and over the border into Poland, past an assortment of Masurian Lakes and the Lehndorff castle in Sztynort and the site of the battle(s) of Grunwald/Tannenberg and back up to Gdansk (via the Marienburg). I had planned to continue along the Pommeranian coast from Gdansk, but in the end I decided to play it safe and just make a beeline for Berlin from Gdanksk. I had had a series of unfortunate mechanicals and walked many miles on hot summer days to reach an assortment of bike shops before I got to a good one in Gdansk that was able to sort me out properly. The computer reached the 1000 mile mark as I threaded my way through Berlin's suburbs to reach the end point of my tour - I was half-wondering if I'd end up having to do a few laps around the hotel to get into four-digit territory but Berlin has a lot of outer suburbs and they added there requisite last 20 km. I moved very slowly because I was quite an incompetent cyclist at the time (I lacked both fitness and the technical ability to bounce along happily on rough gravel tracks). And I had a lot of German/Polish/Prussian historical sightseeing to get through, the infrastructure was probably not nearly as good then as it is now, and I had a tonne of stuff with me. (A heavy camera, rolls of film, a boat, all my camping kit.) I think I spent seven nights camping, seven nights in hotels or guesthouses that caught my eye just before bedtime and seven nights bivoucing in fields or forests at dusk such that I couldn't be seen from the road. On the nights when I didn't get to a suitable campsite, I slept under the stars in a fleece sleeping bag in my regular sleeping bag in a bivvy bag. Which was fine, although I was slightly unnerved one night by howling, barking and gunshots. And slightly unnerved one morning by waking up to discover that I was not alone, there were mushroom hunters out and about in the forest.

I won't be joining you - I can do a hundred miles in a day these days, but maybe not 12 days back to back - but I hope you find suitable company and have a great time. And take the time to write up an account of your trip - I'd like to read it.

posted by bambergbike [84 posts]
24th March 2014 - 22:30

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Just wait a few more months and it might not be the closest part of Russia any more....

posted by Nixster [73 posts]
24th March 2014 - 23:08

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Good point, why go to Russia when you can wait for Russia to come to you? Tongue

It is actually the sort of trip I would like to do one day, but not this year and not in this political climate. London to Istanbul would be a tempting challenge too, but if your heart is set on Russia...

posted by chokofingrz [283 posts]
25th March 2014 - 2:31

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