The diaries - 2   

20 April

Barnaul - Siberia


Now in Barnaul, as seen in Charlie and Ewan's 'Long Way Round'...  we're six hours in front of you now so must have covered some miles!

Hi folks, Sue and I are now in Barnaul, deep in Siberia.  The weather is still fine and sunny and much warmer now.  We're getting many messages sent from people, many we don't know, and can't possibly reply to them all.... but thank you folks.  Internet cafes are very thin on the ground here, and I'm sitting in a local motorcycle shop at the moment.... wonderful people.

Photos and text from Nick Smith (is that his name or has he just anglicized it for us?)

After my friends and I have met Mick and Sue and helped to place in hotel "Siberia" we went to our Bike Bar. It is nice place for bikers you know ;-)

So at first picture Mick and Sue near by entrance

to Bike Bar. And next one inside bar with me (on right) and other bikers.

Next day in Barnaul Mick has had problem with his foot :( Old wound he said. So we went to private doc (because english insurance useless here).  Mick was brave and even no scream when doc used cryogen on his foot :)
See photo from surgery room. There was pretty nurse :)

Today we said good bye to Mick and Sue, took last photo on the Ob bridge. They really nice people.

We wish them good luck!

Nick Smith

You can see Nick's own blog at

with some more pictures

Mick continues . . .

Going back to Penza, we rolled into town on a sunny Sunday afternoon... the town was alive with shows, pavement stalls, horses on parade, and no sooner had we stopped than we were descended upon by the local bike club.  R1's, Fasers, Blades etc.  ridden by guys in full matching leathers, or flat caps turned the wrong way round... and welding goggles!  You'd just better believe this place.  Many thanks go to Michael Bykov and Andrey Krasnov and the rest of the guys.

Don't ever complain you folks riding motorcycles in Sheffield about the Supertram tracks... here in these cities the tram tracks run alongside the road, then suddenly cross at an angle, or the road turns sharply across them.... but we have very deep potholes before, between and after the tram tracks.... NOT ONLY that... the tracks are raised 3" to 4" above the road... aaaagh!

Coming forward now to Ishim, we stopped to ask the police for an hotel. A guy pulled up and took us to a reasonable one, then we followed on the bikes and left them in his garage.  It wasn't until we were dropped off back at the hotel, with the promise he would pick us up again at 9am the next morning, that we realised we didn't know who he was... or more to the point, where the bikes were.  A restless night was unfounded, he picked us up the next morning, took us for our bikes, and led us out of town.  Thank you Stanislar Akim.

To Omsk and again we waved down a motorcyclist who took us to their bike club headquarters... to a great reception.  The bikes washed down, taken to a hotel etc. and then given the details for the Novo
sibirsk bike club... told they would meet us on the road as we entered the town. The President of the bike club is a police inspector Satcha, and he arranged the next morning for Sue and me to be interviewed for a TV film about motorcycling... fame at last, on the telly, and we're not famous actors!  After the filming Satcha led us out of town... to be stopped for speeding, filmed by the TV crew, me filming them filming him!  The policeman didn't know what day it was when we'd finished with him.

Novosibirsk and the bike club was waiting.  Showed us round the town, and we stayed in Alex's 'Moscow House' which includes sauna etc. Wined, dined and accommodation... a fantastic welcome from Alexander, 'Godzilla' Eugene, Sergie and Artemi.  Again they gave us the details and contacts for the Barnaul bike club.... yes you've guessed it... they were sitting waiting for us.  The proprietor of the local bike shop brought us to his garage yesterday evening, and then onto a hotel.  Picked us up later and took us their 'Bike Bar'  ... fantastic place.  Bikes hanging from the ceiling, stuck out of walls as if they had been ridden straight through it, handlebars and headlights on the walls for lighting... nothing like it in England.  Thanks here go to Nickolay (Navigator) Denis, and the owner of the shop, where I'm now sitting typing, Evgeny... better known as 'Older' or Stariy in Russian!

That better be all for now folks, we're taking up their time here in the workshops.  All is well and.......


Will update as and when possible but, as mentioned, internet cafes rather thin on the ground here in Siberia.


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