04 May 2011

Road of Bones 2011

I'm planning to ride the "Road of Bones" this summer, and thought I'd post a bit about my plans and preparations.

Not to bore people too much with history/geography, but the Road of Bones is the road between Yakutsk and Magadan in Eastern Russia. It is called the Road of Bones because it was built by the Soviets using gulag labor, and supposedly the prisoners who died during construction (of which there were alot) were simply dumped into the road foundations. Actually, the Russians apparently aren't even familiar with this designation for the road, which appears to be a "romantic" invention of western travellers, and the Russians call the road the "Колымский Тракт" or "Kolymsky Tract". In any event, the road is very remote and beautiful, and has a certain lure of adventure. Magadan, on Russia's Pacific Coast, is not much of a place, and once you get there the only way out is to go back the way you came, via boat, or airplane. Due to time contraints, I need to fly back to Moscow from Magadan and am hoping that a friend that I'll be riding with will be able to escort my bike via boat to Vladivostok and then his girlfriend will ride it to Moscow. At least that is the current plan.

First, since I'll be doing the road from Irkutsk to Yakutsk by myself, I thought I'd get a satellite/GPS tracker, so that it will be easier to find me if something goes wrong...I've tested my SPOT satellite tracker and the resulting map on a few test runs (see subsequent posts); it is pretty cool, please see the SPOT tracker link at the top of the page to see where I am.

Second, I've carefully gathered a ton of gear and spare parts to prepare the bike for the trip, as there are not many BMW dealers out there. Everything from a new rear shock, to hard protection for the engine, the chain, etc. to a "spetnatz" first aid kit, new riding jacket, etc. Hopefully I'm pretty much set.

I'll post more as I get closer...

1 comment:

Jon Williams said...


Jon here from Australia. We met in Yakutsk looking over my photographs with Bolot. How did your trip to Magadan go? I saw on Doug's advrider page that the water level at Kybeme was very high. Leave a comment on our blog (url below) or email me at work jon.williams@ghd.com.