Some more remarks I had zero problems with my bike. The Shimano gear system worked flawlessly, absolutely faultless. I remember going to France when I was 16 years old with the old metal shifters on the frame and I was worried that the modern plastic clicky things are too fragile and complicated and easily break. Not so! The Shimano system worked perfect in the cold. Not one single hickup.
24 January 2015 At nine in the morning the camera crew knocked on the door. They did a small interview, we made one shot outside, and that was it. The result was shown on Ussuriysk TV, I think it was a local station. The result is here: www.telemiks.tv Lenin in Ussuriysk I had told them I would not bike all the way to Vladivostok, so after the interview I went to the train station and took the train to Vladivostok.
23 January 2015 Bike ride Sibirtsevo-Ussuriysk, 80 kilometers. This was the longest trip, but I figured that if I would leave a little earlier I could make it. However, it turned out to be cold, really cold. This was the coldest day so far, below -30º Celcius. Because of cold feet I had to walk a lot, and it took me three hours to cover the first ten kilometers. This was not going well.
22 January 2015 Bike ride Spassk-Dalny-Sibirtsevo, 55 kilometers. In this video I say that the temperature is -10º Celcius, but -10 was where the thermometer readout on my speedometer stopped, it could not indicate anything colder. Actually it was about -20º Celcius, but still quite comfortable. Cold So far I had only seen two other bikes: one man riding a bike in a suburb of Vladivostok, and a young guy riding a bike in Pereyaslavka.
21 January 2015 Time for a ride in the bus. I decided to skip a stretch and take the bus to Spassk-Dalny. Very comfortable. Bus station in Dalnerechensk Again I could just throw my entire bike somewhere in the bottom belly of the bus, no problem. Halfway Spassk-Dalny the bus stops at a small market next to the road where you can get Coca Cola, coffee, a sandwich.
20 January 2015 Today was my day off, I decided to go to the Chinese border, which is maybe five kilometers from the city. Why I wanted to see the Chinese border I am not sure, just curiosity, I wanted to take a photo of China. I did the same once in Poland when I took a photo of Belorussia. Polish border guards showed up out of nowhere in less two minutes.
19 January 2017 Luchegorsk-Znamenka, 55 kilometers, or that was the plan. Stalin is gone, Lenin is everywhere. This is Luchegorsk Znamenka you will not find on Google Maps, but on Nokia Here maps and on openstreetmap.org you can see it. Although there were no hotels on any of those maps, the marine guy had confirmed to me that there was a hotel in Znamenka, although he had never been there himself because real marines sleep outside in the snow.
18 January 2015 I woke up a little late, but this wodka stuff is amazing in that it gave me no headache, I felt totally clear. Wow, maybe that’s why the Russians drink it, to feel totally clear. Okay then, time for another bike ride. From Bikin I rode to Luchegorsk, about 60 kilometers. Now the area south of Bikin is some kind of nature reserve and there are bears and tigers supposedly.
17 January 2015 I didn’t bike. I was happy I had survived the previous two days, but the next city was Bikin, 90 kilometers away, temperature had dropped a little more, and the road was hilly. I was sure I could not make it that far, and also I had no idea about hotels halfway, so worst case case I would have to walk 45 kilometers in freezing temperatures. I thought it was too risky and I took the bus to Bikin.
16 January 2015 I rode from Khor to Vyazemsky, about 55 kilometers. It is not a long trip and while the temperature was below -20º Celcius, there was little wind and a blue sky. In total I think it took me four hours to do the 55 kilometers so speed was low. Why so slow? Low temperature, four layers of clothing, icy road, one centimeter of snow on the road, and thirty kilo luggage on my bike.