Greetings from Siberia! It’s taken a lot longer than I thought it would. The terrain has been difficult and it’s been storming almost every day. At least a couple of days ago I passed from grasslands to Alpine-like forests, which should take the edge off of the winds. I’m just proud of passing through the 52nd parallel!
I think I was having nutritional problems in China. A couple of days of Russian home cooking at the numerous roadside cafes on A166 has been like a light switch. The roads in China are consistently smoother and wider, though.
Having passed this point, I can start west. I’ve gone about 1500 miles so far, which by my calculations gives me about 4000 miles to St. Petersburg, and 6000 miles to the Atlantic. Kind of like crossing the United States, with no 10,000′ climbs, but there are some lower mountain ranges. Hoping it takes the same amount of time, two months. Another month to cross Europe, and I’ll be right on schedule. I’ll be fine here, but I’m going to get tired of technopop. I think I want a Volga sedan, too.
The people here are fine, some very impressed and curious that I’ve ridden from Beijing. Today I got stopped at a “дпс” checkpoint, where they checked my visa/passport and a half a dozen of them joked around, asking questions and poked at my bicycle for ten minutes. Who is the DPC? I don’t know, but one of them had a side folding Kalashnikov on a sling. Then one looked at me, smiled, nodded his head towards the road, and told me to have a good day. I don’t have to be told twice to disappear .