35 Days by Bike Across the Frozen Lake Baikal!
Arrival in Severobaikalsk on a cold Saturday. It is here where we have planned to set off on our tour with our SPEEDHUB equipped bicycles. Minus 20 degrees Celsius was our reception in this beautiful country and this was the temperature by which we set out on a 60 km tour yesterday to investigate the neighbourhood - over the frozen lake naturally. The ice proved thick enough and the snow above was a mere 1 to 2 cm alowing us to easily ride along. Despite the cold, the picture-perfect sunny winters weather - no clouds and hardly any wind was a beautiful environment to cycle in. What more could one wish for? Our spik tyres bit magnificantly in the slippery surface and off we set.
Flying into Moscow airport Domodedowo we were lucky enough to have missed the bomb attack due to a 15 minutes delay of our plane out of Berlin. If it were not for this (usually annoying) delay, we would have been standing directly in front of the luggage conveyor, only 50m away from the bomb itself! When compared to the inconvenience that would have been, the 90 hour train journey proved much more relaxing, even if it were not possible for me to strech my legs whilst sleeping.
After shopping in town at the northern coast of the Lake Baikal, our equipment is now complete. We have supplies for 35 days with teh option of purchasing more after 20 days in a settlement. The complete weight of our equipment together with bikes, trailer, clothing, camping gear, photo equipment, and food is approximately 110 kg each. Our daily meals however reduced this weight by approximately one kilogram per day.
Daytime temperatures of -25 to -30°C at daytime and -30 to -45°C at night are threatened us right from the start of our tour - teh temperatures refused to change but we thankfully soon adapted to the conditions. Only our camera and photo equipment, especially the batteries gave cause for concern. BEventually even this problem would be overcome and our focus returned to teh task at hand. Our tight scheduleshould allow us to reach Irkutsk, the large town south west of the Lake Baikal by teh 6th of March. March 12th we will be safely back in Berlin and able to share our stories with you all.
Andy and Waltraud