Riding to Sochi – it's getting tough

10 May 2013 13:43
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With almost two weeks in the saddle, the quartet of race boarders has traveled about 2,800 kilometres to the far East.

Or as Sigi Grabner calls it on behalf of Roland Fischnaller, Aaron March and Erich Pramsohler the Wild Wild East.

But find out for yourself by checking his road book.



Morning breakfast was not really the big hammer, very basic. I made my famous porridge - home made Sigi style. This was followed by a Dolomite lunch with speck, cheese and home made bread from South Tyrol. It gave us power for the day to come ;)

We started early and took the road to Odessa along the seaside and continued to Mikolajew.

This time there was a very nice favourable wind from behind, which made us fast and feel good. Weather was perfect, sunshine yet not too hot, so we continued rolling on to the East until Kherov, the next big city, located at the Dnjepr delta.

It is a region with huge harbours, docks, factory buildings and railroad trails, huge bridges and farming industries. A lot of traffic, very wild vehicles and intense movement on the roads. The main roads are fine, no bumps. Only one flat tyre today.

People moving on the roads are very friendly and relaxed, we enjoy this country a lot.. By the way, many nice girls around, and surprisingly not only blondes.

One of the heavy trucks failed to hit our bus by little, he blast away the leftside mirror though – it was close, but everybody is OK. We lingered the Black Sea northern coast and made our longest distance today – 246k – thanks to a good wind and a perfect road condition.

We stay overnight in a fishermen’s camp on the river Dnjepr and are going to have some fresh fish for dinner and finally some Vodka. It’s Metchi’s birthday.


It’s a hard stage today, we fight against a hot wind, 50km/h against your face, we hardly gain speed to advance. We struggle in Southeast direction, pedalling in an endless landscape of agricultural industry, huge fields, rare settlements, the wind blows in our faces – I hate it.

It is really tough today. It is a hot wind like it comes from the desert and it dries you out completely, you are not able to compensate this loss of humidity, even if you drink a lot. We put up our tent in the middle of nowhere and Erich cooked a wonderful pasta – grazie Maestro, benissimo!

Everything is basic here, the roads, the settlements, off the touristic track, purely Russian signs everywhere and meanwhile we start to read them. What a challenge!

Finally we stop at Dzhankoy in the Northeastern part of Krim peninsula for the overnight stop.

People have made big parades everywhere as today is the national holiday in Ukraine. They celebrate the End of 1945 war, the victory over the NS regime. Also here people are dressed up, ready for going out, parties are on. But not for us. No thanks. We go to sleep, we are done.

The good thing is – we are already close! Total distance: 2740km