You lucky, lucky b******...
So I'd skipped Moscow, it was actually always the idea too, I just fooled everyone with the Melbourne to Moscow thing. Moscow is obviously a big crazy city full of people that would like to steal a DR650 and stab a stupid Aussie. But I did ride through of course, just to confirm my thoughts of 'big' and 'crazy'. The traffic came to halt well out of the city and there was some serious lane splitting that reminded me of Japan all over again. I had the crazy idea of trying to park out the front of the Kremlin to take a photo, but decided that getting arrested, fined and shot was proberly not the quickest way to get to Copenhagen. Amazingly I found my way through the city ok and onto the M10 to St Petersburg. Managed to find a roadside guesthouse out of Moscow a bit where the old lady there wanted me to marry her and take her back to Oz.... I thought about it, but again it wasn't the quickest way to Copenhagen.
I answered the usual questions the next morning (when, where, why) and went on my truck dodging way to St Petersburg. Then, almost as usual, something strange happened. I was at my usual cruising speed of 130kph, day dreaming of having faster bike and had finally made up my mind that it would be a Suzuki Hayabusa (worlds fastest production bike for the trainspotters), but was wondering if they came in black when........ a black Suzuki Hayabusa tore up beside me, slowed down to give a wave and a toot and then sped off into the distance. I had a moment where I beleived that the last 14000km had finally taken its toll and I had gone completely mad and was haulicnating like a hippy at Woodstock. This type of thing had happened before, on the road to Chita I swear the rocks starting running across the road in front me after one particually long day... But this Hayabusa was too big and lifelike for even my crazy brain to dream up. I slowed down for a bit to let it all sink in and then just shrugged my shoulders, shook my head and thought that at least my question of Hayabusa colour schemes had been answered. I knew that weirder stuff had and would continue to happen on this short little road trip. Although I couldn't really get it out of my head, especially considering that I had not been overtaken by ANY motorbike in the last 14000km, let alone something as rare and expensive (in these parts anyhow) as a Hayabusa. I breifly forgot about it and starting thinking about my other favourite thing to thing about on the road, food. Problem was that for the first time in ages, maybe the whole trip, I wasn't really all that hungry. Since crossing the Urals there had been plenty of places to eat and I had become much better at finding these places and translating menu's. So after thinking about it for way too long I decided that the only sane thing to eat would be icecream. It had warmed up considerbly and I liked the idea of eating icecream when only a week ago I wouldn't have been able to think of anything worse. Finally the fuel stations had starting selling more than just fuel so I pulled into the next one to see the black Hayabusa parked there. This was almost starting to rival the walking rocks of Siberia in its weirdness, but being a firm beleiver in nothing I ignored it. I didn't need fuel so parked at what I thought was the cafe and went inside to search for icecream. It wasn't a cafe, actually I still don't really know what it was but there wasn't a ice cream in sight so it no intrest to me. Went back outside to see the Hayabusa's owner jump on her and, when I thought he would tear off up the road at 320kph he just moved his bike off to the side and opened a bottle of water to take a drink. Thankfully he wasn't eating an icecream. God, Allah, Buddha, Zues, destiny, luck and that Elephant with all the arms had given me enough chances', I thought I better go and talk to Mr Hayabusa. I cruised over and shook his hand with the usual Russian greeting, he then asked me something way too complicated for my simple Russian lingo skills and I asked if he spoke English. His reply was, amazingly "yes". Introduced himself as Sergey and I explained my last few weeks breifly. Sergey wrote down his phone number for me and said that if I had any trouble finding a place to stay in St Petersburg to give him a call. I bid him farewell and went into the servoshop he had just come out of and I had somehow missed on my way in to find the ice cream that was still consuming most of my brain power. I found a sutible looking ice cream in the freezer there, something like a drumstick crossed with a Corneto for the lovers of frozen cream, and left the shop pretty happy with myself. Sergey was still parked there looking thoughtful. He said that I really shouldn't stay at a hotel, he had an appartment with a spare room and a garage to park the bike in and he would wait on the outskirts of St Petersburg for me and I could follow him from there. I inhaled my icecream thinking that I had never thought about one type of food for so long and was amazed once again at how easy it all is sometimes...
I met Sergey about 100km up the road on the outskirts of St Petersburg and followed him to his garage. I did of course think that it may be bit crazy to beleive this complete stranger and he may stab me and take my bike, but the thought didn't concern me too much, I was sick of riding that day.
What followed was 5 days of non-stop drinking, meeting every biker in St Petersburg, attending the 'closing of the season' bike ride through the city with about 200 other bikes and 1 weeks free accomodation. One last display of Russian hospitality maybe. Perfect way to end a 14,000km journey across the longest country on earth.
As that fella says at the end of The Life of Brian - "you lucky, lucky b******".