Last day of this tour! We did some touring in Suzdal - monestary... I had to pay a small fee to park my bike in a parking lot, since they would not let me leave it near the entrance to the Monestary! then, everyone hopped onto the bus. but me that is. I RODE! I was the only one. Unbelievable. I am still surprised about this. It was the most WONDERFUL road we had the whole bloody time! So smooth. Like being in the US. Only, OK. The traffic was horrific. One-two lanes on the main thoroghfare. Most of the time there was a great shoulder though. Have I mentioned that the shoulders in Russia are interesting. The slower vehicles are very considerate of the others and they drive as far over as possible to let others pass. That means they drive right up our you-know-whats. The thing is, I got very used to this. I watched these trucks ride over on the shoulder up close to one of my fellow cyclists and pull into the car lane, pass the bike, and pull back into the shoulder. Over and over. I know, without seeing it, they did it to me also. The other thing is... the Russian drivers are VERY good. They pay attention. I didn't really feel unsafe. Hardly every any accidents anyway.
So, this day was FULL of rolling hills! The great part is that because there were so many trucks and lorries, they would whiz by me at high speeds and on one hill, there were SO many trucks, that they literally pulled me up the hill! It was awesome. I loved it. I got to the gas station well before the van (they did more sight-seeing) and hung out for a good 45-50 mins watching the coming-going. It had only been a 20-25 mile ride. I ate some crap food, drank my ever-present diet coke and just watched. The people in Russia will just ignore you - actually, you see that they note you out of the side and look firmly ahead. Pretty funny.
Van back to Moscow. Whew... What a great adventure, crappy roads, flies and all. Great riding companions. Nice food and drink at the end of every day... Nice rest with my great roommate, Jan.