The Crimson Trail 17 – Ashes of empires

Another season begins after a less than perfect one just ended. What a relief. It feels as if a veil of slumber is rising, as the world is once again a stream of gear coming and going, maps pinned on walls and long nights staring at Garmin Base Camp and Google Earth. I love this.

The expedition this year will focus on Eastern Europe, and I hope to wrap up The Crimson Trail once and for all. It seems that the project of 2015 has dragged out and into three seasons. It’s nothing to complain about though, as Eastern Europe offers incredible riding in great scenery, very nice people, good food and very easy(ish) access from Berlin.

The mission remains the same; a dirt trail through Eastern Europe. From the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean, with a focus on exploring abandoned Cold War relics and technical trails. The rough line for this year is currently at around 10.000 km, with a transit from Berlin to the Ukrainian border and another one from Southern Austria to Berlin. So roughly about 8.500 km of mission trails, which will most likely drag out to over 10.000 km. The ride begins in early June and needs to be wrapped up by the end of August so a maximum duration of about 90 days.

I’m riding with a core team of two, with my buddy Per from Sweden also on a KTM 500 EXC. We will however have some friends on the way joining us for a couple of sections and hopefully we’ll meet riders on the trails. This is also an open invitation to get in touch with me in case you’re in the area during the summer and want to see about riding with us for a section. I’d imagine most sections can be ridden on 690’s or similar weight class bikes, but some trails will be rideable on small bikes only. We’ll see how it goes.

The map below is a very rough line of what is being planned and will of course change according to final track design and what happens on the trails.

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