DAY 50 / DAY OFF IN TALLINN
17.8.2014 / Tallinn / 0 km / 18 152 km total.
DAY 51 / I WILL MISS YOU
18.8.2014 / Tallinn – Helsinki / 3 km / 18 155 km total.
After a wonderful weekend in Tallinn, my wife rushed off to work with the first ferry to Helsinki. I had booked a later ferry as I needed some more time to pack up the bike and deal with the vehicle check-in in the ferry terminal. Everything went very smoothly and I was soon sitting in my dirty riding gear among people going to or returning from holidays. I wondered what stories they had to tell from their escapades.
As the ferry docked in Helsinki I started my bike for the last time during the Eastern Dirt 14 adventure. As the gates opened I rode out and rolled out of the harbour without incident. My garage was only two kilometres away, and I soon found myself opening a familiar gate into the courtyard. As I rode up to my garage door, I remembered how heavy and cumbersome the bike had felt on the rainy morning that I had left over seven weeks earlier. I hit the kill switch, turned off the ignition and kicked out the side stand. My helmet found itself on the Garmin Montana, as usual and I stepped off the bike. Everything happened as a fluid motion, without thinking. It had become second nature.
I opened up the garage doors and pushed the bike inside. Everything was exactly as I had left it. It felt very strange to see the gear, that I had discarded at the last minute, now lying on my work desk under a coat of dust. I changed from the riding gear into civilian gear and sat on my work stool. I was not yet ready to leave, and just sat there in the garage, staring at my bike. It had been a faithful and dependable travel companion all summer. We had shared incredible experiences, overcome obstacles and seen both good days and bad. I would no longer be bound to it daily, and our paths would diverge for now. The ending of the ride filled me with at least as much dread as the start of it.
Helsinki-Kirov. From endless rain, a border crossing and shattered dreams to sunshine and rekindled faith.
Kirov-Omsk. Pushing further east. First mechanical problems and some seriously beautiful riding.
Uvsin Khar - Ulan Ude. Taking a break and finishing the Mongolian leg. New trails and unexpected difficulties.