DAY 50 / DAY OFF IN TALLINN

17.8.2014 / Tallinn / 0 km / 18 152 km total.

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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.

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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.

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Week One

Week One

Helsinki-Kirov. From endless rain, a border crossing and shattered dreams to sunshine and rekindled faith.

Week Two

Week Two

Kirov-Omsk. Pushing further east. First mechanical problems and some seriously beautiful riding.

Week Three

Week Three

Omsk - Uvsiin Khar. Leaving Siberia and entering Altai and Mongolia. Meeting new friends.

Week Four

Week Four

Uvsin Khar - Ulan Ude. Taking a break and finishing the Mongolian leg. New trails and unexpected difficulties.

Week Five

Week Five

Ulan Ude - Zarb. Headed north and hitting tricky trails.

Week Six

Week Six

Zarb-Mrakovo. Rolling west through Siberia. Many new friends and goodbyes.

Week Seven

Week Seven

Mrakovo-Tallinn. Pushing west, the longest day and meeting many people.

Week Eight

Week Eight

Tallinn-Helsinki. The end of the adventure.