Some people enjoy perfectly planned and executed vacations, cyclists on the other hand mostly find themselves attracted to situations and places which are slightly out of the comfort zone. It might be the fact that we find pleasure in a bit of suffering, but somehow we end up riding our bikes in weird places quite often. Some places are weirder than others, and some are just straight weird and "out-of-this-world" beautiful like Sakhalin.
For volume 10 we went to experience this island lost in between Okhotsk and Japan Seas. Being in a centre of dispute between Russia and Japan for years it holds an amazing mix of cultures, languages and unexplored pristine nature mixed with huge oil developing factories.
The in depth trip report can be found in our print, here though we would like to share a bit of background on the participants of this adventure.
Alexandr Bochkov - infamous and almost iconic figure of russian fixed gear and cyclocross communities. Alexandr or Sasha for short is a young frame builder from St.Petersburg and an organizer of one of a kind suffer-fest, also known as "Reverse Side of the Road" race. Sasha is well known for his great communicational skills and can fix any kind of problem or misunderstanding with a can of beer and a talk. Indispencable part of our expedition crew.
Christian Ekdahl - swedish party prince and god of long distance touring. We all heard about these people who like to put themselves into misery by riding 36 hours straight into headwind, well he is one of them. Ask anyone who travelled in remote places and they will tell you, that a tall strong male with tattoos and survival skills of a viking is the best choice for a travel companion.
Sogon Yoon - the pillar Farride stands on, the brain behind all the crazy ideas and awkwardly planned trips, father of two and probably the only person who is willing to sacrifice space in his bag designated for warm clothing, for the drone and camera microfone. Every adventure needs a captain and a person who is able to balance on the edge of being always worried and knowing everything will eventually work out.
Steff Gutovska - who knows if Steff was brought over for the fact that she can and will carry a DSLR camera on her back for 800km of gravel, her knowledge of Russian or just because she is a girl and we are trying to be more inclusive. (Don't freak out, this text is actually written by her) In any case, she was the part of the team and made the photos you can find in the feature, she also smiled to grumpy locals and made sure the group had enough oatmeal for breakfast and chips and beer for dinner.
Hope you like the cut, the adventure and the craziness.
We also hope it will inspire you to go and do something as crazy on your own.
Sincerely, Farride team