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Blog

This Blog is moderated and posted by team member / film-maker Lee Carruthers.

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Please visit Ewa Dembek's personal Wordpress Blog: Freeedom Spoke



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Ewa's Wordpress Blog

Posted by Sybirak Cycle on June 8, 2015 at 4:20 AM Comments comments (48)

Please visit https://sybirakcycle.wordpress.com/" target="_blank">Ewa's wordpress Blog Freedom Spoke.  

https://sybirakcycle.wordpress.com/" target="_blank">


Day 2 On the Road

Posted by Sybirak Cycle on May 14, 2015 at 3:55 AM Comments comments (30)
Please excuse this single paragraph entry. My tablet died and the original properly paragraphed text was on it. Thiss was copied from Facebook which apparently removes linefeeds Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Spent a night in the forest about 55 km back. Cuckoos making clock-like sounds well into the night. My first encounter with such birds and certainly a thrill to hear them. Yes, they sound like the clocks, or maybe the clocks sound like the birdsSet up my new Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 UL for the first time. It worked in the rain that fell much of the night. Pretty smallfor a 2 person tent but still bigger than my old MSR single person. No leaks and easy to set up. Another piece of untested gear was my new Thermarest NeoAir mattress. Again, flawless execution and not much potato chip action. A very good sleep in the Polski pines. We arose expecting to make porridge and coffee. Alas, some dope had bought the wrong type of butane cartidges for our stoves. I now know there is a 3rd type for French Bluet stoves and that is what I bought. A no-go for MSR. So we peddled for almost an hour before finding a breakfast place. The sun was out but the traffic was heavy, with no shoulder. Fortunately, Polish drivers are quite polite and close passes rare. There was one motorcycle that went by us at what I would guess was over 200 kph. This is no exaggeration. Right after that we came to a cross beside the road with a motorcycle helmet on the top. Breakfast was at a bar. Scrambled eggs with kubasa and thick black coffee served by an older woman who gestured toward her heart when Ewa ordered me a second cup. LOL! The washroom was spotless, with bright purple tiles. We hit the road though largely gorgeous mixed forest and fields and small villages. Even the larger towns were picture perfect, neat and tidy. Traffic density rose and fell but paved shoulders stubbornly refused to appear. Dogs here are largely behind fences, except for a group of two who did us no harm despite some aggressive body and verbal language. The sun was largely present and a tail wind prevailed. We passed a few wind turbines. Supper at a bar near the outskirts of Socolow Podlaski, served by a strikingly beautiful red haired young woman. We decided to find a hotel so spent a while wandering from direction-giver to direction-giver before finding one that appeared to be in the middle of a park. $20/ night with breakfast. A bit classy but what is one to do when the sun is descending in the city?

May 10, 2015

Posted by Sybirak Cycle on May 11, 2015 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (35)

Sunday May 10, 2015

A lot of screwing with tech again today. Just fired up a new text prog and the keyboard ran away with the spoons.

Sleep still messed up with jet lag, after catching up on it yesterday. To bed at 2:00 this morning after another board game,this one called DiXit. Woke up at 0700 and the monkey kept me wide awake until I finally gave it up at 9:00. So, out for breakfast while the rest of the house slept (except for Rudy the cat who always meets me coming out of the bathroom).

Streets freshly wet with rain, not cold though. Bells on church ringing as I walked the 1/2 block to Starbucks. Never visit the place at home but it's handy here, with wifi.

Yesterday our hosts, Ania and Lukaz, took us on a bike ride across the bridge and to a great breakfast spot, complete with local TV celebrities. Browsed a bike shop and visited the university library. It was a glorious ivy-covered place with a rooftop garden. Everything metal seemed to be weathered copper-green. An interesting poster exhibit in the attrium with many tempting images. I was reminded, wistfully, of the east European penchant for such stuff and how it mysteriously appears to reside somewhere in my past experience.

There was a lot of discussion of Warsaw's wartime tragedies, one of which was the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. Our hosts are taking us to the museum of that event today. Interesting to experience a culture so steeped in wartime suffering, as compared to ours which, particularly now, only exports suffering to other regions.

Warsaw is sooooo cycling-friendly, with bike paths everywhere and plenty of racks to park them. And, unlike Whitehorse, you are never the lone rider on the road. Here they give up major space on their bridges for walkers and cyclists, equivalent to a full car lane on each side.

I keep running into Polish people who look like people I know at home. Today it was Tara behind the till and Shelley in line. Last night we had dinner at an Italian place and discussed the "look" of people here and elsewhere. We had walked in and our server addressed me in English. I was told I had a British look about me, whereas Ewa looks like a local (which she genetically is). Then again, we spoke some English coming in the door.

We did some bike work yesterday, Ewa mounting her new lock and headlight and me reworking my handlebars with faux aero bars, new grips and a mount for my phone. The mount for my GPS/bike computer has vanished so that will be an improv I guess.

I returned to the apartment and Lukaz and Ania left to vote for a president. She was favouring an ex rock star for his genuineness. Ewa was working away at other tech challenges, including posting through Instagram.

We ae both feeling a little silly staring into our phones and tablets ad infinitum. The thing is it takes a lot of tech time getting the communications project underway.

Morning After the Kick-Off Party

Posted by Sybirak Cycle on May 3, 2015 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (19)

Well, that was a great party! Standing room only inside and out. I received a lot of "regrets" during the day so wasn't sure how many would be there. It would have been insane had everyone showed up.

 

The skies opened right at the beginning, sending some slush down onto the deck for 1/2 hour. After that it was smooth sailing.

 

I was overwhelmed by all of the sincere wishes of good luck and safe travel. I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people in my life. I hope I can bring you all back a great film of the great adventure.

 

Someone left a big silver bowl behind. I will leave it out on the deck in case I'm not around when you come by.

 

I am experiencing a lot of mixed feelings as departure approaches, and have become aware of the sheer magnitude of the change coming up. To my friends who have done similar trips, I am just now beginning to understand your experience. Thanks again to all who shared the evening.

Passport is Back, Micro-Organizing

Posted by Sybirak Cycle on April 27, 2015 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Awoke at 5:00 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep. My passport, complete with Belarus and Russian visas, arrived today.

Working hard at bringing some order to the film gear chaos. Even though this is an ultra-light kit, there are still many many parts and pieces to check, organize and put into accessible containers. Cameras, mounts, lenses, memory, light, audio and everything needed to power it all. I constantly walk the edge of overwhelm.

Meanwhile, Darren is working on my deck. I paused my other work to pick up more lumber and screw on the deck planks.

There is bike work to be done too. More maps, a GoPro mount and some ominous government mail came today.

A fine massage this morning.

Visas are in the bag

Posted by Sybirak Cycle on April 24, 2015 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (18)

We both have our Russain and Belarus visas and passports are on their way home! A big hurdle is behind us.

Another Day of Detail Work

Posted by Sybirak Cycle on April 24, 2015 at 2:45 AM Comments comments (18)

Spent much of my day reviewing a couple of dozen SD cards, saving the necessary info (not much), formatting them and putting them into their little plastic boxes and thence into various little pouches, separating the micro SD cards from the regular SD cards. The micros go with the GoPro and the audio recorders.

Also dug out my microphones and audio recorders. My lav mic has mysteriously disappeared but he wireless transmitter and receiver haven't. Optioned the recorders, checked and bought batteries as required. Yesterday, I did other technical camera and audio related chores, as well as putting my music into a usable form for the trip. All necessary but tedious.

Labelled my portable HDDs, worked out how to transfer files through my phone, etc. etc. This after a couple of days of thinking I really needed to take along a small laptop, trying to resuscitate my netbook, throwing it in the garbage, blah blah and blah. Lighter this way.

All of this has to go into various pouches and cases. Steady but painful and often lonely progress. Oh yeah - I got the Russian visa!! As did Ewa.

Maps and kite arrived in the mail. Also found my second piece of Edziza lava, long lost, in the duffel bag I used for my mobile social worker job.

Tonight I emailed off a supplementary letter for my Belarus visa application, ordered a new battery for my phone (it had suddenly started to show its age).

Went to the Reel Paddling Festival. A good film on the Grand Canyon of the Stikine, among others. The Museum of Broken Hearts exhibit at the gallery was heart-breakingly sad, at least for me. i so miss my dog.


Computer Hell

Posted by Sybirak Cycle on April 21, 2015 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (24)

Since we're making a film of this little trip, I need a laptop along to interface with the three 2 TB HDDs that will store the video files. I pulled out my little netbook the other day and fired it up, for the first time in almost a year. It behaved strangely and was terribly slow. I messed with it for awhile but gave it up. Took it to the store and signed it up for service. That was $50 so I looked at the new ones on the shelf.


There was one there for $350 so I bought it, paying $200 with the prepaid credit card they gave me as a going away gift at work. That eased the pain. I picked up my old one and took it home too, saving the $50. I am a little uneasy about taking a new netbook along, what with hazards on the way. I wouldn't hurt so much to lose the old one.


The new netbook proved to be better but no great shakes at speed. I messed with that (and its Windows 8 OS) for a day and took it back. Had a discussion with the service guy and he hinted it may just be a software problem with the old one. So I spent some time on the net looking for info on formatting it, which I eventually found.


Did the procedure and it went fine except now the screen has been telling me "Setup is starting services" for over an hour. Hope begins to dim, again. This is tedious and time-consuming stuff.


On another note, I got the website blog going so this will appear on the Facebook group page and Sybirakcycle.com. This followed a telephone discussion with Ewa about using the web interface to make the changes. It's a little surreal talking to her about this and other preparations as the clock winds down to departure. The Things To Do list remains long.


But, the sun is shining over a breezy blue sky . . .

Ewa's Russian Visa!

Posted by Sybirak Cycle on April 20, 2015 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (20)

After weeks of wrangling and sweating, Ewa got her Russian visa today! Belarus should be soon. Me? Still waiting to hear from them. Patience my son.

More Riders?

Posted by Sybirak Cycle on April 19, 2015 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)

April 19

We are still willing to accept one or two more riders for portions of the trip. Message us here.


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