Life and death on the road


I rode quite a long way today. Nearly 600km. It was raining when I got up, so I spent an hour getting my stuff on just right. Heated vest, jacket, trousers and rainproof oversuit. It was worth it as I stayed mostly dry. The heated vest is particularly good. I didn’t really need it, but I wanted to try it out. On the lowest setting it was like sitting in a warm pub. Ace!

Somehow I managed to wander off the main E22 and onto some back roads. I probably followed a sign to Казань (Kazan) that took me onto the old highway. It’ll be interesting to see my track log when I get an internet connection next. It was an interesting diversion, taking me through some twisty roads that were a welcome break from all the long straight roads recently. Back to small villages and wooden huts for a while.

I knew it wasn’t the main route but I wasn’t worried, the signs were pointing me towards Kazan – which is where I was heading. I came across some roadside stalls selling what looked like knitted garments. I stopped for a look and it was all men doing the work, which I thought was a bit strange. I asked one of them what the scarf like items with two handles were. He took one down to show me.

They’re loofas made from recycled plastic. The men were getting strips of colourful plastic and knitting looped mits for the shower. They were really good and if I had the room I’d have bought a couple. The yalso has bunches of the dreaded oak leaves for the Banyas!

I rode and rode, despite the miserable weather. I was just in the mood to watch the world go by, and there wasn’t much to stop for. The autumn colours are just starting to come out, In a few weeks it’ll look spectacular. I found my way down to the main M7, where the 2 lane road opens up and you can get a decent cruising speed.

5 minutes later it was all stop. 2 lanes of queuing traffic. Being on a bike it was no trouble to filter down the centre to the front, where it was apparent a major accident had just taken place. Two unidentifiable vehicles had obviously collided at very high speed.

It was a carnage of wreckage, twisted metal, broken glass, oil, fuel and coolant. 4 bodies strewn in unnatural positions with clothing covering their heads. The police were on scene but no paramedics yet, they had just opened the barrier to make a contraflow so we could get moving. I’m guessing that the occupants of both vehicles were all killed.

As I got moving I pondered life for a while, how easily destroyed, how fragile we are. Within minutes the mad Russian driving brought me back to reality. Even having seen the harrowing aftermath of a crash, it seemed all people wanted to do was make up for lost time! Amazing.

About Sophie Whiptank - aka Bart

I'm just a bloke doing some stuff, the more interesting bits I post on my blog. Scroll down far enough and you'll see me riding from Melbourne Australia to Birmingham, England in 2014. But now I'm working on another project, a single cylinder motorbike engine at 2750cc!

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