Arctic Ride Russia - The route
Welcome to the latest installment of The Arctic Rider blog.
I want to start by saying a huge thanks to each and every one of you who reads this blog. Its always difficult to know if people will be interested in my ramblings about my motorbike trips to The Arctic, but, thanks to my google analytics, I can see there are still plenty of folk interested. Furthermore, to my amazement, I've had over 290,000 unique view of the blog since I started in 2011... seriously thanks for all the support!
Now onto matters present, the route I'll be taking as I look to conquer another Arctic country crossing. Firstly, I must stress that Russia is literally the biggest country in the world and 11% of the world's total area, so picking where I was going to cross the Arctic Circle has taken a bit of time. With the help of the ever supportive Mrs Arctic Ride, we did A LOT of research to work out where its possible to cross the Arctic Circle by motorbike. The result of our research is that we think there is actually only 1 road that will lead me to Arctic Russia, the R21 highway between St Petersburg and Murmansk. The reason for this seems to be that there aren't that many roads in general North of the Arctic Circle (due to the harsh climate) and those roads are mainly between the towns and cities. The only other way to cross the Arctic Circle in Russia is to take a boat down one of the many huge rivers. *if anyone does come across another route that can be ridden on a motorcycle, I'd be really keen to hear it*
So unlike my trip to Norway, but like Iceland, I've only got one destination to cross the Arctic Circle in North Western Russia, and the route starts to plan itself. This helps me from a total distance point of view, i.e. I don't have to get myself to Siberia or anything, but its still going to be a long slog East to get to Russia, and then North to the Arctic Circle.
My route will see my traverse 13 countries in about 2.5 weeks, riding close to 6,000 miles. As with all of my trips I'll start by heading ~300 miles South from my hometown of Newcastle to Cross the English channel onto continental Europe. From here I'll start my journey 1,000 miles East, riding the width of several countries including The Netherlands, Germany, and Poland. From here I'll start the 1,500 mile journey North through Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Russia. I've not quite decided where I'm going to cross into Russia yet, but I've been advised that the crossings from Estonia to Russia can be very long, so I'm opting to cross from Finland.
So that is the baseline route that I will be riding in just a few months time to raise money for Tiny Lives Trust, who help sick and premature babies at the RVI hospital in Newcastle. You can donate to support my ride and Tiny Lives at my donation page (click here). Thank you to all of those who have donated so far.
If you aren't able to donate you can support by liking/following my social media accounts and sharing content.
Thanks again and ride safe.