• Antony
Vehicle Type

Siberian Arctic Circle Through Ural

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It was the first serious motorcycle trip I took alone.

The idea was to explore Russian North and to get to the Arctic circle. I was to ride from Moscow to Urals then take North and get to the Arctic circle, and finally get back to Moscow via a different route. Kind of a circle to the Arctic circle. About 8 000 km in total.

This article is a modest attempt to share my experience, sights and a few thoughts. Hopefully it might be useful to someone.

Story begins
24 Jun 2017


Part 1 of 5: Moscow → Chelyabinsk region

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So, the journey began on June 24th, 2017. And frankly, I started to screw up my plans and timing from the very beginning.

On the first day, I expected to leave Moscow at 7 AM and meet the evening glow splashing in the river Usa near Syzran town. But the last few days before the departure were pretty tiresome. I abandoned all hopes of early waking and managed to leave only at noon, covered a little more than 500 km and spent the night in a roadside motel near Penza.

Part 3 of 5: Tyumen → Novy Urengoy → Surgut

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Got to Nefteyugansk. It is probably the most northern latitude I have ever been in Russia.

718 km travelled in one day. North of Tobolsk, the benefits of civilization became more and more rare. Gas stations only once every 100 km, cafes — once every 200.

The road had a good quality tarmac but felt rather monotonous, as it ran like a winding gray ribbon among forests, swamps and rivers. Almost all side tracks and minor roads were leading to resource-extracting or -processing facilities.

Part 4 of 5: Surgut → Moscow

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In the evening in Surgut, a neighbour moved in my double hotel room. Formally it was ok — I was staying in a double room for the price of a single. But usually hotels let the clients stay alone until they run out of other empty rooms. Not that hotel though. It was evident they have at least 3 similar empty rooms but they decided to put that guy in my room. Did they want to cut their expenses on cleaning or what?

Part 5 of 5: Summary & Tips

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This was my first solo trip with such a long distance to travel, and the main personal conclusion I got: nothing is impossible. In any situation there were good people who helped to solve any problem.

What can I recommend to those who are planning to ride to the Siberian North?


I really enjoyed reading about your trip, although I was sad you did not make it to your expected destination.  You can always go again, but use the alternate route and FINALLY hit your destination!  

Even though you did not reach the end of the road you found inner peace during your journey.  Finding that people are very helpful when you need them the most is the best part of any trip, especially the trip of life.

Be safe in your future journeys!