Friday, January 6, 2012

It's Round the World Doug!

So it looks like "Round the World Doug" is going to be in Michigan this weekend! He will be at the International Motorcycle Show at the Novi Expo Center in Novi Michigan this weekend, and he'll be giving a short presentation on his last trip around the world. I do believe he'll be going on sometime in the early afternoon? Not positive on the exact time, but I heard somewhere between 1 and 3?
I know I'll be there, and you should to. I'm just hoping Doug will dish out his secret as to how he does it... build a bad ass bike, then sit down on it, twist the throttle, and don't stop till you hit the ocean... at which point you turn around and do it all over again. This man is a legend! 
Here's a little something I found on the innerwebs about his last trip and the bike he built for it... enjoy.

Road of Bones on a Harley

One of the holy grails of adventure riding is the Siberian journey known as the "Road of Bones". Commenced in the Stalin era of the USSR in 1932, the road got its name from the shocking practice of burying the dead workers in the road base as it was constructed in the harsh Eastern Russian conditions.
The isolated 2000 odd kilometre stretch of broken bridges and random hazards is no place for the weak of heart.

You may remember Doug Wothke from a story we ran a while ago, in which he took his chopped rigid frame Harley for a jaunt around Europe, and Eastern Europe, including a spin around Iraq. If not, take a look here.

Well Doug's at it again, this time he's decided the most suitable adventure bike for the harsh Siberian trip wasn't available commercially, so he's made his own, out of a Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster.

The Dirtster

Nicknamed the "Dirtster", the 2003 model Sportster has suspension and wheels more suitable for the conditions, along with the usual long distance modifications. While the Road of Bones is a few thousand kilometres long, Doug is going to ride across Europe, and subject to visas, make a run across Iran, and probably several other countries a sane man wouldn't go.

Not content with reaching Magadan at the end of the Road of Bones, the bike will be then put on a ship for a small southern journey to Vladivostok, and from there Doug will ride clear across Russia back to Europe. This would probably around 30,000 kilometres all up.

Red line is approximate route to Madagan on the East coast, dotted green is ship, followed by the run home.

If you haven't already, take a look at Doug's site The Eastern Europe trip on the Shovel is really something to see. This next adventure should take things to a whole new level, and we look forward to the stories and pictures to come.

About the Road of Bones:

Constructed in the Stalin era of the USSR, the Highway was constructed using forced labour by inmates of  the gulag camps, commencing in 1932. By the time it was completed in 1952, tens of thousands of workers had died on the project.

The road runs for 2000 kilometres through the harshest terrain of the Asian continent, connecting Magadan and Yakutsk,  looping through the Siberian mountains in order to reach the gold mines that once operated there. Two towns on the highway, Tomtor and Oymyakon, both claim to be the coldest inhabited place on earth outside of Antarctica. The average temperature in Oymyakon in January is -46°C. 

The expo's info can be found here

and the source I cited here

and Doug's page here

and you are here

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