Saturday 11 June – 98 km – Total 6092 km
Since riding through Siberia, and when hosted by several motorcycle clubs I learnt about a forthcoming regional bikers’ meeting in Mongolia. The date was 11 & 12 June at the Genghis Khan ss-Monument, about 40 clicks east of Ulaanbaatar.
“Righto!” I thought, let me see if I can manage to go there and win the price for ‘furthest travelled from …’
Having arrived in UB I started to get worried about my leaking front left fork seal. It risked spoiling the left front break, so immediately after arrival in my hostel, I order a replacement set from the UK, superfast delivery thank you.
It necessitated to remain in UB for a little longer than anticipated.
On the plus-side now a trip to this meet was almost a certainty.
To combine the unfortunate with the pragmatic, I cleaned up the leaking seal with a fork seal cleaning tool – Thank you Neil Barnes! – and determined that the ride to the bikers’ meet would be the test-ride to see if a cleaned seal would prevent further leaking.
Meanwhile my new mate Werner from Austria (mind the ‘L’), who has been in Mongolia several times and for longer stints, had a bike for sale. A Honda Transalp, ‘left over’ from a group of Schwarzeneggers. It didn’t sell as pre-arranged and agreed, and since the group had already left to home shores, Werner volunteered to sell the bike: 2000 Euros –certainly a bargain!
Werner belived going to the bikers meeting will offer a great opportunity to present and hopefully sell the bike. Moreover, he could shoot some nice pix at the meet.
After a hostel breakfast – the standard honey, 3 jams and toast (a tad/toast repetitive), we rode off. The hostel is located close to the east-west thorough fare, right at its eastern end. Since we had to go east, we didn’t have to wrestle through the start-and-stop city traffic, however traffic was at its usual ‘thickness’. Being a Saturday appears to make no difference. Moreover, it seems that even Sunday’s don’t make a difference to the business on the streets and open shops.
The eastern suburbs of UB are nothing to write home about, so I skip this part and only say that the road leading us out east was shit-house.
About 12 kms out of town a toll-booth greeted us with a long line of cars ready to pay their dues. I had noticed these booths before: when arriving from Russia travelling towards UB. I always had ridden around the barrier, not paying (in these instances I didn’t have any Mongol money) and had not observed any adverse reaction of the toll-collector.
Werner and I did the same: overtaking the car-snake on its left and doing a hard right at the actual barrier. I am never quite sure of my not-pay action, but once again no adverse reaction. The road changed immediately to a much better surface…! I would have gladly paid any toll. But too late – off we accelerated. Werner was leading as he knows the way.
Having ridden almost 35 kms, I could not overlook the silver-shiny massive statue appearing sat the horizon: Genghis Khan, all made of stainless –steel, a private initiative.
Riding a few more kays we had arrived. An Arc-de-Triumphe-like entrance lead us into a large car-park and one could see the many steps leading to the monument.
However, this wasn’t really the reason we were here! It was all about the bikers’ meet, but we hadn’t seen any other bikes travelling on the same road, neither had we overtaken any? No bikes were parked anywhere.
Well, having learnt that Mongolian Time is very close to Pacific Time, I was happy to wait and explore the ss-Khan statue instead.
Upon my return nothing much had changed. Still we were the only Well, I have been known to – occasionally – forget these things…
Werner, having attached a For sale sign on his bike had a better time. He had created some interest. Several people had inquired and somebody was about to come back (from the statue exploration) to talk a little more.
So we were happy to wait, but had made up our minds to return to our accommodation and consult the web – no reception where we were L.
Finally Werner’s prospects didn’t turn up, and ready to leave with the helmet already on I spotted two guys wearing MC club vests. Hmmmh, no harm asking these guys. Revelation!!
Indeed we were at the right spot!
Moreover, we were at the right date!!
…we were just a little early. They were part of the built-up crew and the bikers would arrive in two hours.
Change of plan and off with the gear, we were happily waiting. The carpark was emptying out of cars, as the Triumphe-Gate doors were kept closed.
Werner’s bike meanwhile had attracted a serious prospect and a day later indeed the bike was sold to this local man, who BTW didn’t even have a motorcycle license …. still, he’s got a great bike for little money.
So, that made Werner happy and he was even more happy when we tasted a delicious ‘Bikers’ Burger” made by the BlueFin Chef Jack himself.
A litte later together we watched the arrival of the bikes:
Flanked by Mongol jockeys in their traditional outfit, lead by a couple of old cars, the Mongol Chopper Club arrived in style and noise. Unfortunately I cannot post a video on this blog L, so you’ll have to take my word for it and/or come to my 7 hours slide-show ;-)).
Mongol Choppers first, followed by other type/model club bikes, followed by a contingent of Russian bikers, a few Chinese bikers, some side-cars and an entire local club of off-road riders (mostly on KTMs).
I saw a brand-new GS1200 water-cooled (Russian biker), two other 1150 GS and all kinds of other bikes.
Food stands had emerged, vodka was flowing as the wind (and later rain) relentlessly tested ones mc gear.
I met many, many friendly bikers, one I remembered from Khabarovsk, Hans the president of this chapter. Hans had made the +4000Km journey in four days, riding a chopper. Bikers from Blagoveshchensk, and the Irkutsk/Lake Baikal chapter were present, met the first female Harley-rider of Mongolia and her sister, and had a jolly good time!
Werner and I decided to ride back the same early evening. We followed a cl
When Werner and I settled back into the hostel, we were certain that most of the bikers we had met had further indulged in merriment and vodka tasting, all part of a Mongolian bikers’ meet.
BTW, I did not get a trophy, the event is somewhat differently structured as one knows events like these form home. No worries – had a ball!