My new passport arrived. Still need to wait until 45 days minus to get an invitation for a visa. I’ll be cycling in US during March and Western Europe during April, so likely try to have the visa valid in advance of the Russia trip.
My commuting bike was stolen on 10/30. Stopped in at Albertsons to get some candy for halloween and when I went out it was stolen. Taken with it my helmet and rear panniers. I filed a police report, but don’t have high hopes. This underscores one concern I’ll have in the trip of keeping a careful eye on my bike so it doesn’t disappear.
For a while, I’ve been thinking through what is the best bicycle to take on this trip. Initially my criteria included 26″ wheels and a steel frame. That ruled out my Cannondale bike I took around Australia and I ended up getting a Lightfoot Ranger for the trip. While the initial buying experience was poor, after that the bike has done fairly well. However, a drawback of this bike has been the large size (even with couplers) and how that may make both flying and local hotels more difficult.
In 2006, when I did the Ukraine, Russia ride, I took a Trek 520 instead. It rode very well for the trip, and I ended up leaving it in Penza as a backup bike for the Amsterdam to Vladivostok journey.
So, as I have been thinking more about the bikes and the pro/con of which one to bring, decided I may likely end up wanting to ride a Trek 520 again instead of taking the recumbent. While it has 700c wheels, it seems like larger Russian cities have bike shops with tires in this size, and some wheels and rims. Not 100% decided yet, but I went to Lees Cyclery to price things out and see if I could get another of these bikes for the trip.