With virtually no experience and absolutely no support, Adrian rides a basic stock motorbike 20,000kms across nine countries in three months to fulfill a lifelong dream. He sets off from the bleak, windswept former gulag gateway city of Magadan in a remote corner of Siberia, but before the day is out he crashes badley, breaking his bike and seriously injuring himself. He is completely alone. He struggles on through swamps, bogs and mud tracks and nearly drowns in the icy rapids along Stalin's infamous Road of Bones. Although it is summer in Siberia, it is freezing and the driving rain is relentless. When the sun does appear, he is attacked by fierce squadrons of giant mosquitoes and, with wild bears roaming, he cannot stop, often riding for days at a time. Sheer physical strength saves his life on numerous occasions. He battles on deep into central Russia, across the vast Steppes of Kazakhstan and on through the scaring Taklimakan Desert in remote western China. He scales the breathtaking Pamirs and rides across the roof of the world before entering the fabled Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Chive. He scurries across oddball Turkmenism, and on across ancient Persia before finally arriving at his destination, exotic Istanbul. At every turn, Adrian is adopted by a vast array of characters, each with stories to tell and who, extraordinarily, expect nothing in return; tough Siberian truck drivers, frontier road workers, border guards desperate villagers, drug-addled soldiers and crazy modern-day traders, each insisting that he join them in their homes to share their lives and most of their provisions. It is these encounters which provide such a rich and compelling subtext to hisextraordinary journey.
The Road Gets Better from Here
A Novice Rides Solo from the Ring of Fire to the Cradle of Civilisation