April 23, 2008

Last Post (For The Day)

Always the same isn't it, no blogs for ages and then three come along at once. Don't worry this one's much, much shorter.

Had an e-mail into Paisley-Peking HQ today and thought I'd share the good news

I would love to be kept abreast of your travels.
It sounds like an absolutely idiotic idea - I love it :-)
Let me know when you get going and we can discuss how to get pictures and video to us. I can probably get photos to my friends at UTV & Off Road (used to be Cart Wheelin) as well.
Doug Meyer

Who's Doug Meyer, you ask? Well Doug Meyer is the man behind ATV Television - check them out at atvtv.com . You can watch their shows on the web, or on XONTV if you're in the US. Their shows feature tests on a range of all-terrain vehicles, 4x4s, advice on how to look after and uprate your ATV, and adventures off-road, and Paisley-Peking is really looking forward to keeping their viewers in touch with our "idiotic idea", let's hope they love it as much as Doug does.

So Good I Bought The Company*

The search for suitable vehicles continues, just when I think I've found the perfect one, along comes something new, and today's new vehicle is the Polaris Industries Ranger RZR 800 Efi, complete with high and low ratio 2 and 4 wheel drive.

So why is the RZR in the running? Well for a start Polaris Industries have been making quads and snowmobiles for years, so they know their stuff. The RZR is small enough to get anywhere, and the 4 wheel drive means it should get out again. It's 800cc fuel injected engine should give us all the power we need and that fuel injection means it can cope with the range of altitudes and temperatures we'll experience, along with the dodgy low-grade fuel we're likely to find along the way. There's also a huge range of accesories, from Lock & Ride fuel cans, to luggage boxes, to cab heaters, you name it and they seem to have thought of it.

The web is full of reports of how good these things are and YouTube is full of them flying over sand dunes, crawling over rocks, snorkelling through bogs and even charging through the snow on tracks!

There's also a great owners forum, RZRForums.net, so there's plenty of advice to be found, stories to read and contacts to make.

Polaris are holding open days the 16th & 17th of May so check back for our experiences of the RZR, and a report on what we think.

* It's a RZR (razor) get it?

Long Time No See

Well OK, long time no blog actually. I'd love to say it was because we were so ludicrously busy getting ready that we didn't have the time, but that's not the case at all. In fact we've been hanging round waiting.

Waiting for what? Well waiting to hear back from people, the one thing that's really beyond our control. And that's meant that our start date has been pushed further and further back, back till we miss our weather window for the Altai region of Russia, where it borders Mongolia.

It's this part that is probably the most remote, the most adventurous part of our journey, the Altai mountains have heavy snows in winter, and the roads can become impassable, some even say that the Mongolians shut the border crossing when the snows come. Whatever the case is, a winter crossing is likely to be very difficult, very cold and potentially very fatal.

But that doesn't mean a winter trip is completely discounted. I've been reading Tobias's website where he talks about his winter crossing of Siberia, check it out it's well worth a read, and his pictures are stunning. He makes it quite clear that the "Trans-Siberian Highway" is passable all through the winter, so we could still go ahead, we'd just have to make a couple of route changes and instead of crossing Mongolia East-West, we'd drive North-South.

So watch this space.