Long story about Great Ukrainian TET trip…
We get out of 3city (Notrh of Poland) very late night. Becuse of unplanened and negligent circmustances :)
We had a plan to make a way by car to Bieszczady Moutain and then on 2oo do cross the border. More less beautiful 100km of holes or unpaved road we approach to first TET track. Happiness was everywhere until we climb hardly to the top. All together maybe was did 4km. Heavy mud and broken by luberjacks road stuck us for few hours and then all night till next morning. Fantastic adventure specially when one of us get fully submerged in the muddy pool etc… Next day we decide to come back down in shortes „available”, „possible” way :)
Generally from early morning and very good memories of evening 100000000 of mud flys we try to avoid mutch as posible same track back down and we manage to get over the logs to gravel road. Road was build to service Oil Pumpjack. Once we were get to the nearest city we supply our camel bags and other storages for water. Next day we were taking every time much water we could carry because no body knows when we will stack again and coriolis camel efect will star from scratch :) We took semi main beautiful stony road to bypass this hill. Finally we arrived to nice bridge which we sholud cross if we will be stacking to the tack. Maybe it is possible… we did not try :) Next just in center of village we found track. It was normal path on the left, creek on center and climb on the right. We chose most nice one on the right. 2gear, full throttle and we start climb up. No time for check GPS just full ahead just to do not stop due to inclination (redbull romanics bronze class similar section I love it). We managed to get on top and then we found that proper track somwhere lower get to the left. We come back down and after few times up and down entering the creek with bush we found that we should choose this on the left :)
Remeber about GPS accuraciy. System is designed for minimum 3m if there is no other disturberes.
Ok more less this time our day end around midday :) Why? because next we found track getting up through very narrow one way stony path. With three bike 200kg with gear each we stuck ther till evening. One of us had body battery fully flat. Becuse he had to kick his XR650 to start each 5 meters. It was total negation of fun and adventure. Finnaly we found way out but again only one way by grassy wet track with fantastic crazy inclination :) Check redbull romaniacs bronze class :) Bigest problem is that if you will turn wrongly to the side then there is no option to correct your decission. You have to tak whatever mother ukrainin nature is giving you :) We had enough this atraction and by road we drive just to avoid next mudy stony narrow hill. My observation is that the best option is just to skip this hills which have forest on top if there was no sun for past 7 days. Other way you will play the game similar like we did.
Finnaly we end day somwhere midle of nowhere :) One more things, in this place we start argue about sense of moving further using TET.
Due to yesterday hard enduro day we woke up late and we managed to hit the road at 1100 :) We had to recharge battery thats all :) Same like yesterday evening after nice hard enduro exhaustive section we decided to skip some TET part where we seen top hills with forest. Reason… Probably was impassable in short time. So, we hit the road.
Somewhere in village we did shopping where we spoted sophisticated counting device not use for ages already :) After more less 50km leaving cross tires on the asfalt, Qba spoted nice track on the side which were climbing up. I checked GPS receiver and I found that on top we will get back to the TET. This was right decision. Beautiful climb with stony track. That was what, what teddy bears like the most :)
On top we did short stop because I found that in last two muddy days my aluminium rear sprocet have been weared by half. Had to pull up my chain to move safely forward.
When we resumed on top, nice track was interrupting by deep mudy pools. Again boots were fully wet but who cares :) every thing was nice till in one of holes I hit the log and my chain get out of the sprocet. Because team work we managed to get this back to the working condition wery quickly, but condition my sprocet start to worring me. Where the fack I will buy new sprocket here… This pice of steel started disappearing in sight :(
Next, as usualy it is in the mountains after nice climb you have to have descend down. We found very rocky one, and long anough to heat up our brakes so much to start thinking about checking them more often :)
Finally after up and down on super hipper nice view track we get out to nearest village for supply as usually with water and to order next day normal breakfast in the „restaurant”.
So far we were eating army’s MRE on the track or chocolate bars.
Was already around 1800 so we had to move to camp places. Always is taking some time before everybody will be happy with everything. Have to be with dry wood, flat for tent, not on open space due to humidity etc…
With hot sausage in the stomach and incredibly like India sky view we end up the day 4 :)
So, we woke early up to be at 10 to get be on time for appointed the breakfast :) Nice… As usual first we had to dry dew from our stuff. Remember that if you sleep in the forest there is dry but if you will sleep on open space then night and morning will face a lot of dew. Then you have to wait for first sun to get everything dry. Unfortunately I was traveling with guys with tents, so forest was not for them :(
After testy eggs with meat we had more wishes… so we order „pierogi” dumplings :) Yesss… I like.
Next we hit the road to get back on TET track. Again beautiful gravel road going down the valleys. So nice like fack. Somwhere we cross the river and we arrived to luberjack machine park I think :) Fantastic simple engineering… We love it. It should not have worked long time back but it worked wery well. I think it is same like Kawasaki KLR driven by Qba :)
Shorthly after I was traying to catch up guys and I found that I’ve got a flat front tire :( We had to do the brake. Luckly for everybody it’s happen at freaking awesome creek. I started to fixing the problem and rest of the team get firs proper bath since we get in to the wild.
We were moving follow the TET track further and further till we get in to the creek which was lumberjack road going again up. Easly we manged to make it but problem start where in short start on the bottom with plenty of logs we had to climb up.
When you have a traction and momentum you can go whenever you like. Qba hit the problem and quite easly managed to get up but happiness can not stay forever. Yesterday I was reading clouds signs and was obvious that next day we will face some rain. What can I say… started raining. We had no idea how big fuck up we will had to face up. With Manfred help I also manged to get the top. To do that I removed all luggages to get bike lighter. With my tires 50/50 it was fricking dificult but possible. Unfortunately Manfred had less luck than me. I came back down to help him and take my stuff up. It was so wet already that even my help, 75HP of 650XR and Mitas C02 cross tires could not make it. So we decided that he will wait somwhere, I will go back up for my bike and I will call Qba back down. I will skip story here some personal issues which started here :)
Was raining like fuck. We were fully wet but we start moving down to find diffrent way. It was a place where TET track appered not designed for heavy enduro. 250-300cc will get ther easly. Probably we did not remember the place as something special but… Next we were bouncing in nice places, hills in the clouds and endless riveres crossings :) Everything aut of the TET track and in heavy rain. Finally we get to the village where we supply with water and sausages for evening. We decided to make a camp at lake in the forest. There was few tracks there in one road. To get ther by road we had to make big circle around 50km, so we make shortcut reading GPS charts. We also asked some guys at local beer bar. They confirmed that we can go haw we whants to. Continus rain and, creeks, climbs etc. drive us crazy plus we get in to darknes.
In this temperature and wet conditions we shoud have cam in the forest have already done, but we were only in the deep sheet. Desperately we start looking for some places to safely sleep. After one way climb up on the muddy and stony road we found some flat place.
Every body start working on fire to get fust as possible and then build shelters. Surprisingly fire we started quite fast so morale start build up again. But more quarrels about sense of keeping us on the TET track. Everything was wet just everything and like that we end our wetty day…
All night was raining. When we woked up was raining. When we start pack our stuff was raining. In this place I can quote Forrest Gump “We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin’ rain … and big ol’ fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath.” :)
Morale reached the bottom. If you planning long trip where you have a time for that then no problem. You will just wait till stop raining or similar but we had limited days for enduro fun.
Firstly early morning I recognised that for some reason my hairs are wet. I thought that I sweated but I was wrong :) My shelter Bristish Basha Tarp was not proper sealed on seams and I received big number of drops right to my head. Secondly due to humidity and bad seams whatever yesterday I made dry at fire place become again fully wet. Thirdly I was drying my stuff so much that my enduro boots have been melted :(
When we started packing bags together I found that my coyote saddle bag get through the zipper so much water that I had to removed fully from bike to flip it up side down to get it „dry”. You know how nice is to dress up wet clothes when you have to ride again… :)
Finally we start our ride. Our road down was so steep and muddy that we had to abandon and look for something different. We had no idea how we climbed up yesterday night to this place :) In this moment every thing start falling apart. Our views on how to continue the journey have spread in two directions. I like to know where I am going so I checking ahead any possible tracks to do not stuck middle of nowhere and Qba wants to just use his intuition and sense. 5 minutes later in muddy path I slip and fall with result of broken clutch pump.
Pissed off I stopped to get this bush fix and Qba move forward without waiting. Few minutes later I resumed my way and I met Manfred waiting for me. We had no idea which direction went Qba and we just took first using „common sense”. We were wrong. We enter in one way track going or down or nothing. Middle of way down where I was alone in deep root my chian get out the sprocket again. Additionally I found that something wrong is starting to be with my electric starter. Took me some time in this conditions to pool bike out of the trap and fix the chain.
On the bottom of this hill few hundred meters later we met Qba. He choose different path and I went down down by „normal” road. Additionally he found that his rear brake despaired. Slowly we started to move down crossing already rivers etc… till we arrived to the civilisation.
We stopped at some small shop to check bike problems, drink coffee and discuss next step. Because all weather signs and bike problems we decided to start moving back toward Poland. We were checking unpaved roads but also was difficult to move on my 50/50 already weared down tires. In one village Qba noticed that his KLR lose front brake also. Incredible luck he had because some time ago he changed his front forks for KTM one. He had no spares pads but I had for my 640 Adventure. What he found my spare pads were matching perfectly to his set. So KLR get fixed brakes by KTM parts :)
Again we hit the road till we dried our fuel tanks on reserve level. Somewhere at closest fuel station we refiled for full (add some fuel improver) and we went for some hot soup in the nearest motel. Because some sun I took every thing out of the packs to dry it much as possible in this short time. Food was fantastic. „Barszcz” soup was made straight from the heart not bull shit instant from the bag. Second things for 3 times soups, coffees, and omelets with ham and cheese we paid maybe 5$. I like :) When we finish our meal I went to pack my stuff back and Qba said that he wants to buy somewhere brake fluid to refill his system. I said that if he is ready then 10km from here is next fuel station and if he go firs then we will meet him there. We will save some time going like that.
This is end of trip :( Long story short… We went behind him but he was not waiting on the nearest station. We thought that he chose wrong way and we came back to the crossroads. Then ha sent as SMS that he is on next station waiting. We start racing to next fuel stations but when we arrived we fond that he just leaved. Additionally my E-starter stopped working at all so I had to start using my kick starter to run the bike. I can not imagine doing this like Manfred was kicking XR650 all way so far. We start racing follow him again but start getting dark and we stopped to plan next step. I found SMS that he is heading to Poland. So we also follow him. We had plan to stay somewhere the night in the forest and use last day to slowly moving toward boarder but it start looks like he changed our plans. Around 2100 we arrived to boarder and without problems we passed back to Poland. Next surprise we had when we not meet him in our polish base Gęsi Zakręt – Bieszczady. we were welcomed with coffee and cake by owner which is also biker :) short time after we received another SMS that he is moving on 2oo him self to 3city.
We were surprised as fuck. Couldn’t understand what is going on at all. We packed our stuff and next morning we arrived to home.
Next year I will plan to go back there!!!! There is no better supermarket enduro place in the world…
Few observations on the end.
For Ukrainian TET put fully hard enduro tires on your bike.
Avoid going alone.
If is, or was raining most part of the track will be unridable.
You have to be skilled like Chris Birch to ride heavy bike there.
Very good stuff are gore-tex socks Sealskinz.
Giant Loop Motorcycle Gear for Dualsport, Adventure & Sport Touring saddlebag should have holes on bootom of the coyote. Exactly same like army packs have.
For adventure ride use steel sprocet instead aluminium one.
Do exchange every consumables thing in your bike for new before you hit the road :)
Test all your stuff before, not when on your trip :)
Regarding expenses trip was very cheap. Most costs was due bike preparation and transportation, but now when KTM 640 Adventure is back home, I had to call main Madeinenduro sponsor to rebuild all broken parts :)