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What I mean by "Things were kind of easy for us" - the generation that matured in 1968 - is that all you had to do to have a job was to show up in the morning ! In comparaison, I remember about 10 years ago on a hot summer night in Arcachon, France, at a cafe were Gaelle was a waitress, the young generation telling me "We want to stay student as long as possible because when we graduate, we will be unemployed !". So getting a job was much easier but I still had to work as hard as anybody else all my life to pay my rent.

I had a very pleasant dinner with 3 young very interresting American. Ryan and David - learned Russian at
school - are spending a year study in St Pertersburg, Russia. Peter - Photo - learned Chinese and Japan
at school, and is English teacher in a remote city of China. Next year, he want to teach English in Japan.
Peter behaved extremely well with the Mongolian dinner we ordered, the sheep's head !


I am still resting my hips, taking, pills and massges.

I used my resting time to do the video on the dog sled ride that I just put online.


I did one story on  my web site, wrote a long email answering many question for Clemens for an article on a the German motorcycle magazine "MO" www.mo-web.de.

Lorraine told me that I should get a massage for my hips problem. I found a clean place in a 5 stores woman dept store and took the 90 minutes/$17 full body massage. It was great, i am not used to do that. Last time I had a massage - beside when with Lorraine - it was at Canoa Quebrada on a paradise beach in Brazil on October 28, 2006. I learn a year later how it made my daughter Lucie in Paris pissed at me when  I was asking her some administritratives French information while I was havinng massage on the beach and she was working very hard in Paris. It is true the my generation of 1968 has been privilege in many way. We benefited from a lot of freedom, sexually and socially. Things were kind of easy and now that we are retiring, we have a lot to do to enjoy a long healthy life after work. Many go back to study, or live their passion what ever that may be or travel around the world etc... during that time our children (generally speaking) came to maturity at the time of AIDS, everything is going so much faster now than before, they are working very hard and too often it's just a rat tace while we - the 68 people - are enjoying an easy life !

My hips feel much better but I still feel the need to rest before going back on the road !


I went to Dondov's ger yesterday. I love being with these nomads where people are what they look like, where there are no pretence and no false attitude !

We were all very happy to be together again, I gave them their photos, a couple of little presents like a small bottle of vodka, a pack of cigaret, a pack of cookies and an pack of candies. The temperature was cold during the night but today it was around 10ºF and we could feel spring being around the corner. I did a couple of hundred miles and came back in Ulaanbaatar to see Edernebileg who installed the spokes. The spokes a sounding good ! I will stay a couple of days in UB to rest, I bruse my hips last week when falling down with the dog sled and it bother me a lot.


Because I entend to stay in Mongolia for a while, I am working on making a Mongolian driver license from my international driver license to be able to buy a liability insurance for the sidecar. To do a couple of hundreds miles to do the final adjustment on the new spokes of my wheels, I want to go tomorrow to visit Dondov. He was the first ger where I stopped in on December 10. I printed 20 photos I want to give them. I hope to be back friday to check up on my wheel before I go to Olgiy (1000 mile) in the far West of the country to watch Mongolian hunting wolves with their eagles.


I finished preparing the sidecar this afternoon and I parked it across from the guesthouse where i stay in the center of Ulaanbaatar.

I replace the 5 shocks absorbers that Ural gave me - I mounted the new tire Heideneua that Heindlengineering, Ural dealer in Ohio gave me

gave me - I changed the brake pad of the front wheel. The oils are good I would like to ride a few hundreds of kilometer and check if the spokes need to be tighten or not. I still have a lot to do tomorrow, I hope to go back on the road thursday.

I was never cold, because I was very well dressed - One layer less than when riding the sidecar !


I just arrived from the dog sled ride, it was a week I will never forget !

We were just 3. Faith, American is travelling since 1.5 year in South America and China, Raphael from Switzerland also travelled for the last year and half in Central America, South America, Japan, China and now Mongolia. Joel, from Toulouse, France is a musher for the last 30 years, created the dog sled tour in Mongolia Wind of Mongolia and his wife Bayana is from Mongolia. Joel and Bayana were on one sled with 9 dogs, and each of us were on one sled with 6 dogs.

It was a perfect group. This week with the dogs is one of the highlight of my travels that I will never forget. I expect the photos to be great but the videos should be excellent.  I will download them tonight and have a look at it for the first time !


What a day ! I mounted the tires and then started to changed the shocks. I was able to remove the 5 shocks and mounted 4 only with 2 wheels. Tony close his place at 4 pm and I had to go. I had lunch with Sukhee and Gantulga who organized motorcycle tour in Mongolia on KTM, check it out on their web site.

I am leaving tomorrow morning for the dog sled ride and will be back next Sunday, have a great week everybody !!!

Knowing how dangerous I am when doing my mecanic, I am extra cautious not to do anything supid !!!


I took the oportunity to go on a 5 days dog sled starting next Tuesday.

We are a group of 5 sled (1 person per sled) exploring the region of Terelj where only wolves, foxes  and snow leopards lives. We will stay in nomad's ger along our travel. With an average of 30km per day, at the return we will see the foot prints of the wolves who came to sniff our presence on the way out. At the end, we will return by a 30 km ride on the frozen river Tuul.


This Monday I go to prepared my sidecar with the tires to have it ready to the following week to ride to the extreme West of the country (if possible) where Mongolian/Kazak people hunt wolfs with their eagles !

I go tuesday on a 5 days dog sled expedition where only wolves, foxes and snow leopards live !


I got my wheels back this afternoon. The front wheel and 1 drum wheel are perfects, but the other 2 wheels are slightly oval. The warehouse of Tony where is the sidecar is closed this weekend. Monday, I will mount the new tires, mount the 5 shocks that Ural USA gave me and I should be able to get it running by the end of the day.

At Naraantul, in the middle of Ulaanbaatar, just an ordinary scene !!!


I am sharing this email I just received because it represent exactly how by the magic of Selima's glasses my life has changed since 1995 !

I have experiences like that very often no matter where I am in the world. Thank you Selima and thank you Tamir. Of course now I will be in contact with my new friend Tamir in Ulaanbaatar.


Hey Hubert,

Hi Hubert! (Eruul) Im very proud of you, what you doing and past days of your life. I hope you will remember me...,
We are met at XEROX center 13th January and I said maybe we ride a same flight to the San Francisco and you gave me a name card of yours...Anyway I hope we will meet again.
I just visited your website and still coudn't get off your travel and life history.
First, I saw you in the center of the Ulaanbaatar from my car window, you was walking around Air trans office (air ticketing company) because you wore with your fashionable red framed glasses so..., I wear glasses tooo. ,,, that's why .
Then, after we (my wife) saw you in the Flight to the Seoul , Korea and I said to my wife about you in when I was see you in UB.... Amazingly, we met in the Seoul to San Francisco flight again.
After all...in XEROX center. I thouhgt what a Huge, and what a Small this world.
Hubert, Wish you all the best and great health, and many many good things to you and to your family (Lorraine, Eve, Lucie , and Jessica) .
If you need anything about all the thing, please don't hesitate to contact me on your ride in Mongolia, and I'm gladly to inviting you a dinner while in Mongolia.
Oh, also I just dropped a 20$ bucks to your account (PAYPAL). Good luck Hubert!!!!!!




Good news, I went to see my first wheel this morning and it looks good. In fact  Erdenebileg. I met yesterday, who is doing my wheels did the Master Rally orginized by Rene Metge in 1996 between the Eiffel tower of Paris to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. We had a lot to talk together. I brought him the axle of the front wheel so he could adjust his work but the mounting was no problem. He expect to have all the wheels done by tomorrow.

The GPS is loaded with the Mongolian map. It is the map from Garmin in their worlk map CD. Not as details as anybody could be used to in Europe or USA but very useful in this country where off road is king.


I found a new guy for my wheels. He is the president of the motocross federation of Mongolia. We checked together to mount on spoke, he will do one wheel for tomorrow morning and if all is good he will do the other 3.

I got my blue bag from the sidecar and bring it back to the guesthouse to sort everything again. I go to Chinzo who can download the Mongolia map on my GPS. I did half of the California story, I think I will be able to put it online tonight.


Bad news, I just get a phone call from Saruul, he is telling me that the spokes send last month from switzerland are the wrong size, I am on my way to look at the problem !!!


5:30pm: I think I am OK, the problem everybody was worry about here was the diameter of the spokes. The original spoke was 3.5mm diameter and the new one are 4mm. But it's all in the quality of the metal. I called Orlando to be confirm that it mount the same way and he was totally reassuring - as much as when he spokes the wheel last year and told me "with that you will never have a problem !!!". So tomorrow I go back to an other place to get the wheels mounted with the spoke Orlando send me.

I went to the immigration office and have a stamp on my passeport for 90 days in Mongolia.


Last night, I ate like a pig at the Hyatt buffet: fresh oyster - smoked salmon with capers and oignon - sea food salad - sirloin steak - pork - lamb shop - cheese and desert

This morning, I ate like a fat pig at the Hyatt buffet for breakfast: Smoke salmon with oignon and capers - soft ommelette - bakon - saussage - mushroom - patatoes - tomato - donut - bread - waffle  and cereal !!!

I am flying to Ulaanbaatar in 3 hours.




I arrived in Ulaanbaatar. I got my big box with the 3 tires and the bag with my 5 shocks and passed the custom without problem. The driver from the Khonor Guest House was there waiting for me. We dropped the tires and shocks at Alan office where Saruul told me that Otgon who will replace the spokes of my 4 wheels just came back from visiting his family for the Christmas holidays and the wheels should be done this week. Time we arrived at the guest house, Chinzo was there waiting for me. Chinzo is the guy who want to come with me on lake Baikal in March. He brought my bag of warm clothing that I left at his office when I left for California last month.

Coming from the airport, I already saw a man lying on the ground in his del on the side of the road, he was moving but nobody was stopping to check or help him and the temperature was at 0ºF !!!

The oysters were very delicious !!!


I arrived in Seoul, South Korea after a 12h flight from San Francisco. I sleep at the Hyatt - complementary from Korean airlines - and I will fly to Ulaanbaatar tomorrow.


I packed my stuff, ready to take my plane tomorrow morning, I have one night in Seoul and will arrive Monday in Mongolia !!!


My initial "To do" list is completed. I just realized that I have a lot of things to print before leaving that required preparation. Like the news paper article in Mongolian that I want to show to the people I meet in the ger to give us a piece of conversation, outlined letters for the sidecar, my Mongolian booklet etc...

Lorraine went back to New York last night and Jessica just got the stomack virus that Andrew had the last couple of days.

Thanks a lot to all of you for my new glasses, they are razor sharp and very comfortable to wear !!!

I got my H1N1 flu shot, so I am ready to go back in Mongolia.


The weekend was a success !

Saturday, about 50 people showed up at A&S Motorcycle in Sacramento where I told my story of  "Ten Years on the Road !". Jessica helped me with the timing and a few things I was forgetting to say and nobody fell asleep.

Sunday we were at the Ural dealer Triquest Cycles in Santa Clara. About 60 people showed up on that Sunday morning to listen to my story. Lorraine helped me with a few things I was forgetting to say and again nobody fell asleep !


Thank you so much for your hospitality Randy, Ski and Sami and all the participants, it was a real pleasure meeting with you all.


I heard that a few people who wanted to come could not make it. Not a problem, I will be next week at the second ger on the right, 100 miles South of Ulaanbaatar in direction of the Gobi desert in Mongolia. I am looking forward to meeting with you there !!!


I want to thank you all of you for your support that I appreciate everyday.

I wish all of you the best year ever for 2010 but I also hope to meet with you one of these days this year somewhere on the road !!!


We had a great Christmas with Lorraine, jessica and Andrew's family.

Here is a list of what Santa Claus brought me under the tree:


- GPS. Franck from France that I did not know send me a GPS that he used in South America, Africa and Mongolia in the past. It's a Garmin V witht the Touratech mounting. Franck wrote me "Because I can't travel any more on motorcycle to discover the world, I travel everyday through your website, and if give me an address, I will send you my GPS that stay on my desk, it's with great pleasure that I am offering to you !"

Thank you very much Franck, that touch me a lot and knowing that your GPS already travelled through the world with you makes it very valuable to me.


- 2 Heideneau tires + 1 Duro HF308 tire. Jon Heindl (That I did not know) from The Ural dealer Heindl Engineering in Ohio, USA heard by my friend Dave Hooker that I was looking to buy tires in the USA to bring them back in Mongolia with me in january, wrote me  and email : "We would like to offer up support for your trip by supplying you with some new tires... Just let me know where to send them and what you can carry back with you !"

Thank you very much Jon, with these tires, I will be able to cross Mongolia, horizontally and vertically !


- 5 new ZF Sachs shock absorber for the motorcycle and sidecar from Ural. Thanks a lot Marina and Ilya, it will be very useful on the wash board dirt roads of Mongolia.


- Red Glasses: Thank you to all my friends from internet for your generossity, I have already largely replaced my broken red glasses with the lenses.


- Space pen - works by -30ºF, under water, upside down etc... I had one that was stolen by a very smart custom agent at the Kazakhstan border thank you jessica, I will be able to write you a postcard from subfrigid temperature with it !

- One set of 6 Toblerone tablets

- One pound of See's Candies  (the best of the best in California)

- One coupon dinner for 2 at "Il Fornaio" restaurant. Thank you Andrew, I will go with my beloved Lorraine

- One coupon for 2 full body massages, 2 scalps massages, 1 manicure and

one ______  massage, all to be performed by Lorraine !!!


Thank you my family, my friends and everybody that I don't know yet but I hope to meet one of these days somewhere in the world on the road !!!




For the California's people, I hope to meet with you :

- Saturday January 2 in Sacramento at A&S Motorcycle starting at 3pm

- Sunday January 3 in Santa Clara at the Ural dealer Triquest Cycles starting 10am


My todo list is virtually done :


√ - find a dentist to remplace a filling (I have an appointment on the 26)

√ - Apple store to replace keyboard and buy new OX Snow Leopard (It took 30")

√ - Craftman: buy flat plier and good quality zip plastic. (it's life time guaranty)

√ - Renew my US driver license & international driver license (to have a spare) (it's in the mail)

√ - Send my Nikon D300 and the 18/200 mm lens to clean up and check up (there is a Nikon repair shop in Sacramento)

√ - Buy a new Panasonic waterproof that I lost when robbed last week. (Ordered at B&H)

√ - Repair the Kodak camera from Chinzo  (Chinzo might run out of luck, there is not Kodak repair in Sacramento)

√ - Buy a good quality camera stand (these things are amazingly expensive !!!, I am buying a Manfotto middle price)

√ - Make a new eye prescription and lenses for my spare red glasses. (done at Cutsco for $89, will be ready january 3 ? I hope)

√ - Replace the blue primaloft jacket (at the end of it's life) (Find a Mountain Gear but again very expensive, I may try to repair the one I have and keep it for an other leg)

√ - Replace one used pair of socks SmartWood that i like so much (cost me $22)

√ - Find replacement shocks for the sidecar (they are dead) (Thank you very much Madina for sending me a new set of shocks)


I prepared my todo list in California:


- find a dentist to remplace a filling

- Apple store to replace keyboard and buy new OX Snow Leopard

- Craftman: buy flat plier and good quality zip plastic.

- Renew my US driver license & international driver license (to have a spare)

- Send my Nikon D300 and the 18/200 mm lens to clean up and check up

- Buy a new Panasonic waterproof that I lost when robbed last week.

- Repair the Kodak camera from Chinzo

- Buy a good quality camera stand

- Make a new eye prescription and lenses for my spare red glasses.

- Replace the blue primaloft jacket (at the end of it's life)

- Replace one used pair of socks SmartWood that i like so much

- Find replacement shocks for the sidecar (they are dead)


After an eventless flight, I arrived in San Francisco. Lorraine pick me up at the airport with Karen. I ate a turkey sandwich with a coke, very American and very delicious. We will be with Jessica in Sacramento Sunday morning.


I have a 22 hours lay over at Seoul. It's a very modern airport, I have wifi, double leather armchair face to face and a 220V plug !


I did my Christmas shopping, I am ready to take my plane tomorrow for California.


I have been thinking of a mixt of Mr T, Ulk, Steven Seagal, Clint Eastwood and Crocodile Dandy or even better GIORGIO, the situation would have turn to my favor !


For the last 5 years I have been living outside of my environment and never had a problem up to last night until I get robbed !!!

I am OK and I was very lucky.

coming back to my guesthouse in the center of town in Ulaanbaatar at 9:30 pm, I left the main street, turn left for 50 yard in a passage, right in a big deserted and ligthed courtyard for 100 yard and enter with my flashligh the dark lobby of 12 sf to punch the 3 number to open the door of the 5 flight building. I felt lucky that 2 guys enter at the same time as me so they will punch the number, unstead one of them grab me from the rear putting his hand on my mouth energicallly.

My thought were "it's happening huber and it's going to hurt" they very quickly took my wallet with the equivalent of $20 and I did not care then they had the side pocket with my US passport that I need in 2 days to go back to california, but they immediatly throught it on the floor looking for cash only I guess then they could have left but were not satisfied yet. At that time, i was on the ground pulling my knees to my chest to protect myself. I was saying to them loudly "you have my money , you have my money, go" The yound guy in front of my show me that if i don't shut up, he will punch me in my face, but I was repeating the same thing. Then he tear up my jean to go to the passeport belt all the tourist are wearing (including me) . It was a long time, I knew I was going to be hurt but I was worry more about my French passport with my 1 year Russian visa in it.  Finally the left, I stayed on the porch looking at them running away and i sreamed "I need my passport" several times. They stop running and I saw them throuwing something on the ground and they left. I went there and picked up the pocket with my passport. I went up to the guesthouse, called the police, wrote an email to Lorraine and jessica 10' after it happened. At the police station, I realised that they took also my little camera waterproof Panasonic. My red glasses were broken in the fight.

So red glasses, camera and about $200. I was not hurt, I still have my both passport that at one point was in their hands.

I am emotionally shaky but very lucky. It could have happened in Paris, New York, Geneva or any place else !!!

I got lucky but I did not like it and will need a some time to get back on shape emotionally !!!


I am back in Ulaanbaatar, I LOVE MONGOLIA.

I am putting the first story online now but I have 3 or 4 more that I will have to do.

Tomorrow I go visit a coal mine with Vince, one of the Australian guy I had this long lunch with last week.

I already park the sidecar at Tony's warehouse where they have 3 of their Ural sidecar. I dismounted the wheels to replace all the spokes by reinforced spoke Orlando is sending me from Switzerland. During my little ride south, I had a new broken spoke at the front wheel and the sidecar wheel has all the spokes loose.


Today, it's snowning in California  so Jessica set me up for an afternoon at the
BMW dealer A&S Powersports where she lives in Sacreamento with MY sidecar bmw/ural sidecar that I used to go from the Arctic Circle to the Antarctic on January 2, at 3 pm. So save the date if you are around, I will be very happy to meet with you, let's just hope that January 3rd will be also a snowy day !!!


My Ural sidecar is already warmed up outside, I am leaving for a few days in direction of the Gobi desert in an hour !


I got my 1 year Russian visa !!! that feels good, it gives me freedom to go on my own pace.

I finalized my equipement, bought gift to give to the families I hope to meet in gers (yurts) on the road - rice, sugar, vodka, candies, cookies.

I choose this hat because it fit very comfortably and it looks even better from the back !!! (scroll down)

You don't fool with that guy !!!    (The fur outside is to look good, the fur inside is to be warm)


Al is the Australian guy I met yesterday. At 11am this morning one of his guy (he sells hydrolic equipment to the mining industrie) picked me up at my guest house to visit his Ural mecanic Otgon. Otgon works from a container and gave me a good impression so he will re-spoke my wheels when I go to the US for Christmas. On the way back Al called his guy driving the car asking me if I wanted to meet with him for lunch at the Bistrot Francais with a couple of his friends

At the lunch, there were:

Al - Australian - lives in Mongolia since 5 years, sells hydrolic equipment to the mining industrie. He bought 2 Ural sidecar a year ago and renovated them to one looking like a new one.

Vince - Australian - lives in Mongolia since 5 years, is married to a Mongolian woman and works also with the mining industrie.

David - Australian - lives in Thailand with his family since 14 years.

They have 3 other Australian friends who lives at Ulaanbaatar and each has a renovated Ural sidecar.

We all arrived at noon, had an excellent lunch, talk about, travel, the Mongolian culture, religion, politique, world leaders, heros etc...

We left the table at 9 pm, it was a extraordinary and rich afternoon for all of us.


I know Tiffany (UK) from the internet, she was riding just ahead of me in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan last summer on her BMW100GS. We missed each other from 3 days in Almaty. She went to Mongolia, Vladivostok, Japan and is now in Los Angeles. She put me in contact with a Ural sidecar guy from Australia who lives here. He has plenty of resource for the sidecar and all of the sudden I can see a solution coming for my spoke problem. I will meet his mechanic tomorrow morning. We set up dates with Chinzo to ride together the frozen lake Baïkal at the end of February when the ice is crystal clear.


Mongolian culture:

After a couple of very short nights doing my Mongolian booklet, wake up at 8 and went back to sleep immedialty. There is one young Mongolian girl in my room since a couple of days and this morning in my second sleep, I could hear her blow dryer very loud... after a while, I open an eye and saw that she was vaccuuming our room ! With our culture it is obviously stupid and rude to do that while I am steel sleeping but in Mongolia it's totally different. Every body has the culture of being raised in a yurt. A yurt is one big tent with no separation where the whole family live. That mean, you cook, you eat, you rest and you sleep. There is no privacy and for this girl to vaccuum was just normal and I knew it. I love Mongolia.

I am late in my storires, I will try to do the first Mongolian story today.

I'm still woking on the hat, but that gives you a good idear of where we are going.
This is fox fur long hair and some parts on the top and behind are marmot fiur - don't say anything to Brigitte !!!

I can't tell you how good it feels inside that thing, I'll have no problem riding by -40ºF with it !!!


I finished my Mongolian booklet and I am very happy with the final product even it I screw up by cutting it the wrong way and I had to rego all the printing etc...

I go to the "Black Market" to try my dell (coat) that should be half way done.

My 800 words & sentences Mongolian booklet is the size of a passport.
It has 56 pages, a Rhodia cover & creep to flip the pages with my thumb.


I had a full day !

Last night, I finished at 4 am the first draft of my Mongolian booklet. It was the first day that I took the sidecar to go in town.

At 11 am, I was at the French Bookstore to meet Undaarma from the news paper "Odonor" (the New York Times of Mongolia". The interview last for 2 hours. Then went to see Guy from Le French Bistrot next door and I met Michael who had 8 Ural sidecar in the past for his tours. He knows of a good mechanic, but it might take some time to find him. I went to Xerox to print the first draft. I already see some adjustment to be made but I am in good shape I will print the final copy tomorrow saturday. Then I went to visit Gansuk who introduce me to the woman who is doing my "Deel" (Mongolian sheep fur coat). After that I was just on time to be at Chinzo's office where I was able to meet with Gustav the Cuban mechanic. We discussed my spoke problem, I need to talk to Orlando Calonder who monted the rims to have more informations.

The photographer from the news paper came for a photo with my sidecar for the article that will be published next week. I am back at the guesthouse and will work the whole evening to finish my Mongolian bookelt.

I finally got hold of Gustav who went from Guantánamo, Cuba to Mongolia and has many story to tell !!!


I concluded my 7th and last class of Mongolian with Nasa this morning.
I own now 800 words and sentenses. I know how to introduce myself and explain my story, ask for my way etc... conjugate at present, futur and preterit, count, and read correctly in cyrillic. All i have left to do is to learn it by heart !

I will always have my booklet in my back pocket and some of it will came by itself on the road and i will try to learn 10 word/day during Christmas time in the USA. I am very happy of having taking these classes, it will help me a lot to learn and share with the people I will meet on the road.

I am still chasing Gustav the mecanic !


I went shopping for a custom printer to do my booklet and after that, i felt like a real good dinner. I went to the Bistrot Francais. The owner Guy that I met a couple of days ago arrived a little later and told me that the Ulaanbaatar newspaper was looking to make an interview with me. We will do it tomorrow at 11 am.

I started my dinner with an excellent "Bone marrow gros sel"...

I can see that it looks like a plate of vomit but the "Steak tartar" was delicious...

and the "Banane flambée" was as good as the 2 predents courses !


No class today. Still chasing Gustav the mecanic. Went to the "Black Market" with Oyumbeleek from e-mongol (good friends from Jean, an internet friend in france) who speak a very good French to visit their contact who makes "Deel" Mongolian coat with sheep skin inside out. I liked the lady called Yenjinkhotkshol. I met her again at the end of the day to go to her house where she makes the coat. One of her daughter speaks a good english and we were able to define the details for my coat that I will have Monday.

At the "Black Market", there is no reason not to have fun because the temperatue is close to 0ºF !!!


I own now 500 words and sentences in Mongolian that fit perfectly my needs. I typed them on my computer to print a booklet I will have by the end of the week and will never leave my back pocket.

I am still chasing a Cuban guy named Gustav that will eventually look at the problem I have with the spokes of the wheels.

I just put online the video that the "Gaucho" I met on their blue sidear in Kyrgyzstan put together from their vacations. They might not have experience on motorcycle or sidecar when they arrived there, but they surely know how to put a video together.

FIrst I wrote by hand the phonetic of each word and sentence I sellected then I typed them to print a Mongolian booklet.


I already have 400 Mongolian words and sentences that I typed in my computer by theme. It's going really well.

Mongolia is the size of Alaska with a population of 2.7 million people included 1.2 millions in the Capital Ulaanbaatar. There is a hores to human ratio of 13 to 1.

In 1928, 1 Tugrik = 1 US$

Today, 1430 Tugriks = 1US$

It's hard to understand how it works.

I went to visit Chinzo at his office. He convince me very easely to buy a GPS to ride in Mongolia because there are no signs anywhere on all these trails and hundreds of tracks crossings each other. He has a GPS map not as detailled as this excellent map but I will be able to know very quickly when I will be off track !


I will buy a GPS to navigate on the Mongolian trails that have no signs and are crossed by hundreds of tracks.


After class #4, I earn already more Mongolian language than I had Russian language (I was stupid not to take Russian's classes). Of course, I will have to learn it by heart but that will come quickly with practice because I am building a vocabulary and sentences that fit my specific need. The language is pretty guttural and harsh.

This afternoon, I went to the "Black Market". My most interesting discovery is to see how people push each other physically like a farmer walking in his barn would push his cows to get through. They will also grab your arm physically to keep your attention. I don't beleive they would ever hurt you but you have to pull physically to get out of there. Let's not forget that wrestling (there are no category of weight, age or sex) is one of the main sport in Mongolia with archery and horse racing.

The 4 hours classes every morning go very well.


I met the amazing Chinzo, the Mongolian biker I met through Horizons Unlimited.

10 years ago, he was a taxi driver, today his tour travel company own 10 4X4 SUV that he rent to tourists and 14 Yamaha motorcycles for tours in Mongolia with guides.

When Mongolia was part of the Soviet Union until 1992, they kept their language unlike Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan for example. All the administratif work was done in Russian, but there were school made only in Mongolian (98% of the population is literate). Today, even if Mongols understand Russian language, they don't like to use it and are much more excited about the English language.

This is why I am learning to speak some Mongolian and not to have to use the little Russian I have and why I am printing new business card in Mongol.

Here is my Mongol name.


Yuruul   =  Good Heart    =   Hubert


The business card are printed in Mongol with my new name.


- Mongolian lesson #2 - done.

- Registration USA passort at Mongolian emigration - done.

- Glue moving bridge - done.

Tonight, I meet a biker I met on internet through Horizons Unlimited.


I just completed the first 4 hours Mongolian classes with Nasa.

It's not easy and that's all I can tell you at this time.


My to do list at Ulaanbaatar:


- Clean the sidecar from the crust it accumulated on the transsiberian higway

- Resolve the problem of the broken spoke

- Buy motorcycle insurance

- Register my USA passport at emigration office for a 90 days stay in Mongolia

- Do my Russian 1 year visa on French passport (done, I will get it back 12/9)

- Buy plane ticket to spend Christmas in California with Lorraine & Jessica (done, I will fly on 12/17 and return on 1/9/10 to Ulaanbaatar).

- Find a one on one teacher to learn Mongolian language (done, I start tomorrow with Nasa 2 hour every morning and 2 hours every afternoon for the next 7 days)

- Find dentist to glue a moving bridge

- Buy a Jacket or coat to replace my the black sleeveless jacket I forgot in Irkutsk

- Make new prescription and new lense for my red glasses.

- Print business card in Mongol

- Buy good road map for Mongolia (done)

- Find books about the life of Genghis khan

Done, I found the best of the best, the French butter President and his friends the eggs !!!


I went to the Golden Gobi Guesthouse yesterday when I arrived. The guy does not know how to run a guesthouse and has a bunch of stupid rules - BYO toilet paper and wifi shut down at night - but mostly the front door is locked (to get in or out) for security during the night and only his employee have the key - in case of fire, just ask the key to the girl !!!

I left this morning and found the ideal gueshouse. It's called Natural Guesthouse, perfectly located in the center, the sidecar is in a heated garage with 2 very nasty dogs, I am sure that nobody will ever touch it (me neither!), I am alone in a huge room with 11 beds for $10/day and 24h Wifi.

I just talk to Lorraine who just arrived in California at Jessica's house for Thanksgiving.

It's a sunny day in Ulaan Baatar, life is beautiful



5:30pm: Just arrived in Ulaan Baatar. I am extactic to be here, you have no idea what it represent to me, a dream come true !

I have a lot of things to do in Ulaan Baatar, but my Mongolian visa problem is resolve. I enter Mongolia with my US passport that does not require a visa and and give me 30 days. If I go register here within 7 days, I can stay for 90 days. That works great for me, it will be easy to swing by Russian for one day and have an other 90 days available when ever I need it.


5:30pm: Just arrived in Ulaan Baatar. I am extactic to be here, you have no idea what it represent to me, a dream come true !


I am leaving Ulan Ude, next is... MONGOLIA !


I am lying in bed with a window on my back reading the Lonely Planet  about Mongolia. I start to have an idea on how I will start. There is a camel festival in the Gobi desert in January "or" February. Also in winter, on the Western part of Mongolia, the Mongol/Kazakh do "Eagle hunting foxes and wolves" (and the fox and wolf loose almost everytime).

It snowed during the night, I started the motor just to stay under control, but I will go tomorrow.


I am planning to ride the last miles to the Mongol border tomorrow and pass the border either Sunday or Monday.


1:30pm: I arrived at Ulan Ude, I am now at 130 niles from the Mongolian border.

A few stories since yesterday morning


The Pain in the Neck story:

at the outside of Irkutsk, there is a  permanent police control, they mostly control the trucks. A young cop ask me to stop and want to look friendly but he is not. Asking for all my paperwork, searching my stuff in the sidecar touching everythig and asking me to come inside the police office. I am ready for the worst but I would certainly not give any money to this asshole. When inside, his superior looked at my paperwork for one seconde, then he looked at me and gave me back my paperwork the the great desapointment of the young cop ! Back outside, the asshole wanted to make a photo of me with his cell phone, I told him on a neutral voice, "Nieto Photo" and I left !!!


The Pathetic story:

After riding for 100 miles, I was thinking I don't remember zippering the black jacket that a truck driver gave me on the transsiberian highway and that fill perfectly the little space i had between my blue jacket and my beige motorcycle jacket. I stopped quickly to realize that I don't have it, I forgot it at the hostel when I left !!!


The Mystery storty"

Last night, i was pushed from village to village to find a place to sleep. When I arrived to the biggest village on my map, it was already dark night and not fun. I filled up the gaz tank and the guy told me there is a motel 1 mile down the road on the left. It did not say motel but it had restaurant and Russian bania. Inside, the woman told me nothing to sleep here, but next village is  only 20 miles away. I went to get my map, it was a minuscule village and I decided not to go back on the road and I was askind where to find a bed that I will pay for. Then the same woman with her friends showed me a sign on the wall of a motel in a big building 1/2 mile away in the village !!! I went there, ended in a dark starway of the building looking for the motel door, a guy came out of his appartement, I ask him the door of the motel, he took me outside on the back to the correct door but the motel was closed. He told me to wait at the motorcycle, he was going to call them. He came back 10 minutes later, seat on the sidecar and say the magic word "Garage". To my surprise he took me to the restaurant where I was at the first place, opened me the door of the backyard, then took me inside the restaurant, we passed the woman from before and in the corridor, there were 3 rooms and he opened the second one for me. I told him how happy I was, went in my bedroom to change and never saw the guy again !

The woman were very nice like if nothing happened, I had a great meal and a good night !!!


The "Don't beleive what you want to believe " story:

When I left the sort of motel this morning, there were sign saying "Slippery Road for the next 55 miles". The road was all white and with a 25 mph wind, I was going quite slowly. Then I saw signs every 5 or 10 miles repeating the warning with an accurate mileage to end at the same point... I was then thinking at the end of this bad section, I will have a sign saying something like "Good Road ahead". At the end of the 55 miles, it was like a different state and the new state put a sign "Very Slipery Road the next 10 miles, maximun speed 25 mph" !!!


I am going back on the road to Mongolia.

By now, you know the drill, I do the riding and you do the worrying !!!


I got my "Aid's Certificat" for my Russian visa.

I have the strange feeling that I may cheat an other day in this hostel before going on the road ! I need one week taking my time to get to the Mongolian border.


Irkutsk on lake Baikal is a must stop when you travel on the Transsiberian.

People come in and out at the hostel everyday with about 6 to 8 sleeping there everynight. - tonight there is: a couple from Netherland coming back home after a 3 month trip, a couple from Geneva coming back home after 1 year in North Korea working at the Red Cross, 1 Italian guy from Firenze going back home after a 2 year trip and 3 from UK coming back home after working 2 years in Hong Kong. I suppose I am the only one going East at this time of the year.

Every night, they get all excited about what they are going to do the next day in Irkutsk, and the question always came to me "And you Hubert, what are you going to do tomorrow ?", "Nothing, I am going to rest and eat good food again !!!"

The authentic French butter with Russian hareng, oignon etc...

Fried "Capelin" certainly coming from Honningsvag at North Cap...

and my favorite yogurt "Activa" with the original Swiss quality cereal !!!


Doing nothing is really great and I needed it a lot. I am on my computer for a while doing my web site, then I eat really good food that I bought at the super market, I have a nap listening to the radio through internet etc...

Look at the photo below, nobody recognize me, they recognize my glasses, thank you Selima, it works also in Siberia !!!

Going to the super market, these 3 guys stopped me "Where is your motorycle ? We saw you on the television !!!"


I finish my maintenance on the sidecar, thank you very much Alexi. I met him through the Moto Club of Irkutsk (12 members). I could not find yet the solution to have a 1 year visa for mongolia. I did my "Aid" test this morning to be able to renew my Russian's visa for an other year (I already have the 1 year invitation). I will have the certificate Monday, then I will go back on the road to Mongolia.

I am resting a lot and it feels good. I am going to try a little nap while fanning my toes !


I feel exhausted and need to rest more. I went to the Mongolian Consulate for my visa but did not get new informations. Alexi from the moto club, came to pick me up at my hostel and we went to his garage to do the oil change and repair an other broken spoke on the front  wheel. I will go back tomorrow at noon to finish the job.

Today is our 27th anniversary for Lorraine and me. I love you Lorraine.


I arrived in Irkutsk this afternoon after riding 2000 miles since the Ural factory of Irbtit. I found a hostel with  wifi in the center. I am staying here for a couple of days (at least). Tonight, I am not going to worry if I will be  able to start the motorcycle tomorrow morning (I started it by -25ºC 2 days ago but it was not easy) or if it is snowy or icy on the road !

The Transsiberian highway was very stressful for me because of the precarious condition due to the weather. What was the most surprising is the feeling I had that everyone is on it's own ! There are no emergency vehiculs on the road, only a few snowplow. So when you get into a problem, you have to find help by yourself and I saw more tan a dozen like that !!!


I am doing very well, I did 1550 miles. I had a hard time to get the momentum because the conditions were changing everyday. I went from light snow to sludge to heavy snow and now the thermometer is at 0ºF. The road is very icy. Irkutsk at lake Baikal is in 400 miles. I will stay there for a few days to investigate sidecaring the lake Baikal in February with Giorgio and his friends.

I miss talking to my family, I love you.



9:00 am: I am leaving Irbit. Thank you again the Ural factory for your support.



10:00 am: After resting for the whole week, I am leaving Ekaterinburg for the Ural factory at Irbit and then cross Siberia.


I am doing very well on my Joe Bar's helmet.


I had a great weekend:

I answered all  my late emails

I shovel all my stuff to be even more organized than before.

I answered to 190 emails from my mass email and it was a great feeling to have news from many people like that.

I'll go tomorrow morning starting by the Ural factory at Irbit to check the valves.

The temperature dropped again a little bit more, we are now in the 20's.


Doug Bingham, welded 3 different Golwing on my Ural sidecar between 1983 and 1988 in Los Angeles.
Joe saw him yesterday at the Griffith Park Sidecar Rally - GPRS - in Los Angeles.
This is the sidecar I was riding in South America on the BMW and that Jessica is riding today.

Saturday 5:00 pm: I was telling you, the white is coming down from the sky !


I wake up Friday mornig ready to go. I went to pee and start thinking that I could stay there for the weekend... doing nothing for 3 days !!! By the time I finished to pee, I already decided to stay and just relax. I had a walk in town and ate a foot long "Subway" pastrami sandwich, really delicious.

Then I decided to send a mass email (below) to all my friend I have in my email box - I do that only once or twice a year. If you did not received that email and want to receive it next time, write me an email - hubert@thetimelessride.com - and I will include your email in the list.


Email I send to all my friends:

Subject: I am going to Mongolia...


To all my friends... here is an update...

1 - My 2WD sidecar had its full maintenance program last week at the Ural factory of Irbit, Russia in Siberia.

2 - Ulaan Bataar - capitol of Mongolia - is only 2500 miles away

3 - The temperature just dropped below 30ºF

4 - Snow is expected this coming week

5 - I found a couple of fleece layers to protect my face with my "Joe Bar" helmet

6 - I have new tires mounted on the bike

7 - I filled up the gas tank

All the favorable conditions required to go to Mongolia are there. There is not better place for me to celebrate my 6th year on the road this winter...


Don't forget to take a risk today!

Humbertof AKA Hubert (say U-bear)



I am going to Mongolia...


Monday: I eat my eggs with bread and butter and I did a story on my web site from the comfort of my bed in the hostel


Tuesday: With a spring weather, I walk in Tshirt all day long in the city looking looking for sport shop to complete my winter gears but did not find anything. I have with me almost everything that I was wearing in North Cap last winter but missing a few things that I left in Paris last spring.


Wednesday: Went with Oleg in a mall (could have been anywhere in the USA) and bought gift for the Ural people who helped me. Then Oleg gave me a list of a dozen sport shops. I went with my sidecar in all of them and found everything I needed to complete my winter gears. I needed - 40ºF boots, 1 additional primaloft pants and face protection for my Joe Bar helmet, new bagpack - the zipper from the bagpack i bought in Cuzco, Peru broke, a thermos, a coffee cup and a pocket flashlight. The temperature was 30ºF the whole day and I did not get dressed correctly and was frozen the whole day.

At 9 pm, I went on a kioske where I was told bikers meet everynight of the year no matter what !!! They were a dozen of them when I arrived. They just stay there on the outside, without a shelter drinking coffee or tea from the kioske. It was nice meeting with them. I came back in my hostel at midnight and it took a long time to get warm again in my bed.


Thursday: I started to pack when I wake up but as usual, I took an extra day for myself. I started to answer the so many email late I have  and I am very sorry to be so late answering everybody.


When I left New York 5 years ago, I remenber that at every stage I was thinking this time my trip is really starting, the real mountain to climb are  in front of me, what I did so far was no big deal. That was my thought when I left Manhattan, when I left the comfort of my friend house Remus, when leaving my hotel rooms with frozen ice outside in Pensylvania, when leaving Jessica in Madison Wisconsin, when turning North from Montana to go to the arctic circle ect....

I still have the same feeling today. What I did do far was no big deal, but crossing Siberia with the winter coming to go to Mongolia... it's not going to be as easy !!!


I have already been 3 times in Yekaterinburg, and I am there in my comfort zone. While riding from Irbit, I knew where I would sleep, I would have wifi in my bed, I knew where to go to buy the french butter President, the right bread that I would toast twice on number 5 to have it perfectly crunchy, the perfect crystallized honey ect...

Here I have no pressure, I am just relaxing and i enjoy it  for a couple of days.


The whole Ural team was fantastic !

In 2 days, they rebuilt my motor and I was ready to roll.

I created my own problem in Kyrgyzstan. I only needed to change the piston ring but I did not have them with me and we could not find them in Bishkek. On top of that my visa was expiring soon so I did not have time to get them ship to me. I decided with Victor to change the pistons by the Ural piston 650cc and that was a mistake. i should have kept my original piston and go to irbit or get the piston rings ship to me further on the road.
I was able to connect this morning with Anatori called the "The surgeon" to replace a broken spoke on my front wheel. I ride to Ekaterinburg in my favorite hostel (wifi in my bed). I am going to relax a couple of days and prepare myself for Mongolia.

Sunday morning 8:00 am in Irbit with Anatori "The surgeon" replacing a broken spoke on the front wheel.


The whole Ural team was fantastic !

In 2 days, they rebuilt my motor and I was ready to roll.

I created my own problem in Kyrgyzstan. I only needed to change the piston ring but I did not have them with me and we could not find them in Bishkek. On top of that my visa was expiring soon so I did not have time to get them ship to me. I decided with Victor to change the pistons by the Ural piston 650cc and that was a mistake. i should have kept my original piston and go to irbit or get the piston rings ship to me further on the road.
I was able to connect this morning with Anatori called the "The surgeon" to replace a broken spoke on my front wheel. I ride to Ekaterinburg in my favorite hostel (wifi in my bed). I am going to relax a couple of days and prepare myself for Mongolia.

Sunday morning 8:00 am in Irbit with Anatori "The surgeon" replacing a broken spoke on the front wheel.


Dmitry decided to change the cylinder, piston and valves as well as the gaz tank. The motor is reassembled already, I hope to see it on the bike this afternoon.

In any case, I will go to Mongolia in very good condition.

My new gaz tank is receiving it's last massage.

Thursday: Dmitry already took the motor apart. His first comment was "The chamber of combustion is very dirty !!!"


I had a great time during this long ride.  I had to clean the spark plugs everyday due to the huge amount of oil burned but the motor was running comfortably at 50 mph. I was getting up with the day light and ride all day long until the night. It rained here and there for the first 2 days, then it was cold but over all, the weather was nice.


Marina from Ural was there when I arrived, I parked the sidecar at the factory. They took me to the hotel where I am tonight and they will pick me up tomorrow morning. Marina already asked me what had to be done on the sidecar and they will take care of it tomorrow.


I am packed and leaving Almaty.


I have my Kazakhstan visa registered - took a shower - ate good food last night - had a nice chat with 3 uk travellers on the road for 5 months and 2 years for the couple  - did my web site - slept well - wake up late - I feel good !!!

Yesterday, while riding in front of a bank I found out that I made a mistake in the change between US$ and Tenge (Kazakh money). It was not the equivalent of $50 I gave to the cop but $75 !!! I was very upset at myself. No wonder why the cop agreed so quickly. Later as I was resting on a bench, I realised that due to my dyslexia the $50 was not $75 but $33. Woh did I felt good suddently. It's stupid but it helped. All this is behind me now.

As for the motor problem consuming way too much oil. I have emails from the people at Ural telling me "The door of the factory at Irbit are open for you, when will you get there ?". This is great, I have a permanent solution to my problem in front of me, thank you very much Ural.

The thing is that with a Ural sidecar, the mecanic is simple and easy to fix and even if it does not run like I would like, the motor still run. I am going to the Ural factory and based on all the email I received, if I keep watching the oil level, I will have no problem getting there.

Life is pretty good.


PS1: Jessica called me as she just arrived in her home in California, I am definitely "Off the hook!"


PS2: I just look outside, it's raining, I may buy myself a lazy day !!!


Yesterday was a bad day for me, I felt down for the first time in 5 years.

I went to see Victor with Smail yesterday morning, I wanted to put back the original piston but they were very confident that the segments/cylinder will break-in and stop burning oil like crazy. So I left Almaty, passed the custom to Kazakhstan witout any problem. Because I was stack in traffic a long time, after the 1st 20 miles, I checked the oil level and it was at the minimum. That was very bad news for me. I had a 25 miles wind in my face and the riding was not smooth. Every 30 miles, I stopped to refill the oil. I saw 4 or 5 cops with radars on the side of the road but I am very careful not to speed. Then there is a big permanent police control station with concrete barrier and the last sign say 20kmh (12 mph). I am in first gear and they ask me to stop. They checked all my paperwork but then ask me to come inside their office. They had a small tv screen with the photo of my sidecar coming in. They say I was at 35 kmh. It is impossible, because in first gear I would have been at full rpm. I understood immediatly the scam. I tryied have them sympathise for me but the cop come quickly to the point "Money" or I will keep your driver license ect.... I could hear jessica's voice in my head "Dad, pay him and go !!!" He asked for $100, it took 1 minutes to make him accecpt $50 and he gave me back my paperwork. As I left, a dozen of his friends in uniform outside were around the the sidecar. When they saw me coming back they wanted to take a photo with me, I was ready to expode, in a cold voice, I told them "Nieto photo, I don't do photo with fucking ass hole like you". They were shocked, they moved slowly away as I jump on my sidecar and left.
50 km further, there is a village where the speed is limited at 30 mph. I do that in 3rd gear. At the end of the village, there is a cop with 3 cars around him, he looked at me from far away with his radar, I checked my speed, I was below 30 mph. As I approach him, he sign me to stop, I started to look on the left side of my motor and I passed him wihtout stopping !!!

I was 30 miles away from Almaty, it's 6 pm. 10 miles after the village, I saw a small farmer off road track going to the mountain. I took it and was out of view from the road very quickly. I eat a can of sardine and slept under the stars thinking of cops. Reacting to the 2nd cop was good for my self esteem. I hate being abused like that. If I am stupid enough to go over the speed limit, then I understand, but really hate being set up like an idiot. I have a dead line of October 18 to leave Kazakhstan and I cannot afford to be held here for stupid reason.

My motor really bother me, will I be able to ride the 2000 miles or so to go to the Ural factory, I don't know and I hate being in that situation, the old piston were not that bad !!!

This morning coming to Almaty was no problem. No cop try to stop me, and I stop at them a couple of time to get directions.

I am here to check at the registration of my visa and take some cash.

I may leave this afternoon or tomorrow morning, definitely going to the Ural factory getting my motor straight up !!!


I did my 300km yesterday and quite frankly, I did not like it. The motor is consuming huge amount of oil. I have white smoke coming out of the gaz exhaust permanently. Victor is telling that it will resolve soon when the new segment will found their place in the cylinder. I did the best I could to have him put back the old piston but I was not able to get that through. I have them with me... just for in case. The gaz tank is not leaking. I go to Almaty and then Astana in Kazakhstan, just over 1000 miles and will decide  at that point to move North/Ouest toward  Irbit, the Ural factory or North/East toward Mongolia directly.

The bike is running !!! Victor came back at lunch time with the gaz tank aligned and we were able to mount it.
Tomorrow, I will ride 300 miles to break-in the engine and I can go Tuesday morning to Almaty in Kazakhstan, I am on schedule.


Jessica is in her luxurious hotel in Hong Kong, preparing herself to give her training class tomorrow. I am off the hook !!!
The motor is installed on the motorcycle and run good apparently.

We runned into a problem with the guy who welded the gaz tank. He blew it with an implosion !!!

We tryied old models gaz tanks but they are too narrow.

We are going to make a temporary repair and I will ride back to the Ural factory in Irbit Russia (1800 miles) where I will get a new one. This one is way too much damage to be repaired correctly. Then I go to Mongolia.

The 2 red lines are supposed to be parallelles.

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