The Ice Run
If you think you might enjoy riding an old Russian Ural motorcycle along a frozen river in Siberia in February and risk frostbite, bears or bandits, have a look at the Adventurists' (of Mongol Rally fame) latest crazy adventure and risk-taking exercise.
Ice cold in Irbit
It is called the Ice Run and is a journey which starts in the town of Irbit, Sverdlovsk, Oblast in Russia, a small town with a population of about 50,000. This illustrious town is where the Ural motorcycle was born and is famous for being the motorcycle capital of Russia. There is a shrine to all things motorcycle called the Irbit State Motorcycle Museum, full of Urals and amongst other things a BMW R71 rumoured to have been either stolen, or acquired through doing a deal with Hitler during WW2, and used as a prototype for Ural motorcycle production. The factory was moved from Moscow to an old brewery in Irbit in 1940.
Irbit Bike Show
Irbit also hosts the famous Irbit Motorcycle show every July (it's on the 27th this year - you can still make it!) Each summer thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts come to Irbit from around the world to take part in this.
This is a link to a Urals holiday company which is offering free entry to the Irbit motorcycle show this year as part of a Ural motorcycle touring holiday - have a look at the video clips and photo gallery for an idea of what it's like.
Arctic Roll in Ice Station Salekhard
Anyway - The Ice run stars in Irbit and ends in the town of Salekhard in Northern Siberia (the only town built on the Arctic Circle). But it doesn't take place in July, when the weather is nice, like the motorcycle show, oh no that would be too easy, it starts in February. The thinking behind this being that travelling along frozen rivers (2,500km of frozen rivers that is) on a motorcycle & sidecar would be fun and the rivers will only be frozen in February and after all it will only be about -40C. So the idea is to take two weeks to travel from Irbit to Salekhard on your Ural bike & sidecar and have adventures...and if you fall off it will be an arctic roll!!
Raise a smile
The idea of the Ice Run is to raise money for charity - the Adventurists ask you to fund raise £1000 of which £500 will go to your chosen charity and £500 to Operation Smile.
What you will get & how much it costs
The cost of the trip is £2,500 per team which includes:
*Ural motorbike & sidecar
*Specially made cold weather clothing
*Two days of test driving
*Training on how to fix a broken Ural motorcycle
*Launch party & launch ceremony
*Finish line party
*Team blog with SMS updates & social media app
Predators! Risk of death
The Adventurist warn of bears, wolves, frostbite, bandits, accidents or freezing to death, so think hard about it but at least it is adventurous and in a health and safety world that is appealing!