Day 41: Oryol, Russia to Belyov, Russia

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Start: Oryol, Russia
End: Belyov, Russia
Distance: 114.0km
Elevation Gain: 3160ft
Elevation Loss: 3127ft
Time: 8h51m
Reading Material:Ukraine: A History, 4th Edition – Orest Subtelny
Audio Material: Marketplace; World in Words; WTF podcast

Awesome day. My personal Oryol Bike Gang showed up promptly at 9am. Evidently, they saw a photo on twitter of a touring bike with a Brooks saddle in town and decided they needed to turn out (Oryol has a pretty strong bike community, they held a Critical Mass-like event earlier in the month and had several thousand bicyclists show up). We took some pics, compared some gear and headed out towards P92 and parts north.

It was nice to ride in a pack (and have a chance to draft) for once. As we got further from town, riders had to drop to return to their daily lives. But, Andrew and I rode together for 60km all the way to Bolkhov. I did most of the leading, but the combination of fresh legs and a riding companion helped and we made excellent pace, reaching Bolkhov in time for lunch. We said our goodbyes and Andrew headed back to Oryol (where it appears he or someone on his staff had a chance to file a story on our adventure) while I kept going north. Looks like we both had 120km days! And, thanks Andrew and Oryol bikers for the warm welcome and friendly assistance.

I’m quite happy with my route choice. Avoiding the motorway, I’ve opted to follow the P92 secondary road for several days towards Moscow and today conditions were excellent. First extended, smooth pavement in quite a while and minimal vehicle traffic. A good amount of up and downs but in this heat nothing too horrible (95F today).

Hopefully should be to Moscow after three more days on the road.

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