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DMITRY KHITROV: THE FREE RIDER

We settle ourselves into the saddle, place our feet forward, roll the throttle and the scenic road stretches before us taking our breath away. And we are privileged, because we aren’t just seeing it, we’re feeling that pleasantest sensation which magnifies all our emotions. The feeling goes on, deep and permanent, transforming our world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure. Nothing defines this sheer pleasure of riding and there is no better way to experience it than from the saddle of a Harley-Davidson.

Too Expensive, Too Big? Well, that maybe the case for most of us but for some nothing gets better than relishing the earth below and the vast sky above from the saddle of their Harley. One such individual is Dmitry Khitrov who has set out on a truly epic solo road trip from Russia to Australia. Accompanying him on this road trip is a 2010 Harley Davidson Road Glide.dmitry00For someone who has embarked on many such expeditions around the world, Dimitry was just as enthusiastic when we caught up with him in Kathmandu. Excerpts from the interview:

What went into the preparations for your journey?

There were many facets to the preparation. There was a lot of paperwork to arrange at the start. I had to figure out if I could get all the visas for the countries I wanted to travel through and more importantly, the major work was to acquire a special custom document called Carnet de Passage. A Carnet de Passage is a document that allows you to cross international borders with a vehicle and avoid paying customs charges. After that I prepared my bike and carried some essential spare parts with me (bearings, brake pads, drive belt, cables and clutch).

I ride a lot. I enjoy the freedom when out on the road and the good company with like-minded people when I visit their cities. I’ve done all sorts of long distance rides on my motorcycle, and this would be another addition to my experiences. My business can stay without me for a while as I worked hard enough to make this road-trip possible. I’m also writing for a few magazines and in this way I’m working while riding too.dmitry1What are you carrying with you on the trip? What are the essentials and indulgences (if any)?

Since photography is my passion, I carry a lot of photo equipment and a laptop. I have a couple of t-shirts and briefs because when you’re on a long journey, you need much fewer clothes. Some other essentials are camping equipment, trekking shoes, raincoat, a GPS navigator and a good knife. As an indulgence, I carry a bottle of good whisky just in case I find good company to share it with. Besides that, I carry a lot of tools and spare parts too because its’ not funny to push a 450kg beast if in case it breaks down. Whatelse..Ah!! I also have three different credit cards.

What have been the highlights of this trip so far?

The highlights of this trip so far has been riding through central Asia into Pakistan and Ladakh(India). This route features some stunning sand and natural rock formations and flanked by mountains on both sides, the plains offer a spectacular driving experience. The landscape is trippy with the high altitudes and feels so far removed from the rest of the world. The KaraKoram Highway which connects China and Pakistan is undoubtedly one of the world’s most stunning routes. Nepal is a great destination too. I couldn’t go to Muktinath and Jomsom this time because of the bad weather. But, I will come back pretty soon. This is definitely not my last trip here.dmitry2Any mishaps with the bike along the way? How did you deal with it?  

There are a lot of places a fully loaded Harley Davidson shouldn’t be going but I have no problem taking it. My bike is a 2010 Harley- Davidson Road Glide. It’s probably rare and uncommon to tour Asia on a Harley Davidson. Even though she is relatively difficult to maintain on trips like this, she is built tough. The only breakdown I’ve suffered till now was in Kazakhstan when the bike’s starter broke down. But, luckily my friend sent me the spare part.dmitry3What is your favourite travel destination? Why?

The USA and Canada are great motorcycling countries – long distances, many things to explore, different types of nature and very friendly people. Europe is also beautiful. We live in a beautiful world with diverse culture and I’m so lucky to explore it!

What tips do you have for first time Solo Travelers?

Main tip is to try! Don’t be afraid to face problems on the road. This is how you will meet new friends and some good Samaritans around. In your endless search for adventure, you will cross paths with some truly amazing individuals. The weather could change in an instant, danger could be right around the corner but you make it through without even realizing it. But, even the most difficult of things could be great fun because with every outing into the wild, you acquire new skills and you perfect the skills you already have. Only solo travelers can get closer to the culture and tradition of the places they get to. Be ready to accept random invitations for meals or stays in people’s homes and cherish them for that’s what makes the journey rich.

Similarly, don’t forget to wear protective gears because a relatively small mistake can cause you serious injury which might just cut your trip short.dmitry4And at last, what’s parked in your garage back home?

Besides this, I’ve got another Harley Davidson – A Heritage Springer. I also own a Buell and a Honda 50cc Monkey bikedmitry5Click here to read more about his adventures…

 

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