I got off the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki and the reasonably mild weather I’d been lucky to have seemed to have been over. Cold drizzle met me and I happily put my waterproofs on. I hadn’t got all the cold weather gear that I’d need, but had a pile of gear ready at home to be forwarded to me thanks to my mum. On the way to meet Anton, my host, there was a quick visit to a bike shop and the Russian & Estonian sternness had been replaced by joyful people who spoke wonderful English.
Having said farewell to Evgeniy & Nastya, my hosts in St Petersburg, the ride west to the border with Estonia was unremarkable, taking a largish road that cut through more forest and the entertainment was listening to my new podcasts. I spent the evening in my tent, put in a wooded area near a statue to the Great Patriotic War, at the suggestion of some firemen that I spoke to. Their station was in the middle of a large number of soviet-era apartment buildings (not saying much considering
I’d been able to find such a good route from Moscow to St Petersburg thanks to a GPS file that I’d found online. There was a small problem with the next leg. The blogger had mentioned being forced to take a train for one stop, and my googling wasn’t finding much about how frequently the train rain. There was also the problem that while it was dry when I set off, there were some impressive rain clouds around St Petersburg that seemed to be intent on heading towards me. A seperate
The next few days proved an interesting challenge for my rear wheel, with a ridiculous number of potholes that I’d be focused on avoiding and then still end up landing in. It was so bad in parts that it was actually a relief when the surface turned to light sand, although the washboard parts weren’t fun, as at least I would hopefully not worsen the crack. I’d not been seeing many bike shops, although that was possibly partly because I wasn’t seeing much of anything other
Some time during my previous leg, I had noticed that my rear wheel had a little shudder when I braked. I don’t remember when it started, but it was at least like that before I went to a bike shop in Waltenhofen, southern Germany, in the beginning of June. That guy hadn’t worked out the cause, and just re-adjusted my brakes but it still resumed. I figured it was down to the wheel being out of true and resolved to fix it while I was home. Being me this meant that about a week before