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ADV RidesTouring RegionCentral AsiaRide of a Lifetime Across the Bering Strait?

Ride of a Lifetime Across the Bering Strait?

Ride from London to New York without ever getting on a plane or boat.

Published on 04.01.2015

Adventure riders hardwired for epic odysseys will drool over a proposed route traversing Siberia to create a road link across the Bering Strait from London to New York.

According to a CNN report, a proposal from Moscow alludes to a Trans-Siberian highway to link far eastern Russia, across the Bering Sea, with Alaska’s Seward Peninsula.

Traversing the entirety of Russia, the proposed highway will track the famed Trans-Siberian railway and link with existing road systems in Europe and Asia to pave the world’s first non-stop tri-continental crossing.


The planned road appears to be part of a greater infrastructure scheme to tap the region’s vast oil and gas deposits, but is somewhat vague on how the 55-mile (88 km) ocean gap between Russia and Alaska will be bridged. So too is a lack of clarity on a 520-mile (830 km) road needed to cross the Alaskan wastelands and connect with the state’s network.

However, should the engineering challenges be overcome, and the sceptics silenced, the London-New York expedition at a touch under 13,000 miles (21,000 km) surely will rank as the mother of epic adventure rides.

The urge to conquer Siberia on two wheels is deeply ingrained in the adventure riding psyche. More famously, the entertaining account by British actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman astride their BMW 1150 GSs in the Long Way Round series highlighted some of the trials and tribulations on this journey.

Long Way Round Map Crossing the Bering Straight

In the Long Way Round TV series Ewan and Charley took a flight from Eastern Russia to Anchorage Alaska to continue their journey from London to New York. (Photo Courtesy Long Way Round)

Their route deviated somewhat from the proposed Trans-Siberian highway and, if anything, conditions are likely to be harsher than described in Long Way Round. For better or worse, roads in the remote reaches of Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Siberia are beyond appalling and demand some decent off-road fitness and experience.

Then there’s the sub-artic climate and its deathly winters that freezes out any two-wheel travel, meaning that missing the summer window may result in a costly delay, or even an end to the dream.

Time is a factor, and a hopeful Siberian adventurer should budget at least four months, and then pray to be spared any delays and breakdowns on the 13,000-mile journey. Riding an average 110 miles (175 km) a day may sound doable, but not if torrential rain, impassable tracks or a blown head gasket puts a spoke in the wheel.

A trip of this magnitude demands an exceptional motorcycle, one that in all probability would have to be customized to carry extra fuel, spares, camping kit and emergency rations. The rigors of the trip will also demand the resilience to handle obstructionist bureaucracy, communication frustrations and cultural divides.

But for those willing and able to take on this adventure, the proposed London-New York pilgrimage promises a life-changing experience, the kind where the journey IS the destination.

Author: Derek Alberts

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