FAQs – The Epic Journey 2017 – Riga to Hong Kong 2017-05-18T21:48:36+00:00






The following Frequently Asked Questions refer to The Epic Journey 2017 - Riga to Hong Kong. For a list of our General FAQs, click here.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

The Epic Journey is not an Adventure that is suitable for an inexperienced motorcyclist. Riders must be capable of riding every day for as many as six or seven days in a row with some of that riding being done on inferior roads – both paved and unpaved and possibly in wet conditions. Riders must be capable of keeping up with the group, which means, at a minimum, riding at legal speeds for extended periods in a variety of road conditions.
Yes, his trip provides three options for doing a portion of the trip. The cost for a companion to join one or two segments of the trip will be pro-rated:
Moscow to Irkutsk. This provides the opportunity to enjoy Moscow and “European Russia”, including St. Petersburg, Sortavala and the cruise to Valaam, the Solovetsky Islands, the World Heritage site at Kizhi Island, the Golden Ring cities, Lake Baikal and eastern Siberia. There is a good international airport at Irkutsk from which a companion may depart the first phase of the trip, or arrive for the second phase.
Irkutsk to Beijing. This provides the opportunity to enjoy eastern Siberia and Lake Baikal as well as the trip through Mongolia and into China.
Beijing to Hong Kong. This provides the opportunity to enjoy nearly the entire Chinese portion of the Adventure.
Yes. Our support vehicles can accommodate non-riding companions.
We don’t have an arbitrary age limit, but riders must be sufficiently experienced and sufficiently healthy to handle a 65-day trip that includes some challenging, long riding days. Some riders who have already booked are in their mid-60s to mid-70s.
Women are definitely welcome – not only as co-riders or guests who may ride in a support vehicle, but as riders as well. One of our first customers to give me a firm commitment that she will be on the trip is a single woman who has taken trips with us in Africa, Alaska and South America.

This trip is not designed as a “macho” trip to provide bragging rights for fighting our way through the most challenging roads we can find. There will be many challenging portions to this trip without going out of our way to look for them. We’re taking the best paved roads available but there will be times when we must use dirt and gravel roads in order to get where we’re going. This trip is suitable for two-up travel by experienced riders and Ron Ayres is planning to have his wife Barb on the back of the bike for the entire trip.
We use the best accommodations available. This varies from comfortable, middle-class hotels and lodges to luxury hotels and resorts, depending on the type of accommodations available along our route. Except in some primitive areas, everyone will be provided with ensuite bath facilities. The basic tour price includes double occupancy, but you can reserve a private room by paying an upgrade fee.
We plan to accept approximately 20 motorcycles and we expect the trip to be fully booked by the middle of 2014.

On many of our shorter premium-level tours we limit the group size to 10 motorcycles, with two tour leaders who alternate between driving a support vehicle and riding a motorcycle. That formula works well to insure a premium-level experience on tours of shorter duration. For our Epic Journeys it is much more desirable to have a larger group:

It’s generally more enjoyable to have a larger group of fellow travelers to share such experiences with.
It’s much more likely that riders will find other members of the group with similar interests and riding styles. It’s also a benefit to have a larger pool of compatible dinner partners.
It’s more economical to allocate the considerable scouting and other preparatory expenses across more participants.
It allows us to provide a more robust support team and corresponding complement of support equipment.


TOUR OPERATIONS
No. There will be numerous multi-night stops. These will be scheduled for interesting places in which there are special attractions.
It varies, depending on road conditions and attractions along our route. Many days include fewer than 200 miles of riding, and it’s unusual for any day to exceed 300 miles. If so, it will only be because the nature of the area in which we’re traveling dictates a longer day in order to secure appropriate accommodations. The Epic Journey is intended to provide a good mix of sightseeing and riding.
You’re always welcome to do so, but it isn’t a requirement provided that you have a GPS unit and know how to use it. You can select your own riding companions, or even ride alone, if that’s more agreeable with your riding style. We will provide waypoints for our daily destinations. The GPS unit, along with the maps and route materials we provide should enable you to find your way to the next destination. We’ve found that there are some destinations (such as we’ve experienced in the Gobi Desert) that are very tricky to find, even with a GPS unit, as there are no road signs and it’s sometimes difficult to reconcile a fork with five or six choices to the GPS unit. In such cases, you’ll want to stick with the group and the tour leader, of course.
It isn’t necessary, but we recommend that you have one, especially if you have any intention to leave the group and ride alone.
In most cases, you’ll order whatever you want from the restaurant menu. Occasionally, dinners may be served buffet-style, although we never arrange for “set menus” for our guests. Alcoholic beverages are not included, but our meals always include non-alcoholic beverages.
We only ask that you follow the laws of the country we’re riding in, that you don’t conduct yourself in a manner that endangers yourself or other members of the group, and that you let us know if you plan to be late arriving at the evening’s stop (assuming that you’ve decided to ride alone).
We suggest that you bring the same riding gear that you would use during a long trip at home: helmet, boots, gloves, and riding suit. You should also pack a rain suit if your riding suit isn’t waterproof.
Despite some of the remote areas in which we’ll travel, you will probably be surprised about the prevalence of cellular telephone service, and even internet WiFi capability. If you have a cell phone in North America you may contact your provider to arrange for international roaming and you can continue to use your cell phone while away. In addition to this, our tour leaders are equipped with cellular phones and a satellite phone for emergency situations.

MOTORCYCLE-RELATED
As of December 2013 we have received bookings or firm commitments from previous Ayres Adventures customers residing in the United States, Canada, France, Indonesia, and Brazil. Several customers maintain motorcycles in Europe and plan to ride them to Moscow. This makes it impractical to incorporate a standard shipping price into the cost of the Adventure. Although the price of the trip does not include motorcycle shipping, we will assist in arranging shipping for each rider, since we have contacts with several global shipping companies.
It will not be necessary to ship replacement tires or a large inventory of parts for your motorcycle. You may wish to ship some “expendables” if you wish (brake pads, oil filter, air filter, replacement bulbs etc.) or parts that you know from experience are likely to fail, but it’s not necessary to ship replacement tires. Approximately midway through the trip (Irkutsk) we will schedule a stop to have the motorcycles serviced and tires replaced. Although it is the riders’ responsibility to pay for this service and tire replacement, we will arrange for the proper tires to be available in Irkutsk.
No. For some of the countries in which we travel it isn’t possible to enter with a rented motorcycle.

However, we are working with a partner company in Russia on a purchase/buy-back arrangement. Details will be forthcoming later, but it may be possible to purchase a new (or gently used) motorcycle and be guaranteed of a “buy-back” at the end of the trip. More on this later.
We’ll do our best to help you have it repaired as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we can provide you with a spare motorcycle that we’ll have with us on a trailer. This will be provided at a reasonable rental rate until your motorcycle has been repaired.

BOOKING AND PAYMENT
We suggest that you book the trip with the single room supplement. This way you will be required only to make one deposit payment and we will reserve a separate room for you. If you later decide to add a partner who will share the room with you, you may book them and we will apply the single room supplement to the cost of the additional booking.
Our base tour price is based on double occupancy and there is an additional charge if a rider requests a private room, or if we are not able to match the rider up with another who wishes to share a room. Virtually all hotels either charge the same amount for a room that is occupied by one or two people, or they provide only a modest discount for a room occupied by only one person. The surcharge for a private room is calculated only to cover the additional cost that we incur for accommodations when only one person occupies a room.
We strongly recommend that you obtain trip cancellation/interruption insurance from an insurance company or opt for protection available from Ayres Adventures. This protection provides for payment of a refund in the event you are prevented from taking or completing the trip because of a qualifying circumstance. Additional information on this option is included on our web page: Cancellation and Interruption Protection.

We recommend that you arrange beforehand with a travel insurance company, rather than with us, as the protection is less expensive and can cover airline fares and lost baggage, whereas our protection is limited to the amount of our tour fee. Our cancellation/interruption protection is intended only as a “safety net” in the event that pre-existing conditions prevent you from being able to secure the insurance from a travel insurance company. Our plan does not exclude pre-existing conditions.

OTHER
Send an email message to theepicjourney@ayresadventures.com. You’ll receive a prompt response. You may call toll free at 877-275-8238, locally at 972-635-5210, or write us at:

Ayres Adventures
P.O. Box 864018
Plano, Texas
75086-4018