What are the dates for the next edition?
This challenge runs by request only.
What does it cost?
Cost will need to be re-confirmed back to you, but it's likely to be US$3,500 per person.
How much is the single room supplement? (Note you only need to pay this if you do not want to be paired with another rider of the same sex.)
If available, this will probaby be in the region of US$500
How do I obtain a Russian visa?
To obtain a visa for Russia, you first need an invitation.
This can be done online through the following agencies:
• Express to Russia (www.expresstorussia.com)
• Russian Business Visa (www.russian-business-visa.com)
• Russia Direct (www.russiadirect.co.uk)
• Visa Able (www.visaable.com)
• Way to Russia (waytorussia.net)
Alternatively, Mad Dogs can also assist with your Russian visa invitation application for US$40, please ask.
Invitation in hand, you can then apply for a visa at the Russian embassy in your country of residence.
What is the terrain like?
The first day involves some climbs through the mountains, but there are also places where the road is flat, through valleys. Day two is largely flat, along the coast. The road quality is very good. The road quality in Russia is not quite as good as Japan but it was resurfaced in the last 4 years and it is decent. There will be some gently undulating hills on both days through Russia, as well as long flats.
What type of bike is appropriate?
As usual, we think a lightweight tourer or hybrid bike is best. A road bike is a good idea if you are good at watching out for (and avoiding) rough road patches.
Where does the Challenge start?
A comfortable hotel in central Sapporo.
How do I get to the start?
From New Chitose Airport, take the JR line to Sapporo Station. From here it is easy to reach the hotel.
Which flights should I book?
Sapporo is well connected with international air routes. From Hong Kong, you can fly direct with Cathay Pacific. China Eastern flies from Shanghai, Eastar Jer from Seoul, EVA Air from Taipei and Thai from Bangkok. There are a host of low-cost carriers operating to Tokyo.
From Sakhalin, you can fly from Yuzhno Sakhalinsk to Seoul on Asiana airlines. In Russia, there are also flights to Kharabovsk and Vladivostok. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk_Airport for a full list of destinations and http://www.skyscanner.com.hk/ is useful in scanning the schedules.
Will we travel on large roads?
Most routes on this challenge follow smaller roads.
Do I need to bring camping gear for the night at Firsovo?
You don’t need to bring a tent but you will need a sleeping bag, roll-up sleeping mat (inflatable type are best), a pillow and a travel towel.
Is the cost of the ferry to Russia included in the registration fee?
YES - it's included!