White Nights Ride 2005
Vladivostok - S.-Petersburg
Ksenia Batkhan, Luber
It all began from my request that caused the Editor-In-Chief of Moto magazine and its valiant team to coordinate my participation in that project 2 months in succession. I've drawn a picture of my life history starting almost from the cradle, and in my letter of guarantee addressed at the Englishmen's chieftain Lord Nicholas Fairfax, I promised not to dishonor my reputation and that of my group.
The very idea of a motorcycle race through Russia belongs to Lord Nicholas Fairfax: it was him who has gathered the English noblemen and plain British subjects to traverse jointly the world's largest country diagonally, from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg.
Nine BMW R 1150 GS Adventure motorcycles prepared for a rally raid and a BMW X3 car were brought to Vladivostok by sea, with the help of Nedloyd, the world's largest shipping company.
Ron Pape, the risk manger of that company, was traveling with us. The company has transported the vehicles absolutely free of charge.
Also free of charge were the motorcycles provided by BMW Motorrad UK, other vehicles and the complete outfit, including BMW suits warmed up from the motorcycle cigarette lighter, motorcycle helmets, and many other things…
The main task of the motorcycle rally was not even the traversal of Russia as such, but drawing attention of Russian Maecenases to increasing the amount of philanthropy (sponsorship, to be fair) in nearest and remote corners of our Motherland. Before the start of the rally, some 700,000 US dollars have been collected. And just about $100,000 have been raised in England , and the remaining sum was granted by Russian companies. The largest Russian sponsor was the Dynasty foundation owned by Dmitry Zimin (founder of Vympelcom). Not only has the Dynasty foundation provided the lion's share of charitable money, but it has provided organizational support for the rally, too. Firstly, the route from Vladivostok to Irkutsk (the mist complicated part of the route), Mr. Boris Zimin, the curator of the foundation, was in the driver's seat; secondly, almost in every big city, there was a representative of the foundation who was in charge of the event organization. Even the director of the foundation, Mrs. Elena Chernyshkova, has flown to visit us several times. And the thing is that it was the Russian branch of CAF, the English Aid Foundation,that was responsible for the charitable activities. It was CAF that has organized and all-Russian grant receiver contest, according to which an organization was chosen in every of the 24 constituent subjects of the Russian Federation we have visited that received a grant to develop some social project.
In various cities, the grants were received by: children's homes, facilities for children with various health deviations, etc. The organization of the rally in general was patronized by Newton PR agency, the largest one in Ural region. These guys have organized everything: from hotels to police escorts.