This woman crossed the whole of Russia… on a BIKE! (PHOTOS)

Anya’s Adventures
Anna Rodnishcheva has covered more than 11,000 kilometers from the Sea of Japan to the Black Sea; she’s slept in an open field and at bus stops, met very different people and conquered countless obstacles. Now, her life will never be the same.

“An experience like this alters a person a lot. I remember thinking that only weirdos dared to go on such crazy adventures and I wouldn’t do it. The very first trip really expanded the boundaries of my mind. I realized that if I can cross the entire Russia on a bike, then many other things that are not connected to traveling at all are also possible,” the newly-made traveler now believes.

One day, she did it

At 25 years of age, Anna Rodnishcheva admits she’s never been an athlete and had only ever ridden her bike in a neighboring park. But, one day, she got so bored of her bland city life (she works as a photographer in Moscow) that she decided upon a true act of madness. With her saved funds, she embarked on a big bike trip. In 2022, Anna tested herself on the Moscow-Sochi stretch (2,947 kilometers; 1,831 mi.) and, in 2023, she embarked on her main trip from Vladivostok to Sochi – that’s 11,601 kilometers (7,208 mi.)!

“Vladivostok was chosen as a starting point, which I reached by train. Not to save money or for comfort, but because that’s an adventure in itself. You have enough time to ponder your entire life over almost seven days spent on a train – this is generally a very therapeutic experience. When I left Moscow, I was sick of my job, but, by the end of the trip, I was ready to take up my camera again,” Anna says.

When she arrived in the city, she reached the Tokarevsky Lighthouse and switched on her app that counts the distance traveled.

Tigers and sleeping in a field

Departing from Vladivostok, Anna didn’t yet know where she was going. She had four goals and the destination wasn’t as important. “First goal – to cross the entire Russia from sea to sea. Second – to test myself long distance. Third – to spend time alone with myself and think over many things. And fourth, of course, to see large cities!”

When embarking on such a journey, you have to be ready for anything. During her trip, Anna mostly slept in a tent in a field; once, she had to sleep at a bus stop. She took along a whole animal repellent kit: “They scare people in the Far East with stories about bears and tigers, so I had pepper spray, a hunter signal and flares – thankfully, I didn’t need any of it! What I didn’t take was something against dogs, they often attack cyclists. I wasn’t bitten, but it’s scary when a giant dog runs at you. Of course, I had a tent with me, a tourist foam mat, spare parts for my bicycle and so on.”

Meetings on the way

Anna regrets that she had never really trained before: “I covered about 100 kilometers daily and, for a bike trip across Russia, that’s quite small – at times, you won’t reach anything within these 100 kilometers, that’s just a road from one village to another.’ Not everything went smoothly on the road, but Anna learned to tackle every situation without panicking. “There were emergency situations with my bike – some of them I was able to solve myself, for some I had to go to a repair shop. Once, my bike broke down between cities – then I caught a ride and they drove me to a repair shop. People helped me like that several times,” she says.

And, over the course of her epic journey across Russia, Anna met various different people: “In total, I met three types of people on my journey. The first type – simple passers-by (for example vehicle relocators), who saw me in one region and then met me again in another. They would say: ‘We’re relocating our third car already and you’re still on the road!?’ They usually gave me some food, snacks or some water. The second type – travelers like me. Sometimes cyclists, sometimes hitchhikers. Among them was the only foreigner on my way – an Iranian. He wanted to reach Magadan from Moscow, but, unfortunately, his visa ran out and he didn’t have quite enough days to finish his journey. The third type was the locals. Sometimes, they offered me to spend a night at their place, showed me their city – I remember it with warmth. But, you still have to talk to everyone carefully. Sometimes, I met not entirely sane people. I personally advise you not to talk to roadside sellers and to talk to truckers with caution.”

Anna with the Iranian she met on the road.
Anna at one of the bike posts.

Anna, just like she wanted, rode through many large cities: Stavropol, Volgograd, Saratov, Chelyabinsk, Ulan-Ude, Chita. In some, she stopped at bike posts of the local motorcycle clubs. She also spent two days in Irkutsk to celebrate her birthday – she even has a photo with a cake at Lake Baikal!

Advice to those who want to do the same

On October 10, Anna reached the final point of her journey – Sochi – and, soon, she’ll be back at home in Moscow. She’s happy about it and now she thinks enthusiastically about sedentary life: “This might sound strange, but I got a bit tired over the course of the journey. Always on the road, always talking to new people – this is really tiresome over the course of five months. Now I’ll return home, see my parents and go back to work. For now, I don’t plan any new travels.”

A bicycle workshop from Volgograd gifted Anna a helmet.

And here’s what Anna advises those who want to repeat her adventure: “First of all – everything is possible! A regular healthy untrained person can cover this distance, if they wish. I hope my story will be seen, especially by girls and they’ll realize they can travel by themselves. Second, an experience like this alters a person a lot. I remember thinking that only weirdos dare to go on such crazy adventures and I wouldn’t do it. The very first trip really expanded the boundaries of my mind. I realized that if I can cross the entire Russia on a bike, then many other things that are not connected to traveling at all are also possible. But, if you suffer from depression, don’t count on this journey to restore you to life! Afterwards, you will still return to the city and go back to your daily routine. Third, financially, anyone can go on such journeys. You can do it with a budget of 15-20 thousand rubles (approx. $150-$200) per month; with more comfort, of course, it will be more expensive – but that is up to you.”

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