The sad story of Haruhisa Watanabe, a cyclist who was killed near Kandalaksha just over a year ago, keeps on getting several visits per day. For the benefit of those contemplating a cycling trip here is a compilation of videos to give you an idea of the road environment. Remember it is a concentrate, not your typical traffic situation!
I have no illusions about this country, but … Not all Russian drivers go like crazy and break the rules. Here are a few facts to the history of Japanese cyclist deaths.
Driver of the car that hit the cyclist was a man 56 years old with 30 years of driving experience. He immediately called an ambulance and the police.
December 26, the day of the tragedy – one of the darkest days in the Arctic. 2-3 hours of daylight only. At 10 am (the incident time) are complete darkness. No lighting on the highway. It was 30 degrees below zero and a snowstorm that day.
This photo was made in December on the highway near Kandalaksha. Visibility out of the car.
Haruhisa Watanabe was hit by a car belongling to one of local big shots. Think it was the mayor of Zelenoborsk, Boris Rozhansky.
..I’ve been sharing winter roads with locals for nearly two months now, and have lapsed into a permanent state of being scared shitless. Drivers make no adjustment whatsoever for road conditions. Exactly same speed and pattern as in the best of summer. Towards the end of winter daredevils tend to get weeded out but first few snowfalls is a disaster. In November 2013 I counted 6 accidents during a 120km trip to either Kirovsk or Apatity. Yet not a single one during the same trip in March.