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Urals conquer frozen lake adventure

Ural Ice Run 2015

Six Aussies are among 17 riders in the Ice Run 2015 which is this week tackling the world’s largest frozen lake, Lake Baikal in Siberia, riding old-school vintage Ural outfits.

Ural Ice Run 2015

Challenges include temperatures of minus 22, thin ice, remote forest tracks, open steppes, crevasse fields and deep ice cracks that could swallow the whole outfit!

The adventure has previously held along the zimniks (ice roads) of the Ob River, but has been shifted east so teams can take on the oldest, deepest and biggest frozen lake in the world. The 31,722 square kilometre lake is 636km long and is the deepest lake in the world at 1642m.

Ural Ice Run 2015

They are riding 1980s and ‘90s Urals which were pretty much the same as in 1940 when the Russian army took the German BMW R71, pulled it apart, copied it and slapped a Ural badge on.

There are eight teams of two rider and passenger, and one solo rider, from Australia, USA, UK, India, Ireland, Italy and Spain. 

The Aussies are Dennis Malone, 44, Cozy Costello, 27, Ellie Turner, 25, Travis Crozier, 38, Dave Fry, 32, and Pete Dawes , 35.

The latter four are way out of their hot and humid Darwin comfort zone. Known as Team “Bandits on Ice“, naval navigator Travis, award-winning journalist Turner, aircraft mechanic Fry and Dawes, the “good looking one” are riding two outfits.

Ural Ice Run 2015

Dennis regularly participates in endurance events and adventure racing, including long-distance running, mountain biking and ocean kayaking. He’s riding in team “One the Rocks” with former RAF pilot Matt Prior, 30, of the UK.

Cozy is a Melbourne-based vet who grew up working on his family’s farm, herding cattle on bikes and quads. He’s riding with American Hugh Cummings, 33.


Teams are provided with a mapping file for their GPS, the necessary spares and tools to fix and maintain their bike, and snow chains and ice spears for pushing relentlessly forwards once they hit the crevasse fields and cracks on the ice.Ural Ice Run 2015

A ground crew and 4×4 emergency support vehicle will track teams in case of genuine emergency.

All riders are asked to raise at least $1900 for charity, $950 of which goes to their nominated charity Cool Earth – an environmental charity that works with indigenous communities to halt rainforest destruction. The Ice Run has raised more than $85,000 since it started in 2012.

Check out all the photos below … looks epic, eh?

Ural Ice Run 2015 Ural Ice Run 2015 Ural Ice Run 2015 Ural Ice Run 2015 Ural Ice Run 2015 Ural Ice Run 2015 Ural Ice Run 2015

  1. The BMW R71 which the Ural is copied from, also saw the copy make it’s way to communist China back in the day. Here in China, the copy of that copy is the Chiang Jiang 750 or CJ750 which seems to have a gullible foreign following here. They look very classic and nostalgic. However having friends and acquaintances that have owned and ridden the CJ750 outfits, and also having access to a 27HP older looking outfit in the army green, I can only hope that the Ural is 100 times better than the c r a p CJ750 outfit here.

    The joke is, that with the CJ760 classic and nostalgia comes with it, one can really experience all the tenants of yesteryear as one will need the classic tool roll and more, ’cause one will more than likely be pulling up at some point to fix something somewhere on the outfit. Even for the sully restored models which are sold for some ridiculous amounts here (AUD7000+) for what they are (CJ750 sidecars cannot be legally titled/plated in a foreigners name in China). Nor is it legal for the CJ750 sidecar to be converted to a solo either.

    Just another useful useless China factorial.


    1. Hi,
      Looks like you are keen writer and rider.
      Perhaps you’d like to write something about riding in China that I can publish with some relevant photos.
      If so, please correspond via email.

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