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Round-the-world biker feels the planet

Published Sep 12, 2007

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Moscow, Russia - Indonesian round-the-world biker Jeffrey Polnaja rolled into Moscow on Tuesday on the 43rd stage of a 100-country trip during which he has so far ridden covered 75 000km.

45-year-old Polnaja said he was coping well with the chill of the Russian autumn and looking forward to the next stages of his trip, which will take him through neighbouring ex-Communist countries Ukraine, Moldova and Romania.

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Polnaja left Jakarta on his BMW R1150 GS Adventure in April 2006 on a journey that he expects will total 330 000km and that he has dubbed a "Ride for Peace."

He tried to explain his biker's philosophy at a media conference accompanied by heavy rock music, saying:

"With a motorcycle there's no barrier.... I'm exploring this planet to feel what it feels, so I use my motorcycle to feel it.

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"If I climb a high mountain I can feel the cold of the mountain, if I pass a forest I can smell the pine trees. If I cross a beach I can feel the heat of the sun and the smell of the salt."

He's been held up twice by armed men - although on one occasion he got himself out of trouble with a display of card tricks - and knocked off his bike in a Pakistani desert; Polnaja said he was surprised at the ease of his journey across Russia.

He said: "Everywhere it's cold but your spirit is with me." - Sapa-AFP

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