Ukraine's Heart of Darkness

Ukraine's Heart of Darkness | RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel

On a clear summer day, with the sky that deep rich blue they always seem to use on holiday postcards, the pure white clouds fought with the endless miles of brilliant yellow sunflower fields for our attention. Occasionally, the vibrant blanket of color turned to a patchwork quilt of wheat or grass. Sporadically, small towns appeared, the architecture clean, honest, and very unlike the ornate, almost delicate, style of the country cottages of my English youth. These towns required little more than a couple of clutchless downshifts to navigate. In mere moments, our BMW F 850 GS Adventures seamlessly accelerated back toward Ukraine’s open roads.

The smooth two-lane road occasionally dipped into long, low valleys before cresting another hill to reveal the always-colorful horizon. Ahead, I saw my riding partner Kiran’s turn signal begin to flash. After some weeks of riding together, we had found our natural rhythm. Slowing to match his turn, I caught a glimpse of what he had seen. Riding now through fields of tall, healthy wheat, a couple of combine harvesters close to the road were in his sights. It was time for the grain harvest in Ukraine and Kiran wanted to shoot some pictures. It’s such an important story, with the Russians blockading the ports at this very moment.