3 months, 3,200 km
This ride would need to be in the summer so that St Petersburg is warm enough and the passes in the Alps free of snow. The ride would take us to many places that much of our lives were behind the Iron Curtain. In the spring it would be best to cycle north, while in the fall travelling south makes sense. St. Petersburg suffers from an unpleasant mosquito season. This generally starts around April and continues through to September, although diehards can be active as late as December! The mosquitoes are malaria free but are reported to be larger and more persistent than the “average” type found elsewhere (sound like the Yukon). The winds are generally from the west, suggesting that riding south to north would be optimal. I favour coming from the south in the spring when Italy will be at its best, follow spring as we move north, and using some strong mosquito repellent in St. Petersburg.