From Ulan-Ude to Slyudyanka
Riding from Ulan-Ude to the most southern point of Lake Baikal, Slyudyanka, the route leads parallel to the rails of the Transsiberian Railroad. The street is in perfect condition, which is also due to its importance as a main connection between Moscow and Vladivostok. But therefore traffic is heavier, and especially the number of motor trucks is rising.
But this route section has its charm, too. After riding along the river Selenga on a flat road, you reach Lake Baikal. From now on, the road leads close to the lakefront all the time. This not always means in view of the lake, but everywhere there are short ways that lead you through the forest to little villages and the most beautiful beaches. Vydrino is a place that can be left out. It certainly was a major military base once, which is surrounded by vast dumps now. Furthermore, Lake Baikal itself is very hard to get to in this region.
Also the next big town, Baikalsk, doesn't belong to the heights of a journey. The problem for that is practically in the air. Already long before you can see something, you have the smell of the emissions of the industrial plant (cellulose plant) in your nose. It is said that Lake Baikal has already reached an alarming degree of pollution here, and in comparison to other lake sections the water here shouldn't be drunk without concern anymore.
The final section of this round course from Slyudyanka to Irkutsk is very mountainous. If you don't want to undergo this exertion, it is possible at all times to board the regional train (Electritshka). By the way, this train goes all the way from Ulan-Ude to Irkutsk, and even if you have a bike with you it just costs a few roubles.