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The Trip Starts July 3, 2005 and ends August 25, 2005 (see route & schedule)
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Sunset is Nice, Biking in the Dark Isn\'t - 124 kilometers
YiWanQuan -- Sat, Aug 13, 2005
We've pulled one 10pm night on this trip so far (and it was in the rain) -- but this one had to top them all. We are now in the hardest part of the desert -- not the flat part -- but the rugged part with 90km between towns.

Today was an interesting day to say the least. I tried to get the crew out for an early start b/c I knew we would face some difficult terrain and conditions. My efforts were twarted by sneak 1 hour nap by Wen Ray and a whole lot of tom foolery between the two goof balls I am biking with.

So after biking/taking way too many breaks for 12 hours into incredibly strong winds -- we had only travelled 100 kilometers. I was not happy, given that I knew our next town was 22km away and it was now 8:30pm.

What happens next, Wen Ray pops a tire -- he spends 30 minutes trying to fix it, gives up and decides to take a bus to the next town. He pleads with us to do the same -- but I have a no car rule, it is bike across china, not take any sort of vechile you like across china. Problem is that the sun is setting, its beautiful, but dark is coming.

Fang Wen Guang and I set off -- hoping to crank out the last 22km in less than an hour. That would have been fine and all except for a 10km climb just before YiWanQuan. Now it is pitch black -- I am just following the white line in the road -- not wanting to even stop to find my weak headlight because of the vicous wind blowing in our faces.

5km for YiWanQuan Fang Wen Guang calls it quits -- its too dangerous he says -- there is 2km of downhill after the climb. He's right, but I'm stubborn, I push on. Probably one of the stupidest things I've done since sticking a piece of cotton up my nose when I was five but that's a whole other story...

I couldn't see a thing going down; headlights were blinding me, I really didn't have a clue where the side of the road (which had a 15ft drop off the side of it) was, against the strongest winds I've faced (and I've biked in a hurricane -- note the previous day they closed the road b/c the winds were too strong), and god forbid I hit something in the road...

I saw faint lights approaching -- it was YiWanQuan. Thank goodness. Wan Ray found the few beds that someone was willing to lend us and I shivered into the room. It was 11pm, but I made it -- bike across china continues.

 

Trip Diary
Pre-trip
Stage 1: Shanghai - Nanjing (7/3 - 7/6)
Stage 2: Nanjing - Hefei (7/8 - 7/9)
Stage 3: Hefei - Xi'an (7/11 - 7/19)
Stage 4: Xi'an - Lanzhou (7/22 - 7/27)
Stage 5: Lanzhou - Jiayuguan (7/29 - 8/5)
Stage 6: Jiayuguan - Turpan (8/7 - 8/16)
Stage 7: Turpan - Urumqi (8/18 - 8/19)
Stage 8: Urumqi - Korgaz (8/22 - 8/28)

Date Title Location
Aug 23 Sweet Pain -- We Made It Korgaz
Aug 22 Uphill to Wind Lake Salima Hu
Aug 21 Biking The Prisoneer Highway Along the Red Pepper Mountains JingHe
Aug 20 Chinese Mothers TunHe
Aug 19 The Final Volunteer Day Urumqi
Aug 18 Urumqi, What a City Urumqi
Aug 17 The Last Day for Wen Ray and Fang Wen Guang Urumqi
Aug 16 Rugged Desert and The Police
Aug 15 The Second Lowest Place in the World Turpan
Aug 14 Toilet Paper vs. Prostitutes QiKeTai
Aug 13 Sunset is Nice, Biking in the Dark Isn't YiWanQuan
Aug 12 Meeting Our Match Hami
Aug 11 Dry to the bone Hami
Aug 11 Gobi Down Hami
Aug 10 Small Town China Small town on edge of desert
Aug 9 Chinese Customer Service (Negotations) Dunhuang
Aug 8 Let's Talk About The Roads Dunhuang
Aug 7 Kao, Kao, Kao Lamb's Barn
Aug 6 Sick Returns Yumen
Aug 5 Volunteer Day in Jiayuguan Jiayuguan
Aug 4 Being a Chinese Wingman Jiayuguan
Aug 3 The Desert Has Arrived QingShui
Aug 2 Talking Politics in China Zhengye
Aug 1 Biking the Great Wall Zhengye
Jul 31 Where's the Beef... No Lamb? Small Village
Jul 30 A Toilet Seat Would Be Nice WuWei
Jul 29 Being a Celebrity TienJou
Jul 29 The Faces We Pass TienJou
Jul 28 Volunteer Day in Lanzhou Lanzhou
Jul 27 I got a visa ;) Lanzhou
Jul 26 The Six Questions Lanzhou
Jul 25 Why Bike Across China? HuiNing
Jul 24 The Mountain Climbs Begin LongDe
Jul 23 The West Has Arrived YongChuang
Jul 22 Sick or Not the Kilometers Must Go On YongShou
Jul 22 Three Stages Down -- Five to Go YongShou
Jul 21 A Full Volunteer Day in Xi'an Xi'an
Jul 20 Leaving Relics at the Terracotta Warriors Xi'an
Jul 19 And I thought I was ok... Xian
Jul 17 Longest day ever TongGuang
Jul 16 No Hot Water Until 6pm Luoyang
Jul 15 Volunteer Day in ZhengZhou ZhengZhou
Jul 14 XuChang to ZhengZhou ZhengZhou
Jul 13 Zhumadian to XuChang XuChang
Jul 12 News Clip from Nanjing Newspaper Zhumadian
Jul 12 10 Days Down Zhumadian
Jul 11 Chinese law is not always written Xin Yang
Jul 10 Biking at Night Huang An
Jul 9 Easy Day to Lu'an Lu'an
Jul 8 Sad I Don't Have the Answer Hefei
Jul 7 The Chinese Countryside Quan Jiao
Jul 6 Teaching English in Nanjing Nanjing
Jul 5 Rain is a beautiful thing Nanjing
Jul 4 Happy Independence Day in China Changzhou
Jul 3 Hot, hot, hot in Suzhou Suzhou
Jul 2 Autism in Shanghai Shanghai
Jun 23 Autism In China -- An Amazing Day Beijing
Jun 18 Training -- Beijing to Baoding Baoding

 

   
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