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.