We are excited you are interested in being part of this amazing experience! Below is some information that should help you get prepared for the journey.
Steps to Join the Tour:
1) Please read the "FAQs For Those Interested In Joining the Tour"
2) E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org explaining your interest, biking experience (none is necessary), and the dates or cities you would like to join us for. We will contact you confirming your acceptance to the tour.
3) Get a visa for China. You need to download and complete the following two forms Fly China Visa Form and China Q1 Visa Form. It costs $93 typically takes 8 to 12 business days to receive your visa from the date you send it, rush service is available -- contact us if necessary. It's valid for 30 days and if necessary you should be able to get an extension in Xi'an or Lanzhou.
4) Watch for flights to Beijing or Shanghai on www.flychina.com, www.travelzoo.com, and www.kayak.com. Or call
USA International Travel
851 Burlway road suite 101
Burlingame CA 94010
TEL 650 548 0248
FAX 650 548 0249
United Airlines has a direct flight to Beijing from Chicago. Contential has a direct flight from New York. We will help you arrange your transfer from Beijing or Shanghai to your desired starting location. Expect to pay ~$1000 for your flight to China.
5) You must raise at least $500 in donations for autism and cerebral palsy by no later than September 15, 2005. You will be given a number of marketing tools to help you do this -- don't worry it should be easy and fun!
FAQs For Those Interested In Joining the Tour
- When should I come?
It is really up to you, the only key is that you are relatively flexible in your timing or location unless you join us early in the trip. Please see the route map for our approximate schedule. We will try to pre-arrange our meeting and will have cell phones in case problems arise. If the tour is ahead or behind schedule it is relatively easy (and inexpensive in US terms) to arrange for your transport to a location.
- How much will it cost?
The expenses you should expect to incur are plane/transport $800-$1200US, food $5/day, accomodations $15/day. You will also be responsible for your bike, accessories, and any other items you wish to purchase in preparation/along the trip.
- Is it safe?
Yes. My experiences with the chinese people have been nothing than absolutely pleasant. Obviously there are always exceptions, but I have yet to encounter any problems. We have researched the provinces we expect to visit and believe all of the areas we plan to visit should be safe.
- What vaccinations do I need?
Although we suggest you check with your physican, the mostly likely vaccinations you may need are hepitatis A and B, tetanus/diptheria, and Japanese encephalitis. We have been vaccinated for hepitatis and tetanus/diptheria and are looking into Japanese encephalitis vaccinations. Please e-mail us if you have any questions.
- How much will we bike a day?
The schedule provides an estimate of our daily biking distances. We expect to bike at a pace of approximately 20-25km an hour and therefore would bike, on average 4-5 hours a day. This is a relatively slow and light pace and may be increased further into the tour. Albeit, bikers of any ability should be able to join us for some portion of the trip.
- What bikes will you guys be riding?
For short trips, most light-weight mountain, road, or hybrid bikes will do. We will be riding Trek 520's and a Lemond Zurich. We suggest you use a trekking or road bike, for instance the Trek 520 or the Cannondale T2000 if you would like to join us for an extended period. If necessary you may buy a bike at one of the new Trek shops in China in Beijing or we can have a mountain bike sent to you from Bohdi Bicycles in Shanghai.
- Won't it be hot in July and August in China, in the Gobi Desert?
- Where will we stay at night?
We will make every effort to stay at hotels or houses along the trip. It is possible that we may not be able to find accomodations in certain parts of Xinjiang and in those cases we will decide to either camp for the evening or make arrangements to drive to a hotel.
- How will we eat?
We will be near civilization for most of the trip, we expect to eat at Chinese restaurants for the majority of our meals. We will bring provisions for emergencies and extended periods without access to food.
- What if I get sick on the road?
Newcomers to China should expect to get food sickness at least once and get used to diaherra, that's just part of the game I have found. If you are lucky, good for you. If you are seriously sick on the road, we will arrange to get you to a doctor and if necessary arrange for your travel back to the US or a Western hospital in Beijing or Shanghai (Beijing United and Shanghai United). You will be responsible for all of your travel and medicial expenses.
- What if I get into an accident?
We will have cell phones and expect to carry a satillite phone with us on the tour. We will never be more than 400km from an airport. We may also have a support car, but that is yet to be determined. In the case of an accident that can not be helped with the first aid supplies we are carrying, we will arrange for your transport to a medicial facility in the most expediant fashion.