ExSaf Cycling TeamThe 5th Cycling

The 5th Cycling:Yunnan - Tibet

Cycling route: Lijiang Yunnan – Mangkang Tibet – Lhasa Tibet

Date: August 27, 2010

Number of participants: 10

Distance: 1789km

In 2010, our cycling continued. On August 27, 10 young cyclers started from Lijiang and their destination was Lhasa.

All the 10 cyclers worked in the R&D Center of the company. Chen Chuan, Liu Xiangwei and Feng Xu were younger than 30. There was nothing special in their life so far and they hadn’t tried anything that they thought really good; after watching the video of cycling from Sichuan to Tibet in 2009, they admired the cyclers and believed cycling might give them some different experiences.

When Su Yihua encouraged and supported other people in the company to participate in the cycling to Tibet, they got enrolled immediately. They worked hard in each trial run before departure and finally were qualified as members of the cycling team.

With the preceding example in the cycling in 2009 and based on the good physical conditions of young people, they could not wait any more to start the tour of conquest. The cycling on Day one was on a 154km asphalt road and, when the cyclers arrived at Tacheng County, they didn’t enjoy themselves to the full.

The cycling to Zigeng County on Day two was also very smooth, though there was a 30km washboard road after the team left the town for 60km. Everyone was expecting the cycling on the next day, as they would climb over Baima Snow Mountain with the altitude of 4300m from Zigeng County with the altitude of 2040m. In the cycling from Sichuan to Tibet, some cyclers were over 50 years old. For the current younger cyclers, the travel would not be so painful and they eagerly wanted to prove themselves on the next day.

On Day three, the cycling team started at 7:00am. The road leading to the summit of Baima Snow Mountain was a rough sky way with gravels and slopes. The cycling speed was very slow and the slopes got steeper and steeper. The speed was as low as 3 or 4km per hour. All cyclers persisted in cycling and stopped for a rest once every one hour. At 5:00pm, the cycling team arrived at the saddle back of Baima Snow Mountain.

It was as hard to go down the mountain as to go up. It was raining, the road was under repairing and the road was muddy. The construction trucks passing by splashed thick muddy water to the high and every cycler had mud on his back, legs and shoes. The bicycles were also covered with a thick layer of mud. As it got darker, we were scary as we were worried about the cliff at the left while having to avoid the coming vehicles. At about 10:30pm, we arrived at the destination of that day, Feilai Temple, hungry and tired.

Wang Yi, who was in a low fever in the afternoon, suffered a more serious discomfort now. He though the altitude reactions emerged and worried that he would die on the road. However, he persisted in cycling to the summit. After going down the mountain, he had an intravenous drip in a hospital in Deqin County 80km away. Chen Chuan, who worried about altitude reactions, also went to the hospital to have a checkup.

Due to the eager for victory, such young cyclers were in lack of patience which was necessary for cycling on a high mountain. They thought they could conquer the mountain easily because they were young, but the mountain almost consumed all their physical power. They had made an appointment to watch the “Sunrise from a Golden Mountain” at the viewing deck, but only two or three cyclers did. The departure on that day was also postponed to 9:00.

It kept raining from Day three to Day ten. On Day ten, the team would pass the natural barriers at Tongmai and Pailong, which were sections with frequent collapse and debris flow. The cycling team met a debris flow in 2009, so everyone was nervous.

Soon after the departure, the rainwater flowing down from the mountain covered the road and moved quickly. The cyclers had to push their bicycles ahead in the water. Their shoes were full of cold water. The road passing through the natural barriers was an earth road, with the mountain at one side and the cliff at the other.

The road was full of sharp turns and steep slopes and became muddier after the rain. The surface was very narrow and sometimes we could only pass one by one; there were many collapse and debris flows on the 30km road and in most sections, we had to push our bicycles forward. Most bicycles were equipped with disc brakes, which were clogged by the sands and mud.

After we passed the natural barrier in Pailong, the remaining cycling of the day would be on an asphalt road. During the rest, the cyclers discussed about the remaining part of the day. Since we had passed the most difficult part, everyone was tired and the remaining part was not so interesting, we decided to give up cycling and someone even dissembled their bicycles and loaded onto the supporting car.

When Wang Ping, the person in charge of the activity, arrived at last, all other cyclers were already on the car. Wang Ping refused to get on. However, when seeing other cyclers curling up in the car, cold and tired, he had no choice but to get on the car. We arrived at the destination of the day by car.

A muddy road tests the perseverance of cyclers, and a flat road is even more a test for the perseverance and patience of cyclers.

When we arrived at Lulang, we drank for celebration for the first time, because the most difficult part had gone and Lhasa was not far away.

On September 8, we arrived at Lhasa.

  • Chen Chuan

  • Wang Yi

  • Liu Xiangwei, Qu Guishuang, Feng Xu

  • Wang Ping participated in the cycling from Sichuan to Tibet and now led the team from R&D Center for the cycling from Yunan to Tibet.

  • On the summit of Dongda Mountain at last

  • Our lunch: steamed buns, pickled vegetables and ham sausage. When we were hungry, everything was delicious.