ExSaf Cycling TeamThe 12th Cycling of ExSaf Cycling Team

The 12th Cycling: Climbing over Qinling Mountains

Cycling route: Dazhai Road in Xian - Niubei Mountain (watershed) - Taipinggong - Dazhai Road in Xian

Date: May 22, 2013

Number of participants: 27

Distance: 187km

 During the cycling in desert for the second time in 2012, most members of the Northwest Cycling Team attended the cycling activity for the first time; in the course of cycling, the members developed from worry to contemplation, and then to confidence. They all hoped that they could challenge a more difficult route in 2013.

Therefore, at the end of the cycling in desert for the second time in 2012, the members made an appointment that the cycling route for the Northwest Cycling Team in 2013 would be climbing over Qinling Mountains.

The average elevation of Xian City is 370m and the distance from the center of Xian to the summit of Qinling Mountains is 98km, in which, the total length of upslopes is 28km. The elevation of the summit of Qinling is 2100m.

As its name says, the Qinling watershed has Yangtze River in the south and Huanghe River in the north. The road goes along the river, with charming scenery at both sides. From the angle of Tour de France, this route can be deemed as a HC level route, that is, the most difficult one and thus becomes the holly land for cyclers in Xian. It’s also called as the hell and heaven for cyclers.

On May 22, 2013, 27 cyclers gathered in Xian, including 24 sales engineers from Ningxia Office, Henan Office, Inner Mongolia Office, Sichuan Office, Baotou Office, Hebei Office, Shanxi Office, Gansu Office and Shanxi Office and Su Yihua, Shang Yingbin and Guo Shaoting from the headquarters.

This time, the cycling team started from Jinjiang Inn on Dazhai Road in Xian, climbed over Qinling Mountains and returned along the same route. The total distance was 187km and the scheduled period was 2 days.

The first part was 23km long to Fengyu mountain pass at the foot of Qinling Mountains; with the excitement and joyfulness for the cycling and the plentiful physical power, the cycling team maintained a fast speed in the first part and arrived at the foot of Qinling Mountains very soon. After a short rest, they set off again. There were gentle slopes ahead, but every one was quite confident and did not think that would be as difficult as it was said.

At the beginning, we could see cyclers or hear their voices everywhere on the slope. All members kept encouraging each other. Gradually, as the slope became steeper, the distance among the cyclers also became larger. Collogues from Henan Office who had relatively better physical power went ahead of all others, while Su Yihua maintained his cycling rhythm and followed tightly. I (Zhao Yongchao from Xian Office) fell behind and felt more and more tired.

In many cases when cycling upslope, I had to keep my legs in mechanical movements, listened to my own breath and told myself that I had to keep going, again and again.

For many participants, it was the first time to attend the cycling activity. In order that everyone could better understand the meaning of cycling, Su Yihua gave an order to the team, “When you feel exhausted when cycling upslope, you can stop for while for rest, but you can never push your bicycle forward.” Now the most difficult part of climbing over Qinling Mountains started. We were still 16km away from the watershed and here were continuous upslopes in front of us. It suddenly began to rain heavier and heavier and the temperature decreased rapidly. We had no place to stay for shelter, but kept cycling forward in the rain. The cycling speed was decreasing and the all team members were more and more tired. We could not attend to the scenery around and our cycling suits were all wet. The sweat and rainwater were mixed and we could not even control our legs, but kept making mechanical movements. Su Yihua stayed in the front of the team, indicating the direction of cycling for other members. I kept encouraging myself and the cyclers ahead were the target of my pursuit. I could not give up.

In such a way, we finally climb up the summit at 16:00 in the afternoon. At 19:00pm, the team arrived at Guanghuo Street for camping. All team members were so tired that they could not even speak, but every one put his/her bicycle neatly as we were all in a team.

A team needs to have strict discipline and iron-like will. We need someone to take a lead and all others should be persistent. Only in such a way can we climb over each high mountain ahead.