When we left Dalun we began riding through strong winds and heavy rain. My Chinese raincoat was holding strong, but poor Ho Young was suffering...so I lent him my jacket to get through the treacherous weather conditions. I thought my manly coat could get me through the ride sporting just bike shorts and a t-shirt, but we had to make a couple stops to get back the sensation in our bodies...
We made a stop at a Tibetan hut and we met some other travelers who firing up the "baijiu"...which is the equivalent to moonshine. These boys were playing "baijiu roulette" and they wanted me to join the festivities; however, I left my dancing shoes at home and our mission is far from complete...
Our progress was slow due to the weather conditions and to make matters worse Ho Young's wheel got bent which meant his day was over. We were positioned in the middle of know where, but eventually a truck passing by took Ho Young to the next town. I met Ho Young at a truck stop 100 km past Dulan heading west and we decided to spend the night. The next morning Ho Young and I would part ways as he needed to head to Golmud via truck to get his bike fixed...
Golmud was 240 km away from the truck stop so I decided to wakeup at 4:30 am to attempt to complete 240 km in one day. I was making good progress at the beginning averaging 20 km per hour, but then came the winds....I was traveling through the open desert and never in my life have I cycled through such strong winds! If you want a good workout pull a 200 pound bike and trailer through the desert cycling against 50 km winds... I felt like I was getting pushed around at the school ground and mother nature was laughing at my expense...At times I was averaging 7 km per hour when there was a slight incline and it was very frustrating because my goal was becoming unattainable....I witnessed a gentlemen heading the opposite direction with a kite attached to the back of his bike and he flew by me with a look of pure joy...He wasn't even pedaling...He could of had a cocktail and just enjoyed the ride...Here I am heading backwards trying to keep my bike balanced and then this guy zooms by with his bat mobile...I felt like body checking him off his bike...
I stopped for lunch and had a rest for awhile. I met a boy and his father at the truck stop so I gave them a soccer ball and shared our story. It is very difficult in these rural areas to obtain equipment; therefore, children have to find other means to have fun and play. It doesn't take much to make people happy and I am glad we can contribute....
At lunch I said a prayer to the wind gods, but my wish wasn't answered....I managed to complete 170 km and finished riding at 10 o'clock...I had no idea where I was going to spend the night and I saw an exit off the highway which had a town positioned 8 km away...I was going down this dark road and then I came across this great community! The people were amazing helping me with accommodation and making sure I was well fed....This country has been very kind to us and it has been wonderful to give back.
Today I woke up early and finished the remaining 70 km. We cannot cycle any further in the province of Qinghai because foreigners are not permitted to cycle through military areas. Tomorrow we will be transported to the border of Xinjiang to finish our last part of our journey. The trailer is refilled and I hope everyone has been enjoying the tales of Ho Young and Hayes....Jiayou!
8/1/2012 09:31:51 am
I hope you guys are back together. It feels better to have a friend even though it sounds like the people are amazing. WE were celebrating in Montreal last night as our friend's in White Rock, their daughter in law won bronze at the Olympics in weightlifting .
8/1/2012 11:13:56 pm
frist, let me apologize to my bad english writing skill eh~So good to hear from u this soon Mr. Hayes~ and thank you so much 4 saying these~ So sorry to hear the story about the big wind and Ho Young's bike, and wish you guys best of luck in the incoming journey. I 've been tried my best to publish your website on Weibo.com on my page and now most Sinos on weibo shared it ~some said they will made you guys famous asap~ Lol~ and I got a little question right here, who made these translations of your blog? whatever who he or she is, he or shi really didi a great job! I'm in a really nasty internet cafe to write you guys this cuz internet was cutted from my flat Jilin, and soon as I got back in changchun, I shall never get in such a place like this >.<
8/2/2012 02:17:03 pm
You guys are awesome. Keep cycling hard and blogging well!
8/4/2012 12:12:10 pm
8/2/2012 03:32:34 pm
8/2/2012 03:41:43 pm
In addition, take care of yourself, have a good diet, sufficient nutrition is your another important daliy objective, which leads you exploring futher away~~(from: my mum who concerns you a lot:)
8/4/2012 12:08:28 pm
8/2/2012 11:34:51 pm
Great,seems your trip is wonderful though there are lots of problems that you need to figure them out. Hope the windwill be smaller tomorrow. I am sure everyone enjoys your story. You are nice people, so do the local people. God bless you all. Hope you can watch TV or something or you will miss the Olympic Game. It's so interesting. Good luck...
8/4/2012 12:09:43 pm
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