Asia | China | Tibet – Road Reports – Cycling Tibet

Asia | China | Tibet – Road Reports – Cycling Tibet

This is a (somewhat) briefer version of my cycling journey from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp in Tibet. It contains brief road reports and some cycling pictures. For a longer version with more narrative and more pictures of scenery and sights, please scroll down to the bottom of this page and see the previous entry or copy/paste this link: http://www.worldsurface.com/browse/live-diary-page.asp?livediarypageid=1671

Road Reports – Cycling Tibet

October 10th, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 1
Distance: 90 kms (approx.)
Ride time: 6:00 hours (approx.)
Avg. speed: 15kph
Max kph: unknown
Passes: none
Sleeping place: Roadside camp 4100m approx.
Tibet Mileage: 327 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7313 km
Comment Good day for cycling. Not too challenging. Considering all the sections under construction, the road was not too bad.

Tibetan Glossary:     
La = Mountain Pass
Tso = Lake

October 11th, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 2
Distance: 55 kms (approx.)
Ride time: 6:20 hours (approx.)
Avg. speed: 8.7 kph
Max kph: unknown
Passes: Kampa La 4700m
Sleeping place: Lakeside camp approx. 125 kms from central Lhasa at 4400m approx.
Tibet Mileage: 382 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7368 km
Comment Good day for cycling. Took my time on the pass stopping a lot for water, rest, and food. Several road sections with streams running across them, and several areas under construction required pushing through soft deep earth that was yet to be packed down. Other than that – pretty good road surfaces.

October 12th, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 3
Distance: 42 kms (approx.)
Ride time: 4:00 hours (approx.)
Avg. speed: 10.5 kph
Max kph: unknown kph
Passes: none
Sleeping place: Riverside camp 4655m approx.
Tibet Mileage: 424 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7410 km
Comment: Rough road in construction zones, otherwise fine.

October 13th, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 4
Distance: 88 kms (approx.)
Ride time: 6:15 hours (approx.)
Avg. speed: 13.75 kph
Max kph: unknown kph
Passes: Karo La 4960m and Simi La 4275m (short double pass)
Sleeping place: Jiang Zi Jian Zang Hotel, Gyantse 3985m
Tibet Mileage: 512 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7498 km
Comment: A most amazing and beautiful valley after Karo La. Considering the passes, a relatively fast riding day, followed by a nice hot shower and a bath!

October 14th and 15th, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Rest Day 1 & 2

It snowed here today – just some light flurries, but it did snow here in Gyantse Dzong, located a little more than 250 km from Lhasa. It’s a one-horse town with an old fort and a monastery with a Kumbum supposedly containing 100,000 images of Buddha.

October 16th, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 5
Distance: 100.84 kms
Ride time: 5:25 hours (including 1 hr riding around trying to locate hotel)
Avg. speed: 18.89 kph
Max speed: 30 kph
Passes: none
Sleeping place: Sandrutze Hotel, Shigatse 3825m
Tibet Mileage: 612 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7598 km
Comment: Ultra Flat Road through a scenic valley.

October 17th to 21st, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Rest and Recovery Days 3 – 7

After dinner after a couple of days in Shigatse, I went back to the hotel and now whatever kind of poisoning I had kicked in big time. The next thirty-six hours were spent in gut wrenching agony, with excruciating stomach pains as well as the accompanying dysentery.

October 22nd, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 6
Distance: 58 kms (plus 5 km in a pick-up truck)
Ride time: 6:22 hours
Avg. speed: 8.5 kph
Max speed: 30 kph
Passes: none
Sleeping place: Tibetan Home/Truckstop Restaurant, Jiding Qu 3875m
Tibet Mileage: 670 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7656 km
Comment: Dust storms and brutal headwinds

October 23rd, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 7
Distance: 77 kms
Ride time: 6:09 hours
Avg. speed: 12.58 kph
Max speed: 30.9 kph
Passes: Langpa La 4450m
Sleeping place: Chinese Roadworks Compound, Sakya Bridge Junction 4040m
Tibet Mileage: 747 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7733 km
Comment: Sweet Day, Superb Downhill demanding some cautious riding

October 24th, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 8
Distance: 27 kms
Ride time: 1:50 hours
Avg. speed: 14.2 kph
Max speed: 27 kph
Passes: none
Sleeping place: Dewang Hotel, Lhatse, 3990m
Tibet Mileage: 774 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7760 km
Comment: Short and Sweet, Easy Day

October 25th, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 9
Distance: 16 kms
Ride time: 2:05 hours
Avg. speed: 8.1 kph
Max speed: 16 kph
Passes: none
Sleeping place: Camping at road marker 5069, 4405m
Tibet Mileage: 790 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7776 km
Comment: Short, Easy Climb

October 26th, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 10
Distance: 72.39 kms
Ride time: 6:20 hours
Avg. speed: 10.4 kph
Max speed: 34.7 kph
Passes: Gyatso La 5220m
Sleeping place: Hotel in Shekar, 4050m
Tibet Mileage: 862 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7848 km
Comment: Tailwind for first 5 km, then icy headwinds, followed by more icy headwinds. Prolonged gradual descent along bumpy roads that required a lot of pedaling. Not the “brake burner” descent mentioned in Tibet Overland.

October 27th, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 11
Distance: 24.73 kms
Ride time: 2:00 hours
Avg. speed: 12.67 kph
Max speed: 39.2 kph
Passes: none
Sleeping place: guesthouse in Chay, 4260m
Tibet Mileage: 887 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7875 km
Comment: Easy day – some headwinds.

October 28th, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 12
Distance: 47.25 kms
Ride time: 5:18 hours
Avg. speed: 8.9 kph
Max speed: 24.1 kph
Passes: Pang La 5050m
Sleeping place: guesthouse Tashi Dzom, 4090m
Tibet Mileage: 934 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7922 km
Comment: Many switchbacks on ascent. Alternating headwinds and tailwinds. Extremely windy at the top of the pass. Road conditions pretty good.

October 29th, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 13
Distance: 24.9 kms
Ride time: 3:00 hours
Avg. speed: 7.32 kph
Max speed: 16 kph
Passes: none
Sleeping place: Schoolhouse guest room Cho Dzong, 4360m
Tibet Mileage: 959 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7947 km
Comment: Nice warm ride. Bumpy, bumpy road. One soaker on detour.

October 30th, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 14
Distance: 21.24 kms
Ride time: 2:58 hours
Avg. speed: 7.22 kph
Max speed: 22.4 kph
Passes: none
Sleeping place: Rongphu (Rongbuk) Monastery Guesthouse, 4825m
Tibet Mileage: 980 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7968 km
Comment: Bumpy uphill ride at elevation. Fantastic Views – ALL the way!!!

October 31st, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 15 (day tripping)
Distance: 16.55 kms
Ride time: 1:23 hours
Avg. speed: 10.3 kph
Max speed: 27.2 kph
Passes: none
Sleeping place: Rongphu (Rongbuk) Monastery Guesthouse, 4825m
Tibet Mileage: 997 km
Worldwide Mileage: 7985 km
Comment: Easy ride, and then a 3-hour hike to and from Rongphu Glacier viewpoint.

November 1st, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 16
Distance: 21 kms (approx.)
Ride time: 3:00 hours (approx.)
Avg. speed: unknown kph
Max speed: unknown kph
Passes: unknown
Sleeping place: Campsite near entrance to Rongphu valley, 4500m (approx.)
Tibet Mileage: 1028 km
Worldwide Mileage: 8006 km
Comment: Icy headwinds, river and stream crossings. Attempted pass, but turned back due to icy headwinds. Found sheltered camping area approx. 5 kms back down the road.

November 2nd, 2004

ROAD REPORT – Cycling Day 17
Distance: 12 kms (approx.)
Ride time: 3:30 hours (approx.)
Avg. speed: unknown kph
Max speed: unknown kph
Passes: unknown
Sleeping place: Rongphu (Rongbuk) Monastery Guesthouse, 4825m
Tibet Mileage: 1040 km
Worldwide Mileage: 8018 km
Comment: Too windy to continue. More rivers, streams, iced over road on hilly sections, barely able to push bike. Turned back approx. 3 kms past village and caught an empty jeep to Rongphu Monastery for 100 yuan.

Part of me had hoped to go all the way to Katmandu, but I also wasn’t originally planning on going to Everest or getting sick, so I swallowed my pride, and have called this the ride to Everest – enough of an achievement for me to be happy with. I know of dozens of cyclists that have never even able to get this far, even after making the journey all the way to Tibet, and I will always hold close to me the memories and moments of cycling serenity through this, one of the most majestic landscapes in our world.

Category : Asia | China | Tibet , Uncategorized