Posts Tagged ‘Chijin’


To escape the wind. Today I changed my route, leaving the freeway to what I suspected was a road through farmland with the accompanying wind protection. My mind was focussing on how to avoid the wind. And I have it – tomorrow I will be cycling at night! Night rider!

The long road

The long road

The road south to Yumen town looked on the map like it was through farmland (any roads on the map leaving the freeway with occasional side roads are usually farmland). Well, it climbed 500m across a desert plain to a ridge with a massive oil refinery. I was happy though – with almost no wind in the morning, I rocketed up the 500m, and had that altitude to ‘spend’ cycling down against the wind to Jiayuguan. No farmland though.

Police

Police

I passed the 17000km mark from Eindhoven.

17000km

17000km

A rest day is planned visiting the Great Wall and then I’m turning nocturnal!


There are spots of green in this desert. Trees, Corn and sunflower crops. And protection from the wind. Then the desert continues and the wind hits like a wall. With a small side component to the gale-force headwind, my non-aerodynamic luggage slams on the brakes. OK. OK. 7km/h it is.

Wind in the grass

Wind in the grass

I have read about cyclists who have taken busses to cross this vast desert. I have read how dejecting it is to get nowhere slowly with the terrible winds, and how they step onto the bus. I have always wanted to cycle all the way to Australia, without busses or other forms of transport (except when water makes cycling impossible). I can understand this dejection.

The weather forecast is for the same as far forward as it goes. Gentler winds (about 17km/h headwind) are in the morning. Stronger headwinds (30km/h+) are in the afternoons. There are still hundreds of kilometres to go. Cycling into the wind is not like normal cycling where you pedal, and have regular pauses from pedalling as you just roll along. With this wind, the moment I stop pedalling, the wheels stop turning and I have to step off the bike. It is a mind game. I still intend to cycle tomorrow. Let’s see if and when the bus beckons.

Exhausted after another windy day

Exhausted after another windy day