Posts Tagged ‘Jiayuguan’


How to cycle 244km in one day? Well, don’t plan it. Start at 2am, and cycle with the thought, I need to make the most of right now – there is no wind right now. I pushed, cycling the maximum speed possible at every moment. Living in the now, if you will. The feared wind never came, and the kilometres rolled past. All 244 of them.

244km in one day

244km in one day

It is dark. Everyone is sleeping. Everyone except the night drivers. It is the night shift. Just me and the long-distance truck drivers whoosing past in a blur of spacy multicolour light. And the desert – almost invisible in the shadows to the side.

The sky slowly gains some colour. I notice I can see the desert. The bleak, empty desert I now know all so well. And on the horizon I see some orange and pink. Then I leave the freeway at my planned exit. The only one awake, leaving the realm of the night shift.

Leaving the freeway at dawn

Leaving the freeway at dawn

And the speed continues. I need to make the kilometres before the wind comes. Only it doesn’t. There was even a slight breath of tailwind. I push the speed on. I was already clocking up an impressive distance. Then, suddenly, reaching Zhangye – something that I had never even considered – seemed possible. I flipped into challenge mode. I was going to cycle there in one day. And that is what I did.

Sheep in the river bed

Sheep in the river bed

On a side-note – I had a day off yesterday in Jiayuguan, where I went to look at the Great Wall of China.

The Great Wall

The Great Wall


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!