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Brian's Blog
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
....Once I rode my bicycle to China...
Mood:  a-ok

I strung together about a week of 100k days and crossed the border yesterday late afternoon and made it here to Tacheng. The road varied from awesome smooth new pavement to climbing gravel hills. In one 10k gravel stretch where they were building a new roadway, I said screw this and got up on the new road, had it all to myself and figured I'd keep at it until someone yelled at me! No problem.

The Kazak people couldn't have been nicer to me all the way thru. In Urzhar, the hotel wouldn't let me pay and bought me dinner! In Taskesken a family took me in for the night and I had dinner and breakfast with them, same in Makashy. Incredibly good people. You know you've traveled too much when you arrive at the Kazak/China border and think "I'm almost home!" The Chinese border control point was more of the same. Once I told the story they got all excited. Uniformed guards with big hats and guns all broke out the cameras and thru the whole process they were clicking pictures. Taken into a building where they searched thru all my things but they were being so nice and polite I didn't mind. The head of the border station gave me a couple of bottles of green tea and kept asking me (thru a translator) if I was being treated well.

Pulling into Tacheng I asked a guy for directions (everythings in Chinese!) before long others were checking me out and joining us as we rode along and by the time I hit town I had a posse surrounding me. Tacheng is a big town I hadn't expected by looking at the map. Nice hotel for about $17, tied one on last night with three Kazak truck drivers staying there. Even got a needed haircut today, try to stay cool, the heat is getting turned up. I don't officially hit the Gobi for another week or so but you'd never know it. It all looks like desert to me. I've been actually putting on some good miles in the heat. Drink lots of water and keep rolling. Feels good. Thanks for checking in.

Brian


Posted by briansride at 1:23 PM PDT

Tuesday, 15 July 2008 - 7:48 PM PDT

Name: "Kirk Bennett"

Brian, glad to hear you got a hair cut. Need to keep up the good U.S. relations.

It is curious that with the advent of the automobile and the airplane, the bicycle is still with us.  Perhaps people like the world they can see from a bike, or the air they breathe when they're out on a bike.  Or they like the bicycle's simplicity and the precision with which it is made.  Or because they like the feeling of being able to hurtle through air one minute, and saunter through a park the next, without leaving behind clouds of choking exhaust, without leaving behind so much as a footstep.

I thought of that while riding my bike.
-Albert Einstein, on the theory of relativity

Well, one never knows what you might be thinking of next.

Take care, and See Ya

Kirk Bennett

 

Wednesday, 16 July 2008 - 8:37 PM PDT

Name: dphiggs
Home Page: http://dphiggs.tripod.com

Hey Brian,

China! Can you believe it? Nice to know people are still trusting enough to take in a shady character like yourself. The english language will probably be sparse, but I'm sure it won't slow you down. Currently I'm in Minneapolois for 5 weeks of A330 trainning. The city is really bike friendly, so I bought a bike here and have been exploring a little each  day myself. Don't think I'll be riding it back to California though, I'll leave that  kind of mileage to you. Looking foreward to your next blog.

 Doug

Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 8:32 PM PDT

Name: "Ron Reed"

Wow Brian

It's hard to believe you're in China, as far away as that is, it seems like it should have taken you a lot longer to get there.  We're really glad to hear it's still going well (except for maybe those pesky border guards, don't they know who they're dealing with?).

Take care and keep riding safe...

Ron

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