RIDING

Pt. 5 – Players club

The evening before the ride we shuttled into a valley sitting above Xinduqiao. It’s an area I’d never visited before. The homes featured the traditional Tibetan bearing, but had roofs with curved awnings. The undersides, an overlay of wooden slats, were dyed in shades of bright turquoise or green. The hilltops were forested, and slowly …

Pt. 4 – Contingency plan

Having skipped out on part one of two, of the round-Yala-MTB adventure, the second day of riding could be modified to cover a portion of the originally-planned route. We’d decided to stay in Kangding that night, in lieu of camping, which meant we could do the drive to the “finish” of the day’s intended route, …

Tear it down

I wrote a few weeks back about one of my favorite corners of the city for riding. The piece itself was a remark on mindfulness. Paying attention, as everything’s in transit. Life in a burgeoning Chinese city is in constant flux, so witnessing this by bike is a different experience, one I feel worth regularly …

Pt. 3 – Sluggish start

The day broke and everyone woke up, shattered from the previous days of wet riding. Sleeping at 3800m didn’t aid the situation any. Abu (the trip’s lead guide), having taken stock of the day’s route from the previous day’s viewpoint, decided it best to scrap an attempt to make the pass and camp beneath Yala …

Racing in China

In the West, within the cycling community there’s always an organic appreciation for sport and the value of competition. It’s prescient in everything from grassroots alleycats, to larger, more corporate races. If you decide to race, you’re likely to be forever marooned in a cycle of money-spending to fuel your improvement within the sport. Races …

End of the line

This past week, referred to as Golden Week throughout Mainland China, is one of the two long holidays of the year. Coincidentally, it’s the last national holiday before the unpredictably long while before Spring Festival rolls around. Despite the schedule being wide open for most, this means a lot of people are on the move …

The big two

Just west of Chengdu lays a veritable cornucopia of insanely nice riding. Within 75 km of the city limits you’ll find yourself at the leading edge of an enormous mountain range, the foothills of the Tibetan Plateau. This means relatively close, world-class, tall climbs. For an avid cyclist, this lesser known corner of the world …

Airport loop

A sweet little loop, today’s route takes you down and around the lower horn of the airport. The roads within the 4th Ring Road are pretty damn “meh”, but if you can tough out the traffic, construction, and choppy concrete, it makes for a decent ride. At a cool 50km, this loop is a good …