A week ago I finally found myself with a week’s window. I’ve been riding a lot but one of my aims this year was to do what I haven’t done much of before: explore Western Sichuan, solo-style on two wheels.
I was looking at roughly 800km with thousands of meters climbing and elevations north of 4000m. I was doubtful, thinking I could just enjoy the comfort of my home and do riding in the area. Besides, the weather this time of year can make for some sketchy roads up in the mountains.
Cue Hyo, who I suspect was looking free to a week free of me being bored, dancing around the apartment with an endless track list of shitty jingles constantly spewing from my mouth. She offered the necessary nudge and I was off.
The first day was unspectacular, mostly flat, with the occasional hiccup you find from riding in a constantly changing country: A missing bridge here, a destroyed road there. It was sunny and hot and immediately I felt discouraged wondering why I’d ventured out of my space for this trip.
After a long day in the saddle, the air became clearer and the mountains revealed themselves, looming in the distance. There they were, my adventure spelled out in the sharp lines of enormous stone. The Climb was coming.