Crossing Tibet by Bike: A 2000 mile / 3333 km journey

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October 9, 1996 Shigatse, Tibet

After a week and a half of endless eating and resting we hit the road again, retracing the route that I rode four years ago. While we were climbing the second of the 16,000+ foot passes, John asked why I was doing this ride again, when I could have taken the much quicker and much flatter new road to Shigatse. There is something to the challenges of this kind of trip, this kind of trip is about extremes, extremes of every sort. So far we have cycled over 1600 miles through the desert, through snow storms, sand storms, rain storms and hail storms. But when we reached Lhasa, and saw the Potala palace rising above the city of Lhasa the joy was immense, as we cycled the last couple miles a rainbow shown across the ridge just north of the Potala. We certainly could have taken the bus or an airplane to Lhasa but my guess is that would be a somewhat different experience. Now we have another 400 miles between us and Kathmandu, and there are also a few passes that need to be crossed, just 2 or 3 that are more than 16,000 feet. We are still going to try and make it up to Everest Base Camp but we will see what happens. The nature of this trip is that many things are unknown. As one Tibet guide book said, "When traveling in Tibet, expect the unexpected, be prepared for the worst." Hopefully the next report will be from Kathmandu, Nepal around October 27th.


© Copyright 1997 Ray Kreisel