Saturday, August 20, 2011

HimalayasX2011, Western China Expedition supporting IDEAS & ETE

HimalayasX2011, Western China Expedition supporting IDEAS foundation & ETE Education Through Expeditions

by Brian Perich on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 4:50pm

60 days away, 38 cycling days, 3200km (1988 miles), terrain desert/Himalayan, 3820km standing-only train journey, 3 provinces, 100km a day (average), Western China, Borohoro ranges of Tian Shan, Taklamakan Desert, Cudi Himalayas, 3 mountain ranges 4000m+, Offroad through central Sichuan Province, Lugu Hu Lake, Shangri-La, Deqin, Yunnan...
About the preparation for MTB expeditions into the Himalayas: 
"I had protein, loads of bobybuilding type, couldn't carry it when the BOB IBEX trailer failed to launch with the Kona Explosif frame build, two disasters averted with the 2008 Blackcat I rode 10000km in Korea (purchased complete bike for $400 on Gmarket online auction). The replacement components originated from a last minute purchase of a used 2008 Gary Fisher Hi-Fi Deluxe AM mountain bike complete with Bontrager Race Disc wheelsets.
The expedition bike build started at my friend/bike shop owner AN DAE GI bike mart in Gangneung just 12 hours before I took the ferry to China.  We finished the build at 1am, I returned home repacking again and finally started driving to Incheon, Korea at 3am.  Finally, narrowly missing driving off the mountain roads, despite a slipping transmission in my 2000 Kia Carens (LPG!) I successfully arrived at the Incheon Port by 630am, and launching on the ferry at 10am without a wink of sleep....tight! (:  Feeling a mixture of being blessed and unbelievably lucky,  I followed through entirely throughout the expedition and completed successfully independently of title sponsorship, elaborate plans, or challenges that I could not overcome.
HimalayasX2011 Expedition detail: 

HimalayasX2011 MTB expedition, Stage 1-2, 3200km (1800 miles) total into the expedition
  1. Prelude to the MTB expedition: 30 hour ferry between Tianjin, China / Incheon, South Korea ($150)
  2. Brake adjustments and rack repair/assembly in Beijing, China ($20)
  3. 36 hour stand-room only train between Beijing and Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Hospitalization in Urumqi, Xinjang Uyghur for blood clotting. ($50)
  4. Front rack repair/assembly with re-bar steel purchased from street recyclers (.25 cents)

Stage 1 starting from Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, northwestern China across the Borohoro ranges of the Tian Shan Mountains, to Korla and return to Luntai. Solo cycle across the Taklamakan Desert (552km north-south, 5 days) completed, Minfeng to the Aksai Chin Mountain range to Kashgar (1700km). 
Stage 2 starting from Chengdu, Sichuan to Deqin, Yunnan (1500km). Discovered rear rim cracked internally 360 degrees with 1200km remaining in expedition. Replaced worn disc brake pads after 2380km.
Terrain: Altitudes from 2000 meters to 4460 meters, terrain varied from high altitude desert, grassland, and mountain ranges surrounding the Himalayas of China.
Rest / Recovery / Transit: ferry to china (30 hours, 1 day 6 hours), beijing 3 days (build front racks), train to urumqi (standing-room only, 36 hours (1 day 12 hours), urumqi 3 days (hospital outpatient for blood clotting ankles and feet), korla 2 days, kangding 3 days, deqin 2 days, overland return 3 days, beijing last days 3 days. total deducted= 21.5 days

Summary: Within 57 days, successfully MTB toured fully-loaded with 60kg Blackcat MTB and 40kg equipment, 85-70kg (body weight -15kg), 3200km / 1800 miles (38 days*) through three provinces of Western China, two provinces within the Himalayas. It was by far the most incredible cycling experience to date. This was the first bicycle expedition/extended tour in my life.*  Next up are the completion stages.

Stage 3-4: China, Nepal, India (Summer 2012)

Peace - Brian Perich - Adventurer
I support:

In partnership with:

Next expedition project, One - Arctic to Argentina - A2A

Voting all counted in the final decision. Thanks everyone for participating. Follow updates: (+) and visit the foundations I support: ETE,UK (+) IDEAS, Canada

A good morning in my dream ride, HimalayasX 2011
Liu Shao Long has a canopy over his equipment (panniers) and his winter coat used around Lhasa, Tibet

A dream I had a few years ago...kept thinking about it, and worked harder doing it. Worth every minute.

Live to Ride, Jolong, Sichuan, China
Always cycling BIG in the dreams, and burning fat not oil! ^^...
4340 meters = 14 238 feet
Sino-Tibetans taking a look at the Blackcat and maps

Sichuan backroads, Highway S215 @370km marker to Mianning

Crossing from Urumqi, Xinjiang over the Tian Shen (above) to Korla and back to the Tian Shen and desert highway to Luntai, all only the approach to the Taklamakan Desert, I appreciated the shadows and free water I needed on this highway from passing cars/trucks, they stop 99% of the time, they care about a soul cyclist on the open roads of northwest China - Thank You.

Picked up a melon, ate by hand, cut with Bicycle tools

Beauty in the land, the signs, the sun, the desert, the open roads

Monument to the Battle with Ghenghis Khan, Korla, Xinjiang, China
Beautiful Uighur people all across Xinjiang, China (Uighur Autonomous Region)
40+ days on the road, the early days in Xinjiang, China

That's my map in the Orlieb handlebar bag (large, black) and the line I drew previous to starting this expedition crossing the Taklamakan Desert, I did it. 9 days from Korla to Luntai, Desert Highway 5 days, another day to Mim Fung, Xinjiang, I continued south of the Taklamakan in similar surroundings all the way to the northwestern Himalayas and back to Yecheng and Kashgar. The expedition was rerouted due to political tension/instability in China, I continued from Chengdu, Sichuan to current location in Yunnan @ Lugu Hu Lake, via Xinjin, Luding, Kangding, Shin Do Cheng, JoLong, Mianning, Yan Yuan and here. 857km in some of the roughest roads, widest mountains (60km climbing days) to 2800m and many of the places between are nameless, continuous and amazing to ride.
Shadows are your best friend, Tian Shen mountain desert, Xinjiang or Check these links out, leave a comment...^^
When no shade is found, I later started using the reflective survival blanket (wondered why I had it with me, I thought it was a ground sheet for the tent), came in very handy for taking afternoon naps on the road and shelter from sun
Uighur farmers pulling watermelons from the irrigated tracks along the Tian Shen desert
These guys have some great watermelon, about .50 a piece or less

I invite everyone who has email ( in China to sign-in. I will send everyone an invitation in a few months with a link to the (mine is the ending, remove for open all journeys) journal that tracks 1000's of tours, expeditions and free-spirited adventure seekers. Check it out and learn more today (:
Equipment sorted in the desert, camping on the Tian Shen desert crossing
Dry shaving in the Tian Shen desert, I like to keep it smooth!!!!
Lovely campsite, free parking in the desert
@t the office HimalayasX2011
Signs, signs, everywhere are signs (and open roads) Arabic and Chinese Pin Ying

Uighur friends on the road, Xinjiang

He wrote a message in Arabic, translation???
Sweetness - thanks to my new Uighur friends between Tian Shen and Luntai, Xinjiang
Restaurant, highway bushcamp truckstop, Bike campers place as well, got stones thrown at me by one of the Uighurs (didn't like my jersey collar with USA flag), we almost came to blows, but he would be hitting the dirt
Feeling good before the approach to the Taklamakan Desert
Uighur transportation, many horse-drawn carriages, donkey carts, and cleaner air than in Sichuan where the motor is everywhere and rarely did I see a bike, horse, carriage, donkey - iTHINK (@Vyacheslav Stoyanov)
Freeway traffic in southern Sichuan, China
Bossman making his moves on the bike for IDEAS foundation, Canada

Muddy rivers flowing with life
Comment, I like!
Open doorways, a store inside
This granola is good, but have lost it all in altitude sickness
Highway traffic in southern Sichuan, China
Brian gone wild on the bike in China, HimalayasX2011
Spinning sessions daily, 100km
Everyone needs a little hammer on one of these, makes you SMILE...^^
Education Through Expeditions,
HimalayasX2011 Logo, frontroller classic pannier by Ortlieb future expedition planning (:


Anonymous said...

Awesome! Thanks for keeping us posted, sharing your stories, sharing your pictures. Dream it, do it!


rick said...


MY TEACHER IS coolguy!!

i'm rick !!

have a nice day

Please share the free inspiration and adventure cookbook with all your friends and families (:

Ted Simon Foundation

The Ted Simon Foundation

About the Korean-World Author

Brian Perich was an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) lecturer for a decade, father, and adventure cyclist based in South Korea.

Previously, Brian has led Canoe adventures in Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, Ontario, Canada (1993/1999); led Grand American camping adventures (2000); lived at Paramahansa Yogananda's SRF Ashram for 5 months (see the film "AWAKE"), formerly worked in titanium welding at Agilent Technologies, formerly worked in Winery industry in Marin County with Kendall Jackson in California; Surfing and Meditation continued for several years in California, British Columbia, South Korea, Yoga training in California 1999-2000.

Between 1994-1998 - Brian completed his own adventures with motorcycles. His motorcycling marathons took him across the United States and central/western Canada, while traveling solo over an astounding 24,000km in 60 days! Brian endured 900 mile/1300km average days in the motorcycle saddle and apparently loved every minute of those adventures.

Today, he has given up motorcycle adventures altogether, but finds an outlet for his enthusiasm in outdoor recreation while bicycle touring and micro-blogging about those experiences on his mountain bikes.

While employed as an English teacher in South Korea, Brian has became an advocate for bicycle touring on his mountain bikes. The Korean-World blog originated from those small adventures in Korea, now expanded to cover his recent trek down the TransMongolian highway to the Gobi Desert, cycling 900km east through the Khentii grasslands and in 2012 crossing Mongolia in 45 days, 2500 kilometers 1553 miles. HimalayasX expedition Brian previously cycled across western China, the Taklamakan Desert, the northern Himalayas of East Turkestan Xinjiang/Uyghur Autonomous Region, the corrugated back roads and mountains of Kham Tibet. Brian successfully completed his 2011 mountain bike expedition with 3200 kilometers / 1988 miles unsupported, on/off road MTB adventure cycling.
Brian has completed his second mountain bike journey, MongoliaX expedition - Crossing Mongolia 2012, an unsupported mountain bike MTB expedition across 2500km of Outer Mongolia from Ulanbaatar to Altai Taven-Bogd National Park bordering China, Russia and Mongolia.

In 2013, as a sequel to a trilogy of cycle tours, Brian enjoyed a more leisure bicycle tour onboard his Koga-Miyata World Traveller seeing the northern tier of the United States and western Canada covering 3400 kilometers / 2000 miles in 30 days. This North American cycle tour was called Totherocktour. Enjoying the adventure of bicycle travel and every great conversation started while traveling on the road - has refueled his inspirations to cycle around the Earth. In 2013, while he cycled solo from the Great Lake State of Michigan, United States to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He weaved through local communities and reconnected with friends, family and community after spending almost a decade in Asia.

Brian is now supporting several non-profit foundations through expeditions: IDEAS Foundation of Canada IDEAS is the acronym for Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society which supports the IBD community, those suffering from IBD-inflammatory bowel disease, also known as Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.

The second non-profit foundation is ETE.ORG - Education Through Expeditions, UK which supports educational outreach programs inside schools around the world. ETE connects explorers with students in the classroom, through an interactive online program in development (Beta).

Brian is researching support for a 18000 kilometer bicycle expedition across the Americas: North, Central and South America - ONE -Arctic to Argentina
Please contact him if you are interested in helping out.

Twitter: Cycleagain
Location: Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea or southern Ontario, Canada.

Thanks for visiting my Journal from Asia

I hope you enjoy the updates!

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Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

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