Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bicycle Touring in western China: Taklamakan Desert, The Silk Road, Tarim Desert Highway

 Hotan, Uyghur Autonomous Region of China (in style for breakfast and tea)
Outside the international hotel a small gathering comes together  
 I use my diary to record numbers, these are addresses for email and a version of Facebook used entirely across China. I want to get a account - there's a new world to explore!
 Okay, tell me your digits or I'll give you mine. Sadly, Beijing's censorship is so tight...even this harmless blog isn't visible in the Asian Giant (apt name for a popular mountain bike Made in China.)
 Okay, I am getting to it!
 I don't want to meet strangers and remain strangers. I sent email out to 76 people in China. I used Google translate to send a personal message in Chinese language. I reply to friends on Facebook using their native language as well. It's a globalized world, but show some respect for native languages too! 
 This purple pen was falling apart for the entire 60 day expedition, sending the love...I kept a constant diary and recorded daily events, names, places, distances and elevations. 
 Thanks guys, made me feel important for a moment in my tiny life. 
 Back on the road. My choice ride is built with a 2008 frame (13400km) and 2008 components as well
 Tires of choice, Schwalbe Marathon Tour Plus (revision of Marathon XR)
 My front racks are $20 (USD) plus a 0.25 cent rebar piece from Urumqi metal street-recycler. + Zip PVC plastic ties to keep it all together. It looks rough, but there is science in there. Perfection for 3200km!
 Taklamakan Desert, July 2011. Note the irrigation lines and shrubs offer no relief from the sun.
 At night (infrared photo) Taklamakan Desert beats with dust storms, really nasty stuff!
 I'm camping 1/2 way in the entrance to a diesel engine room, an engine turns the pumps and brings water out of aqua ducts beneath the desert floor
 Feeling awesome -this is freedom to me, deserts, camping, bikes, touring, all in one!
 Good morning! - Stoked (excited) to be full of life (better half full than half empty)
 Talking to Mi Sung and the kids in Canada, wow -technology!
 My host watches in disbelief, a costume character with a bicycle in the Taklamakan - "What the hell???"
 I'm having a great chat with Mi Sung and the kids, the camera takes photos when someone is smiling like (:
 A few days of explosive diarrhea is great, I'm getting slimmer by the day!
 My ride. in park mode on concrete power poles in the Taklamakan Desert
 Hwy 315 (2375km from somewhere) Taklamakan Tarim Desert Highway (Great article to read, all true!)
 I lost Lysanne and Louis-Philippe's card after leaving the desert. Here is the photo to reconnect with them. We met in Beijing about 3625km away from this location in the Taklamakan. Checking up with them, they traveled 4500km in 88 days in China. Awesome! More updates at their link, I will follow them!
And this is only the beginning of my adventure... To be continued...

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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

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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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