I mountain biked 3200km 1988 miles over 45 days in three geographical regions (Deserts, Plains, and Himalayas).
HimalayasX2011, Western China Expedition supporting IDEAS & ETE from Brian Perich on Vimeo.
In 38 days, I mountain biked 3200km (1988 miles) across East Turkestan Xinjiang Uyghur A.R.; Taklamakan Desert crossing 552km between Luntai and Minfeng; cycled both the Karakoram Highway KKH and southern Silk Road between Urumqi, the Tian Shan Mountains, Korla and Kashgar.
The second stage of the expedition took me across Sichuan entering western Kham region and across the Himalayas through Yunnan Province.
At the start, I weighed in at 95kg (210 lbs) and after 50 days of roaming with the 60kg mountain bike fully-loaded with equipment, food, water, first aid, water filtration, camping equipment and minimal clothing required, I pedaled into Deqin, Yunnan weighing only 70kg (154 lbs/pounds). At a loss of (-25kg / 50 lbs pounds)* demonstrating physical changes that I underwent through long-distance, endurance mountain biking on a multi-month expedition. Prior to the expedition, I completed 10 weeks of cross-fit training, with no other gym/health club memberships since 1990-1992. In 2003-2005, I weighed 125kg and had high blood pressure. In 2011, I completed this expedition weighing 70kg 154 pounds and healthy. I also completed a 26 hour / 478km 297 mile randonneur bike ride across the Korean peninsula in the fall of 2011.
I experienced high altitude mountain biking (4460 meters / 14632 feet) and repeated weeks above 3000 meters (10,000 feet) which acclimatizes an athlete to cope with with AMS, although I experienced symptoms of high altitude sickness, I minimalized the problems with hydration, frequent breaks, and consistent days above normal sea level elevations.
- Frame for 2011 Blackcat (2008) aluminum mountain bike frame. Made in China.
- Frame for 2012 Lynskey M240S titanium mountain bike frame. Made in the United States.
- Wheels for 2011 (AM) Bontrager Race Disc 26" wheels (2008)
- Wheels for 2012 (AM) Mavic Crossland 26" wheels (2008)
- Crankset for 2011 Shimano Deore LX crankset (175mm), Shimano HG 9-speed chain.
- Crankset for 2012 Shimano Deore SLX crankset (175mm), Shimano HG/Dura-Ace 9-speed chain.
- Brakes for 2011 were Avid Juicy Five hydraulic (185mm front/160mm rear brake rotors)
- Brakes for 2012 are Avid BB7 mechanical (203mm front/160mm rear brake rotors)
- Shifters for 2011 SRAM X7 rapid-fire shifters (compatible w/ Shimano Deore LX front derailleurs)
- Shifters for 2012 Shimano Deore LX (Dual control, mechanical cable Brake/9-speed rapid fire)
- Derailleur for 2011 Shimano Deore LX front; SRAM X9 long-cage (9-speed) rear derailleur
- Derailleur for 2012 Shimano Deore XT front; Shimano Deore SLX (9-speed) rear derailleur
- Suspension Fox 32 Float RL Front suspension air-oil forks (2008)
- Rear Carrier for 2011 Topeak Supertourist DX Disc rear carrier rack, compatible with Disc brake
- Rear Carrier for 2012 Aluminum/steel supports and connecting rods custom repaired in Mongolia
- Front Carrier Aluminum front carrier racks (2), U-bolt design + PVC zip ties attachment
- Panniers Ortlieb Front Roller Classic (2), Back Roller Classic Panniers (2)
- Panniers Ortlieb Ultimate handlebar bag (large) with map case accessory (1)
- Tires Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour (2), Load capacity 145kg. Weight 1100g each.
- Northface Tadpole 23 tent, 2-3 man tent, 3-season design
- Sleeping bag REI Expedition -20 degree Down-filled expedition or lightweight synthetic
- Sleeping mat Thermarest Pro-lite regular length
- 5 (750 ml) Water bottles carrying (3.75 liters)
- 1 Camelback Podium bottles 700ml (1.4 liters)
- 4 250ml bottles given from passerby's (1 liter)
- 2 1500ml Water bottles where available and refilled in Mongolia (2012)
- Snow Peak Titanium Ultra-compact cooking pots
- MSR Miniworks EX Microfilter pump
- MSR Whisperlite backpacker, 2 MSR fuel bottles.
Mountain biking expedition projects
Promo trailer of the mountain biking project (2011)
Here is a 6.5 minute video teaser of the expedition project. Once completed, I will have cycled over 6000km across various sections of the Himalayas from western China to India and the terminus of the Himalayas. The Himalayas X 2012 is estimated at 5840km for a maximum of 60 days running the expedition by mountain bike. It will be more challenging than in 2011, the pages have yet to written.