Friday, September 18, 2015

HimalayasXTour // Mountain biking through // Sichuan Province // A2A Explore // MongoliaX // Totherocktour // Microadventure

“Love is a bicycle with two pancakes for wheels. You may see love as more of an exercise in hard work, but I see it as more of a breakfast on the go.” 
― Jarod Kintz
Need Motivation when life goes wrong?
Do you need strength to carry on?
Do you think you have it in you?
Do you have the strength?
Do you have tenacity?
Do you believe?
Do you dream?
Then work it.
Dream big.
Make it.

You need to get back up and fight for that DREAM, make it your reality, Not someone else's. And when they tell you that you're no good, You can probably do better than all of them.

Planning expeditions, doing them, paying for them, preparing for them - isn't easy.

 and the dream can slip away, 
friends can turn on you, family can ignore you, 
companies will ignore you, 
you will feel exhausted,
you will feel beat,
you will lose hope,

but if you will persist, 
you will eventually succeed, 

if they don't care, it won't matter,
it's what is in you that matters,
you will become successful
because it's in you,

 and forget about what happened in the past, it won't change itself. It's about today and what you can do about it.
So, remember to...put your effort into
making the rest of your life, the best of your life.

What is the route planned for the 2014 summer?
MongoliaX2014 - Mountain bike trek across Outer Mongolia.


What is the route planned for the 2013 summer?
ToTheRockTour2013 - This tour is all about connecting with friends, family, community and nature from the Great Lake State of Michigan, USA to the Canadian Rocky Mountains of Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. I completed the tour in 2013, with help from friends, family and community across North America. In 30 days, 3400km of rolling landscape, open spaces, fresh air, nitrogen releasing thunderstorms, clouds and sun, wind and sunsets, good conversations along the road through Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, USA into Saskatchewan and the final stretch through Alberta and Ontario. I met people from all walks of life, family friends, relatives, music festival goers, oil workers, retired couples, farmers, mosquito control summer workers, highway lawn cutters, truck drivers, entrepreneurs, teachers, store clerks, border control workers, and movie personalities (Kiefer Sutherland), Swiss vinyard heir, Italian waiter, Canadian Mountain bike announcer and social personality Crazy Larry Melnik, Japanese round the world traveler, airline reservation agent, First Nations families and American Native Indian who gave me a eagle feather that protected my journey, Totherocktour.
Meeting Kiefer Sutherland in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada in 2013
Crazy Larry Melnik and the Tour Divide riders in 2013
Crossing into Canada on Totherocktour in 2013.
Trekking into the Aksai Chin in 2011.

What is this - a bike tour, an expedition, a trip back home (Canada)?
This is all the above. A trip back home to Canada (first in 6.5 years while living in East Asia). It's an unsupported tour with the bicycle once I launch from Michigan and ride towards the Mackinac Bridge. Family is first and adventure is second for me. I spend the winter recovering from the experiences in Mongolia (X journals), so right now I am just making connections to my friends and family - this is vitally important.  Pre-tour with family, and on tour there is so much opportunity to live in the outdoor experiences. There will good times and bad times, moments with serendipity and some days with injuries and despair. But there are so many simple joys, happy thoughts, free spirited songs to be sung as I move along. You can Prepare, but don't over prepare. Take each day at a time. Go explore by doing your own thing, enjoy it and share experiences with others. Life is short but beautiful when you begin to notice more, fear less, open yourself and your ideas about the world around you. There is so much to see and so much to do. Go for it.

- See you out on the road. (:
North American crossing in 30 days, 3400km / 2000 miles.
Crossing Mongolia in 45 days, 2500km / 1553 miles.
Why go bicycle touring?
It's a great way to travel and see many parts of the world out of the tourist routes. You can travel over and through international borders, you can meet new cultures in their home environments, you learn languages, you eat delicious and exotic foods, you get exercise, you become more global minded through the process.
How did I get started in mountain bike travel/touring?
I started off with mountain biking in 1988 in and around Windsor, Ontario, Canada and surrounding Essex County of southern Ontario. I explored with my friends Ciro Viviano and Greg Schiller and later as a member of Caboto Velo Club and Maple Leaf Cycling Clubs of Windsor. I started riding BMX, Motocross-styled bikes with suspension, then steel frame Mountain Bikes with rigid forks that worked exceptionally well along the North Shore of Vancouver, British Columbia and through the XC forest trails of southwestern Ontario and Michigan. I progressed with Road racing and 700c wheeled road race bicycles.

“To ride a bicycle is in itself some protection against superstitious fears, since the bicycle is the product of pure reason applied to motion. Geometry at the service of man! Give me two spheres and a straight line and I will show you how far I can take them. Voltaire himself might have invented the bicycle, since it contributes so much to man’s welfare and nothing at all to his bane. Beneficial to the health, it emits no harmful fumes and permits only the most decorous speeds. How can a bicycle ever be an implement of harm?” 
― Angela Carter
Mongolian highway restaurant
Lynskey Performance titanium 26er frameset. Made in the USA.
Today, I have taken similar machines, both the cheap (aluminum $50 frame in HimalayasX) and the exotic (Lynskey titanium $1795 frame used in Mongolia X) assembled by my friend and professional (AN DAE GI) proprietor of Gangneung Bike Mart, Gangwon Province, South Korea.  Today, I have exceeded most of the mental barriers to 26er mountain bike endurance expeditions, but I also see the sport evolving with Fat Bikes, 29ers, 29er+, and Bikepacking which substantially lightens loads.

Where did I recently travel?
Across the Korean peninsula 2007-2010, Deserts and Himalayas of western China in 2011, and across the isolated Steppe of Outer Mongolia in 2012, but I am hitting hard pavement and visiting friends and family across North America this summer (: 

Who did I support?
the IDEAS (Intestinal Disease Education & Awareness Society) 
led by Mountaineer Explorer Robert Hill.
I supported ETE (Education Through Expeditions)
led by Polar Explorer Antony Jinman
I am also a fellow of the Ted Simon Foundation as a Jupiter Traveller
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.” 
― Ernest Hemingway
45 days trekking solo unsupported across the Mongolian Steppe in 2012.
TOTAL ALTITUDE: 40,000 meters / 130,234 feet of altitude change on course
TOTAL DISTANCE: 2500 kilometers / 1553 miles
DAYS ON: 38 days pedaling
DAYS OFF: 7 rest and injury days
FOOD CONSUMED: 2000 grams of powdered protein, 45 mega-packs of vitamins/minerals,
12 jars of pickles, 20 liters of grazing Goat, Yak or Horse milk, Wild onions, Fresh water fish, Mutton, Sheeps tongue, 6 bowls of noodles/meat/fat, 5 kilograms of yak/goat cheese, 12 fish.
BODY WEIGHT: Start 95 kilograms. 10 weeks cross-fit 85 kilograms. Completion 72 kilograms.
DAMAGE: cracked and repaired front rack plate, bent/cracked rear carrier rack, 1 replaced, 1 repaired. 
DAYS ON: 38 days pedaling
DAYS OFF: 7 rest and injury days
ALTITUDE: N/A meters / feet of altitude change on course
DISTANCE: 3200 kilometers / 1988 miles
FOOD CONSUMED: 20 loaves of Nan bread, 2 kilograms of oatmeal with raisins, apricots and dates, 45 mega-packs of vitamins/minerals, 1.5 kilogram of Gatorade (making 50 liters)
6 jars of pickles, 10 liters of grazing Goat milk, 8 bowls of noodles/meat/fat, 2 kilograms of rice.
WEIGHT: Start 96 kilograms. 10 weeks cross-fit 85 kilograms. Completion 70 kilograms. 
EQUIPMENT DAMAGED: Rear wheel split 360 degrees, repaired with block of wood, hammer and electrical PVC tape roll, 1 bicycle tube patch.
Sichuan welcomes, mother and daughter, giggles and lunch with their family 
 This is my life, now or never!!!!
这是我的生命,机不可失,时不再来!!! — with ONE - Arctic2Argentina - Eco-Expedition of the Americas & Asia Expeditions.
 Older brother home from college to help his mother and siblings with the summer planting
 Beef bone soup and rice...and a bike wash
牛骨汤和米饭... ...自行车洗
I kept the upper fork stanchions clean (an old cotton tube sock) and the rest of the bike was covered in mud 
There's a local woman there, hauling her greens! 
 Friendly families, this young guy is a student on summer vacation returning to help his mother and younger brother and cousin
 Control center but no petrol engine is required to explore here
 lush vegetation that grows exceptionally well in Sichuan along the fertile mountain valleys
 Road conditions, very muddy!
And just a little further down the S214 we find the water buffalo in a herd

 The boys of Sichuan mountains. — at Jiuzhai Valley National Park (九寨沟)
 The future generations in Sichuan Province, in the mountains together again
 Nurture to nature. I unloaded from the hitching episode and rested on the mountain for a while to recover from the shake up. — with ONE - Arctic2Argentina - Eco-Expedition of the Americas & Asia Expeditions and Antun Čolig in Mianning County.

You just never stop moving in the Himalayas
Riding a water buffalo, first I have ever seen in person!

Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.
Charles M. Schulz