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Old 08-29-2009, 11:52 PM   #16
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:02 PM   #17
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Thumb Okayyyyyy!

Great pics...keep it up...please!
Any day on the bike is a GOOD day!

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Old 08-30-2009, 11:29 PM   #18
Joined: May 2007
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That model is Suzuki GX125 "copies" w/ geniune Keihin PZ26 (made in Nanjing) carb / Made in Foshan, Guangdong
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:08 AM   #19
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Great report! Love the photos! Keep them coming!
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:35 PM   #20
'Bikes are OK, but . . .
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OK, I'm signed on for this trip! Fine photos, indeed.

Are you, BTW, legally licensed to own and ride a bike in China? SuperSignet, in another China report, is and that didn't seem to help much. Oh, well.

Take it away, CsDan.
Searching for a new home in Southeast Asia:
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:59 PM   #21
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Big Update

Sorry for the delay guys. The last month has been an incredible ride. Now, I am sitting in Golmund resupplying, repairing and enjoying sit toilets immensely. After I left Kunming on my own into the exciting unknown, I rode west to Dali. The ride was easy going on a old one-ish lane road shadowing the new fancy express-way that I am not allowed to ride on. Dali is a great city to meet some fellow travellers, eat real cheese, and get stuck. I planned to be there one night, but ended up finally escaping five days later. I met some friendly expats that ran some of the bars and life was good. The story was the same for Lijiang and Shangrila, and my progress was slow until I finally departed the tourist trail for good north of Shangri-la.

The blue is done (5500km), red is planned

The road from Kunming to Dali

There are TONS of Asians here!!!!


My favorite Cafe in Shangrila. Great Israeli food and little waiters!

This cat is much more hardcore then me. He has been cycling for months from Beijing

My friend in Lijiang swooning the ladies

After the bars close, the young singles look for last minute love in Lijiang

Good welders goggles

Epic crash in a very long and unlit tunnel. 30 of us were able to push a truck aside by jacking it up and shoving it, over and over again; Inch by inch. No one was hurt.

They love crackers

Stuck behind another landslide. Always a good time to catch up on some reading and BS with other stuck truckers and travelers.

After Shangri-la, was when the ride became a real adventure. The roads turned to shit and I was in heaven. Most of the locals then had that great "deer in the headlights look" when I took my helmet off. I jumped from small town to small town, usually stopping at a nomad tent or two along the way for warming Yak butter tea and bread. A few days were absolute hell trying to make progress with intermittent hail and ice storms that felt like paintballs on my hands and legs. I don't know what I would of done without the amazing hospitality of the Tibeten nomads. They let me warm up by there stove, filled my belly, and their children lifted my spirits while I waited for the storms to clear. The landscapes were beautiful and desolate but it was the people who made these some of the highest moments of my life.

Since high school I have had flags hanging in my room. These are the first legit ones

Only the sounds of Yaks, the wind and Shirley

The altitude was giving Shirley some big problems here


Its hard work hauling sand at this altitude. Maybe that is why they make the women do it

Introducing Tibetans to Infected Mushroom (Techno Music)

Awesome kids. We quickly became friends and they brought me home to meet the family and have lunch

This family made some mean Yak butter tea and taught me how to build a house and bake bread. Four generations lived under their tent. A lot of love.

I spotted her washing in a ditch as I sped by. I had to flip around to document the absurdity of this cuteness.

The sillier the hat, the nicer the man it seems


The last week has been crazy. It has felt like a month. The adventure started when I was leaving the town I had been healing an arm wound in. I went to get some cash for the next week, and no ATMs worked. I had just used the last cash I had to pay for my hostel and was completely broke(stupid me). I decided to live dangerous and take off into the wild lands with half a tank of gas and my wits(or something). The past months, I never had a problem before finding a ATM, even in small towns. I ended up running out of gas in a largeish town, where there was also no ATM. It was then that I became worried, and learned that the whole giant province of Qinghai has only three cities with banks. The one I just left, and two others over 500km away. I had two choices. Try and pawn the little stuff I had, or make some friends. I decided to try and meet some cops, they were always pretty enthusiastic about my travels and pictures. At the police station I met a hospital worker who gave me tons of food, a place to stay, cleaned my arm wound and lent me 200 RMB(I sent him 250). The whole experience gave me a new understanding of how much I take having money for granted, and the stress of being broke. I also saved a bunch of bucks that day....(idiot)

Not my favorite sort of road, but I am getting used to it

This town was some sort of Styrofoam dump. All the kids were running around covered in it.

Great Yak traffic jams. They ignore my horn, but when my exhaust fell off they noticed. I couldn't stop laughing as Shirley roared along, creating stampedes all day.

I was able to help out a Middle school English class and learn about life as a Tibetan teenager.

My arm decided to get infected and grow a purple golf ball of cheese puss. It became so painful I couldn't take the vibrating of the bike any longer. I met some friends, slugged a few beers and got it cut out. No numbing and a chain-smoking doc, but the price was great and nurses cute!

Lots of the monks were rocking cell phones and pimp motorbikes, but would beg me for money. Seemed fishy, especially when I saw them slugging back plates of vegetarian meat that was too pricey for me.

The next day I had a tough and cold cold cold ride. I decided to pick up a hitchhiking old man and had a fun time riding through the mountains to his house. With his large self and 100lb of supplies he had bought, Shirley was not happy. He welcomed me into his house and I had a great lunch of homemade bread, butter tea, yak and rice stew. His family was extremely warm and I had allot of fun with his two grand daughters.

If I wear every piece of clothing I have, I am almost warm

I gave him and his gear a lift, he gave me a great meal and play time with his grand daughters


Whitest teeth in China

Life is good

Winner of silly hat day

Most the men in this town were rocking long hair and earrings

At first kids are shy of the camera...

once they see what it does, it's a riot!

The next day was one of the toughest rides Ive had yet. It started with a icy motorcycle and dirt roads covered in snow. I was sliding everywhere trying to keep control and maintain a average of 15kph. My hands and wet feet were ice cubes and I had to constantly stop to thaw out, and watch the Yaks, Vultures and foxes run around. Shirley and I were alone, except for the occasional and terrifying dog, who seriously wanted to eat me. The whole landscape then abruptly and welcomely changed from icy tundra, to warm golden desert. It was a 14 hour ride. Ive never been happier to see a hotel room with a shower, ATM and sit toilet.

Not what I was expecting when I stumbled out of my frosty 10RMB($1.50) room

Saying goodbye to another town. First snow of the year

I had to stop constantly to warm up my feet and hands while watching the Yaks, Vultures, Foxes and little hamster guys do there thing

I was running away from another hail storm, but had to stop for this.

From snow and ice to sand and dust

Rocking a new, toasty dog fur coat and 5RMB(.75 cent) "Skee Goggles"

Shirley getting a much deserved washing. I love you!

The plan is stay here a few days to get resupplied for the next leg, Kashgar or Urumchi. I am out of contact lenses, books, and the motorbike is busted up after another spill. I had fun in the hotel picking gravel out of my hands. Time to wash some disgusting clothes.

The bike has been preforming admirably. I had a wire thrown in my carburettor main jet in Dali to lean out the fuel/air mixture. Now, the only time I have trouble with the altitude is near the tops of 5000m passes.

CstrikerDan screwed with this post 10-06-2013 at 11:01 AM
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:49 PM   #22
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Thanks guys!

Thanks for the nice comments and support!

To answer questions:

Camera: I am rocking a Cannon 50D with 24-105mm, 50mm 1.4 and I had a much loved 10-20mm Sigma until it was lost when my rear gear box failed at its job :( I am very excited to get to a decent computer one of these days and edit some raw files. Currently I am just uploading straight JPEGs

Pakistan: My plan right now is to sell the bike in Kashgar for whatever I can get, probably less then 1000RMB. I would like to take the bike in but I am short on time in Pakistan and will spend most of it climbing mountains and getting lost on foot so a bike isnt too practicable.

Chinese: My Chinese is very very poor but I have no problem getting around or getting anything done with sound FX a smile and my basic vocab. I took lessons in Beijing for one week and it was well worth it. It is disappointing though not to be able to have more complex conversations with the great locals.

License: I have none. I own the bike legitly though the taxes haven't been paid since 2003. I have had no trouble without the license. At the many police checkpoints they look at my passport we have a laugh and they whip out there cell phone for a pic of the crazy bearded foreigner. Lets hope the luck holds out!
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:55 PM   #23
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Does anyone have any suggestions on the upcoming route?

I have both ways that I can and cant ride the southern silk road and the cross desert road. The police are no help, they told me I could ride into Tibet and then I got guns drawn on me.
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:46 AM   #24
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Awesome !!

Have a great time, looking forward to seeing the rest of your journey unfold
Hmm not sure about the route sorry......opposite direction to the guns me thinks ;)
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:53 AM   #25
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Yeah I had enough guns when I was in Afghanistan, Ill stick to shooting the camera in Pakistan I hope
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:52 AM   #26
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Keep going!
Croatia - A small country for a great vacation!
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:57 AM   #27
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Crazy trip, let's show the world what small bikes can do!

Keep posting pics!
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:06 PM   #28
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Heading out of Golmud in a few minutes but still havent decided on a route. Guess I will call when I see the signs. I will update when I find another internet cafe in a week or so. Time to pump some Bon Jovi and roll!
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:16 PM   #29
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Dan: After a careful review of your fantastic RR, I've decided it'll be a cold day in hell before I ever attempt a RR again......fantastic photography, your camera/person skills are wonderful and you're one brave rider to add another 200# to your puny little bike just to be a good guy.....Don't stop the story just because you sell your bike.....Bruce
A life spent inside a camera: Auto/Motorcycle factories/museums/travels/trains/planes/bikes/cars
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Old 09-26-2009, 03:59 PM   #30
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Dan.. your trip is great, and your photos are EPIC!.

Thanks much for sharing both with us.
I come from downtown
Born ready for you
Armed with will and determination
and grace, too
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