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Old 09-26-2009, 04:07 PM   #31
Drunken Squirrel
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Great RR! You have a knack for photographing people, I really enjoyed your pictures!
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Old 09-26-2009, 04:24 PM   #32
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Awesome job taking close up pictures of the people you meet. Those do a lot in telling your story!

Thanks for sharing! Keep up the excellent work.
"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
(Eleanor Roosevelt)
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:18 PM   #33
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Great report. Hope you keep it coming!
'15 R1200RT, '05 CRF250X : IBA #21269
-- Golf is for the dead.
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:18 AM   #34
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Great pics!
and I'm in GhuangZhou.
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:47 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by 020HONDA
Great pics!
and I'm in GhuangZhou.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:43 AM   #36
CstrikerDan OP
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Mission Accomplished!

Thanks for all the kind words and support guys!

I would have had several updates the last few weeks but China decided to Ban all Internet and even international calls (very very sorry mom and dad) in the Xinjiang Provence because of riots and what not.

I will have a full report and many more pictures in the next few days.

In quick summery though I made it a full 10,000km to the border with Pakistan and near tears was forced to sell the beloved bike for pennies and hop on a bus into Pakistan (and Internet!)

Thanks again for the support and helping me catch the advrider bug that imsure to be stuck with now! (This is water, Pstan is dry)
Koala Bears are pretty neat
China to Pakistan on a 125cc
Bad Photos from Travels and Afghanistan
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:30 AM   #37
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Great stories and images. My favorite picture is the one with 3 boys running toward the camera with the mountains in the background. National Geographic quality.

Many people have been to China. Behing and the Great Wall and a few other iconic places. It's like coming to the US and visiting LA, Yosemite, and Yellowstone. Nice but a small slice of the whole. Getting out of the tourist areas and interacting with locals - on a bike. Priceless.

Looking forward to more pictures and narrative. Don't fall off any mountains.
07 KLR 650
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:54 AM   #38
kootenay kid
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Wow what a ride and great pictures! Awesome how unique the different regions of the world are.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:08 AM   #39
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Thanks for the Nat Geo comment. That is a big dream of mine that is going to take alot of work. Crazier things have happened

I enjoyed you picasa photos! I wish we could of lined up a photoshoot for my 125
Koala Bears are pretty neat
China to Pakistan on a 125cc
Bad Photos from Travels and Afghanistan
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:15 AM   #40
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The Final Update

Leaving Golmud, I was in for my first long desert ride. It was 400km to the next gas can, and besides broken down trucks and a noodle stand, completely barren. This was the first time I really wouldn't have minded having a larger bike to make the endless straight desert road go by quicker. When I got to the next town, I was greeted by nothing more then two depressed restaurants and rusty truck parts. I was giddy to learn though, that there was another foreigner staying in town! We were both very happy to speak English, and learn of each others trips. Phil was an Australian from New Castle, working his way on bicycle from Shanghai to Kashgar. I felt like a small man next to him and his difficulties. My one day desert ride was several for him, with no resupply besides kind truckers.

go 125 go!

Camels actually get out of your way, unlike cows, yaks, sheep or people

Getting some handmade noodles. I can finally take the spice with out hiccups!

The next few days took me to Urumichi. I was taking this detour to resupply on books, and see the site of the July riots and current conditions. Getting there took me onto some of the worst and best roads of the whole trip. I spent a 14 hour day only to make it only 150km through moon-dust construction. What made it worse was starring longingly at pristine asphalt only a feet to my left which only needed the last few small bridges installed. That night I stumbled into a truck stop looking like I had been buried alive. The truckers and staff were terrific and treated me to the best meal I'd had in weeks, a soft bed, and motorbike repairs. They refused my money. The next few days were terrible sandstorms, that I had only seen the likes of once in Afghanistan. My goggles and Helmet were blasted to a white, useless, translucence, and I went through a month of contact lenses. During the storm I met a friendly Chinese rider who was returning from Lhasa to his dance studio in Akusa. I promised I would stop by for dinner if I made it that way.

I think I prefer snow to this baby powder moon dust

If my headlight worked, and I didn't have to ride with my backpacking headlamp, it would have been perfect

Mao the Dance Teacher, riding back from Lhasa


Despite warnings, I decided to take smaller mountain roads to Urumichi. After a good day of riding, I was all settled for the night in my hotel when angry cops broke into my room and started yelling at me while I was trying to get some pants on. I listened while their angry chief was going off at me in incomprehensible spit filled Chinese. I calmly starred blankly until he was done yelling, and then explained where I was going and where I had come fromHe then started screaming into his cellphone and pounding the table. After 15 min of trying to get someone to actually explain to me what was up, I made some tea and showed the cops my photos and maps. Everyone settled down and it turned out there was a large military exercise taking place, and no foreigners are allowed. The officers thought I had snuck in from the main entrance to town, but I then explained to them that I came in the other side from a small road and had not seen any checkpoints, or been informed of this. I was then escorted from town during sunset and sent 60km back the way I came, to a police station where I could spend the night.(but got a free shower and toothbrush from the hotel I was refunded!)

The Pepper People

She taught me how to sort the peppers and save on babysitting. I hope he was well wiped.

Trying to figure out what a comb is for

No Diapers in China

Good looking Uyghur kid who made me some mean noodles and bread

After I overcame the sandstorms, construction, dance teachers and police; I was ready to put in some real distance. I had been avoiding all the express and toll-ways because motorbikes are banned, and I don't really have a license, among other things. I decided now was the time to try out my ninja skills, and make a run for it. I put in my headphones, so I had a excuse to not hear the frantic yelping soon to come, and approached the first toll station. Shadowing a large smoking truck, I was hidden from the guard's view. As soon as the barrier went up I gunned the 125cc and never looked back. I was thrilled at my success at sticking it to the man, but kept a eye on my rear view for any cops. The road was perfect new asphalt, and I kept Shirley screaming at 80km/h. The next toll was not nearly as simple because the lanes were not wide enough to sneak by another vehicle. I approached the booth as a smiling, ignorant, foreigner and was simply told to turn around and ride back 150km to get back on the dirt side road. No thanks. I rode back a few km, shoved Shirley over a concrete barrier and into a drainage ditch running parallel to the highway. Just past the toll station I found a gas station where I jumped back onto the road. It felt good to be a gangster. After that toll, I was greeted by only waves and smiles from the police and highway patrol. No more ninja skills were needed.

"Of course I have a license and am allowed on this road officer!"

Urumichi was a city on lock down. No students were allowed to leave campus, and the streets were constantly filled with marching, incompetent Chinese soldiers. I tried to get the full story from locals, but they shut up real quick when the topic changed to anything sensitive. The highlight of Urumchi was meeting Fearghal O' Nuallain. He has a wicked name and was half-way to completing the first Irish round-the-world bicycle ride. We were both starved for good conversation, and talked each other's ears off over whiskey for two days.


Due to more military exercises, and nuclear test sites, I was forced to backtrack 500km from Urumichi before I could get on the way to Kashgar. The next few days were flat and sandy, but nice because of the great Uighur people and their food. I met Mao the dance teacher and his friends in Akusa for a great night out on the town. We feasted on chicken feet (you eat the bones, toenails and all) and Chinese booze. We then all went out to Karaoke where I thought I was the man with the girls, until I discovered they were all being paid 100RMB/hr to dance with me and smile.

mmm toenails

I took the liberty of singing it "Slant eyed girl" they seemed to enjoy it(it was all in love)

I make them work hard for the money

Cheers to a great night. We managed some really great talks, all in Chinese. The no English thing has been a real boost to picking up the language

The only Mullet I have seen on a man in China

After Akusa, it was only 500km and my first flat tire to Kashgar. The front tire went out when I was daydreaming, cruising in the desert at 80km. It took me a panicked second to figure out what had happened, and not to use the front brake. I managed to keep it up and coast to the side. Now I had 60km of nothing in either direction, and no pump or tube. I was picked up a few minutes later by the first truck driver and had a laugh over my misfortune as we bounced along in his old fuel truck for a few hours to the last village. From there it was no problem grabbing a ride with the local mechanic with a pump and tube, back to the bike for a speedy repair.

My ride. It took about 2 hours to get to town in the old truck, but I was able to practice some Urdu with him for Pakistan

My hero, and now I know how to change a flat!

Kashgar was a very fun, border city. I spent most of my time at Fubar, the only expat bar in town. Fubar was run by a Japanese fellow named Hero, and was a great source of info, pizza, beer and conversation. I had a crazy night hitting up a Muslim dance club with some Japanese and Turkish friends and another night having beer and a good talk with some American military officers.

Riding out of Kashgar was a little complicated.I had to hire a guide to write some paperwork and drive me 6km through the first checkpoint on the Karakoram highway, before he flipped around and left me. It was well worth it. The only day allowed on the KKH was the most beautiful day of the whole trip. The road from Kashgar to Tashkurgan went right into the heart of the mountains and the scenery was breathtaking. Giant hairy camels were grazing with Yaks and goats in the valleys, and riding beneath 7546m Mount Muztagh Ata was humbling. Despite my five layers of pants and six of shirts and jackets, I was frozen stiff going over the passes, but smiling the whole way. The final checkpoint while entering Tashkurgan was the first time I was checked for a license. I shouldn't have worried the little that I did. After explaining the trip the officer laughed, took my bike for a spin, and sent me on my way. After 10,000km, riding the final stretch into town, as dusk was hitting, all I could think about was how lucky I had been to have met so many incredible people and been allowed to do such a trip. My heart went out to all the Chinese friends I had met. Though they possessed the drive and yearning to travel and see the world, they had no way to do so.


Almost there hunny!

Really fun Italian couple, who were out on a jeep tour of the mountains

The police chief

I stopped at the the first bike shop in town and sold Shirley for 800RMB, after a few minutes of haggling him up from 300. I was sad to see such a dear friend go, and took her for a final spin around town. Shirley had become my partner these months. I hope she enjoyed her adventure.

My first PStan buddy. He spoke eight languages, which is pretty common in PStan

As close as I can get with Google Maps. I cannot find many of the smaller roads.

10,000km, not in prison, alive, SUCCESS!

Now I am back to just feet and a backpack. The next day was a sore 14 hours of bus and minivan into Pakistan, where I have a month before its back to a different life. Next year I am thinking Mongolia to India but perhaps on a 250cc :)

Already missing her

850km to Islamabad

Here are a few Pakistan pictures:

Koala Bears are pretty neat
China to Pakistan on a 125cc
Bad Photos from Travels and Afghanistan

CstrikerDan screwed with this post 10-06-2013 at 11:44 AM
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:47 AM   #41
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Doing your Ninja's, Gangster Moves lol, Chooks Toenails, Rent a crowd, Sandstorms.....Absolutely Brilliant Mate!!!
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:30 AM   #42
Slowhand Montenegro
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Excellent ride, I am contemplating some rides, and always thinking, is a 750cc einough, do i need +80hp, and you after 10,000 km, say "Next time i will go with 250cc"

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Old 10-13-2009, 06:17 AM   #43
CstrikerDan OP
DanO Supertramp
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Thanks for the comments! I think anything over 250cc for chinese roads may be deadly, at least for me. Has anyone else had experience with crazy big dogs chasing you and trying to really eat you. I had many in Sichuan and kicked one in the face going 60km on the last day. I asked a local and he said they just dont like foreigners...
Koala Bears are pretty neat
China to Pakistan on a 125cc
Bad Photos from Travels and Afghanistan
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:23 PM   #44
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Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Oddometer: 166

Hey Dan, loved your RR; what I admired and respected most was the way you wholeheartedly and deeply immersed yourself in China and connected with the local people -- riding a Chinese-made bike, wearing the dog-collar coat, living on the local economy, picking up a hitchhiker, invited into Chinese homes -- which is also something you can do only when traveling alone. Actually reminded me of the book about Alexander Supertramp (although without the craziness) even before I noticed your similar moniker which I am guessing is intentional? A couple years ago I rode a Chang Jiang from Yinchuan to Ejin Qi through the Alashan, which I'll put in a RR some day -- but I can't say that I got as close to the land and people as you did. All the best in your future journeys.
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:03 PM   #45
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Nicely done, sir. Thank you.
It's just good clean dirt.

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