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    Smile Beijing Ride Report - Jan 16, 2008

    Went out for a spin today on the Epiphany, the usual loop out to the Xiang Shan area open space, climb the fire road at Tai Zhou Wu, downhill the "Not Safe to Ride Trail" and back home. Little more than usual sub-3 hour time, but the wind was blowing and I also had to stop once to warm up my toes
    Conditions were very sunny, no clouds but cold and somewhat windy. High temp today was around 28 F (-2 C). Quite a bit colder up on the ridge, maybe around 20 F (-6/7 C). Winds around 10 mph (16 kph) from the north
    Round trip about 35 miles (55 km).
    Here's a pic I took from the fireroad just before jumping onto the single track below where I am standing. Facing southeast looking out directly across the center of Beijing. In the center left background in the flat open area is Kunming lake at the Summer Palace. Nestled in the small valley at the base of the ridge with the singletrack is the Beijing Botanical Gardens. No flowers this time of year!
    Actually the air quality today was very good, it just looks much worse than it seems. I could see the city center but its not evident in the photograph. I'm standing 500+ meters above the city floor and the nearest high-rise buildings you can see are more than 10 miles (16 km) away. Its the northwest section of the city just inside the 5th ring road. As you can see its very dry here in the winter and when the wind blows a good amount of dust gets into the atmosphere. It might snow this weekend which should be a lot of fun
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    Your lucky your not in Xinjiang.the average temp has been around -15C hate to think what it is up in the mountains.Way to much snow to go riding.

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    OldHorse, it's always good to see pics of what others are riding in China.
    I guess I'm lucky here the trail literally starts 2 minutes out the front door.
    Please post more pics of where you've ridden around Beijing or wherever.
    BTW, when do you think you're going to make a riding trip to Yunnan?
    The weather is beautiful now and the trails are dry and fast, get here before the rainy season comes back.

    bigdamo, would love to make it up to Xinjiang, if possible, one day.
    Too much snow in the winter?
    Not a complaint at all, just bring your skis or board and you'll be riding the deep pow.
    I wish we have snow here, sometimes, the mountains here are perfect for both bike and board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdamo
    Your lucky your not in Xinjiang.the average temp has been around -15C hate to think what it is up in the mountains.Way to much snow to go riding.
    Yea, that's cold! Word has it that out that way if you get too far out in the mountains and the snow comes you are stuck for six months. No way to get out
    My wife and I plan to go to Xinjiang next September. I hear its the best season.
    What kind of trails out that way? Are you near Tian Shan? Post some pics?
    Snowed here yesterday. Not much, but enough to make everything white. Will try to get out there tomorrow and take some pics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1+1
    OldHorse, it's always good to see pics of what others are riding in China.
    Please post more pics of where you've ridden around Beijing or wherever.
    BTW, when do you think you're going to make a riding trip to Yunnan?
    The weather is beautiful now and the trails are dry and fast, get here before the rainy season comes back.

    I wish we have snow here, sometimes, the mountains here are perfect for both bike and board.
    Hey 1+1, good to hear from you. I posted on the Dali thread, but maybe you didn't get any email notification. MTBR server has been really slow recently it seems.
    I got the Epi build finished, you can see more pics and my review here:
    Old Horse Epi Build - Finally!
    I wanted to get down there in November, but things got too hectic here to get away for long enough. I'm going back to US for a couple weeks in Feb. I ordered a helmet camera from Oregon Scientific and when I get it back here I plan to do videos of all the local trails I ride. I know the quality is only 640x480 but its still better than still photos I think. We'll see how it turns out.
    BTW, they are building an enormous ski resort just west of Zhongdian on the road towards Baima snow mountain in the area called Nixi.
    I'm really hoping I can get back to Yunnan in early March. I have a half-formulated plan/idea. I think I will hire the same driver we used the past two times to get me around. He lives in Zhongdian (he's Tibetan), but I will fly into Lijiang and have him come down and pick me up. He has an SUV. Then, I will just tell him "take me here, take me there, etc.". We'll just crash in any bing guan or guesthouse that is convenient and having the dedicated vehicle lets me add flexibility because he can drop me off at a starting point, then pick me up at a different end point if necessary. Having the bike makes it too risky to rely on whatever transportation I can arrange wherever I happen to find myself.
    I could have him drive down to Dali. If you (or anyone else) is interested, we can ride in Lijiang area or anywhere else and take advantage of the vehicle and share room and meals.

    Do you have VirtualEarth installed? If so, check out this lake at 10,000 ft just outside Lijiang. That's the Jinsha river adjacent just west of Tiger Leaping Gorge.
    http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=...e=-1&encType=1
    Last edited by OldHorse; 01-17-2008 at 09:59 PM.

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    OldHorse, read your post on the Dali thread, was going to reply but forgot(and yeah, mtbr is sometimes slow here too, not to mention a bunch of other websites. So much for 'broadband'.)
    Saw your Epi on your build thread. That is one sweet ride. Flying Ball in HK wanted to sell me one a couple years back when they first came out. I didn't take cause they don't recommend a 20mm TA fork. Plus I need something heavier cause Dali is short on XC and heavy on dh/fr/am. Mostly dh though, more than anything else. What happened mountain biking with just riding your bike on a mountain and nothing more?
    I hear you on not being able to get some stuff in China, I too bring most of my stuff over from Canada or order from Jenson, just don't get them to send you direct, the time I did they gave me a nice 25% tax on it in Shenzhen. The irony is that out of 10 items in the box, 8 are made in China, but you cannot get it here, little things like good knee pads and such.
    March is still a good time to ride here, up north it'll be warmer and still dry down here. Riding trip around Zhongdian-Lijiang-Dali area is great. So much to ride. I'm not sure what my schedule is like in March, I'm always busy in the winter till about April or so, but I think I might be able to take a couple weeks off and go ride somewhere different, not that I'm bored with the riding here or anything. No matter how much I ride here, I feel it's just the tip of the iceberg, and that's just on my mountain. I would really love to explore the possibility of a mtb guide company here. Ernesto is doing one in Zhongdian, and we've talked about it that I handle the Dali end of things. If only I'm not so busy all the time now, I'll definitely get serious about it. One day, I just might quit my job and do the dream.
    I've always wanted a helmet cam, but waiting for something with better res. Maybe in a couple years, I still need to learn to ride gooder first, you know, no point getting one and crashing and breaking it on the first couple times out. But bring it down, there are some epic dh's here that are just continually flowy, the smallest ones non stop are like 30 minutes from top to bottom, that is if you don't need to take breaks to avoid getting tendonitis from being on your brakes so much.
    I've heard about the lake, I think there'll be good riding out there. Heck, there are tons of good riding everywhere, we do have to be thankful for being in the most populous country in the world sometimes, people are everywhere and they walk everywhere and there are loads and loads of singletrack everywhere. And the funny thing is that in 3 years of riding almost everyday here, I've yet to run into 50 people on the trails, and they're usually there to collect something from the mountains, bamboo, pine nuts, firewood etc. Not one single rider ever and very, very few hikers.
    Ok, got to run and get back to work. Taking the day off tomorrow and going riding.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldHorse
    Hey 1+1, good to hear from you. I posted on the Dali thread, but maybe you didn't get any email notification. MTBR server has been really slow recently it seems.
    I got the Epi build finished, you can see more pics and my review here:
    Old Horse Epi Build - Finally!
    I wanted to get down there in November, but things got too hectic here to get away for long enough. I'm going back to US for a couple weeks in Feb. I ordered a helmet camera from Oregon Scientific and when I get it back here I plan to do videos of all the local trails I ride. I know the quality is only 640x480 but its still better than still photos I think. We'll see how it turns out.
    BTW, they are building an enormous ski resort just west of Zhongdian on the road towards Baima snow mountain in the area called Nixi.
    I'm really hoping I can get back to Yunnan in early March. I have a half-formulated plan/idea. I think I will hire the same driver we used the past two times to get me around. He lives in Zhongdian (he's Tibetan), but I will fly into Lijiang and have him come down and pick me up. He has an SUV. Then, I will just tell him "take me here, take me there, etc.". We'll just crash in any bing guan or guesthouse that is convenient and having the dedicated vehicle lets me add flexibility because he can drop me off at a starting point, then pick me up at a different end point if necessary. Having the bike makes it too risky to rely on whatever transportation I can arrange wherever I happen to find myself.
    I could have him drive down to Dali. If you (or anyone else) is interested, we can ride in Lijiang area or anywhere else and take advantage of the vehicle and share room and meals.

    Do you have VirtualEarth installed? If so, check out this lake at 10,000 ft just outside Lijiang. That's the Jinsha river adjacent just west of Tiger Leaping Gorge.
    http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=...e=-1&encType=1

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1+1
    OldHorse, March is still a good time to ride here, up north it'll be warmer and still dry down here. Riding trip around Zhongdian-Lijiang-Dali area is great. So much to ride. I'm not sure what my schedule is like in March, I'm always busy in the winter till about April or so, but I think I might be able to take a couple weeks off and go ride somewhere different, not that I'm bored with the riding here or anything. No matter how much I ride here, I feel it's just the tip of the iceberg, and that's just on my mountain. I would really love to explore the possibility of a mtb guide company here. Ernesto is doing one in Zhongdian, and we've talked about it that I handle the Dali end of things. If only I'm not so busy all the time now, I'll definitely get serious about it. One day, I just might quit my job and do the dream.
    ...
    I've heard about the lake, I think there'll be good riding out there. Heck, there are tons of good riding everywhere, we do have to be thankful for being in the most populous country in the world sometimes, people are everywhere and they walk everywhere and there are loads and loads of singletrack everywhere. And the funny thing is that in 3 years of riding almost everyday here, I've yet to run into 50 people on the trails, and they're usually there to collect something from the mountains, bamboo, pine nuts, firewood etc. Not one single rider ever and very, very few hikers.
    Yea, I need to get serious about the trip. I've been wanting to do this for a couple years now. The combination of being uncertain of exactly where to go with the logistics of handling the bike can be daunting. I could make my own plan and just go with it, but I want to go on epic rides and doing that alone for the first time could be in some cases not entirely wise. And, just hanging around in Lijiang to find someone to hook up with is a waste of valuable time. I once read "In China anything is possible and everything is hard".
    Is Ernesto back in Zhongdian? Let's go trail scouting together! As you said, people having been walking around those hills for centuries and they have carved great singletrack everywhere. Its not exaggerating when you say "everywhere". And now, since they have internal combustion vehicles they have abandoned all of it for paved roads. Our gain.
    Is the weather still dry in April? I think it is, right? April is sandstorm season in Beijing Sucks to ride in that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHorse
    Yea, I need to get serious about the trip. I've been wanting to do this for a couple years now. The combination of being uncertain of exactly where to go with the logistics of handling the bike can be daunting. I could make my own plan and just go with it, but I want to go on epic rides and doing that alone for the first time could be in some cases not entirely wise. And, just hanging around in Lijiang to find someone to hook up with is a waste of valuable time. I once read "In China anything is possible and everything is hard".
    Is Ernesto back in Zhongdian? Let's go trail scouting together! As you said, people having been walking around those hills for centuries and they have carved great singletrack everywhere. Its not exaggerating when you say "everywhere". And now, since they have internal combustion vehicles they have abandoned all of it for paved roads. Our gain.
    Is the weather still dry in April? I think it is, right? April is sandstorm season in Beijing Sucks to ride in that.
    Yep, everything in China depends on, er, the 'China Factor'. Something that should be simple elsewhere would be a daunting task here, but sometimes what's impossible anywhere else is a snap here. It all depends. But getting a car and doing epics here on the cheap is easy. Like I said earlier, I'm all up for rolling thru Yunnan if my schedule permits. April sounds better, still dry here, even if it's not, it's not lichen wet.
    Ernesto is spending the winter in BC, snowboarding. He'll probably be back for next winter if the snow doesn't keep him over there. I know they're having dumps this year. Makes me really want to get on a board again, it's been so long since I've even seen real snow. But then again, riding a bike here is not so bad either especially with the trail system that's available here. Yeah, development is a good thing for mtb'ers(what like the 5000 or so, spread all over?) in China. Tons of singletrack from centuries of people walking everywhere from village to village or just up the mountains to collect stuff, yes, it's our gain. Funny how one of the densest populated(urban), industrialized and polluted countries in the world has such awesome riding. Your pic perfectly summarizes what I just said.

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    See my previous post on Xinjiang.
    Anyone riding in Xinjiang, China

    I was in Shihezi xinjiang for two weeks over Xmas.Wanted to check out there ski resort??.
    But the road was snowed in.To dangerous for me to just venture off alone into the mountains to do some back country skiiing.

    Tian Shan mountain range is 2500Km long.Urumqi is close to the mountains.Shihez is about 30klms roughly away from the Tain Shan mountain range.

    The trails are sheep and goat tracks and there are lots of them and good riding.No one riding them though.

    I hope to be going back to Xinjaing in August.I would like to check out Kanas National park which will be the biggest national park in the World.I want to see it before the Chinese commercialize it.
    Here are someone else photos
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Here is a couple more.
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    Ride Update Jan 20, 2008

    Bigdamo: Beautiful pics of Xinjiang. Got to get there this fall

    Well, it was supposed to snow some more this weekend, but it never materialized. Had to go out and see how things were from the last light snow. Overcast today, not much wind but the lack of sun made it seem very cold. Never got above freezing at all today. Started the ride from my apartment at 1 pm, got back at 4:15 pm. I took a few more pics:

    First one is the fire road on the climb up. It used to be a dirt and gravel road, but they paved it last year:-( Covered with crunchy packed snow, it wasn't slippery but the rolling resistance was higher than pavement.
    Second one is looking north from the ridge on top of the climb for this route. With the snow and naked trees you can easily see all the singletracks. Never been on these two.
    Third one is a nice pic of the Epi with the single track I just did in the background. It never looks as tough in a picture, but anyway the Epi handles this stuff with no effort.
    Fourth one shows some nice section of frozen ground. It looks slippery, but its not at all. It was kind of like concrete with a tacky surface. Couple times when I had to brake hard I thought for sure I was going to go down. Not a chance - snap to a stop with the Avid brakes and Panaracer tires!
    Fifth picture, taken near the end of the downhill is a nice shot of Bi Yun Si (the Temple of Azure Clouds). Its a Buddhist temple and there are something like 500 Arhats in this place (statues of various Buddhist historical figures, some very scary looking others devout in appearance).

    Anyway, safely back in my warm apartment. Why is it that cold beer still tastes good after a freezing cold ride?

    Edit: Photos don't appear in the order I tried to post them, but I think you can figure out which is which.
    Edit2: Oh wait, after editing now they do!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    bigdamo, nice pics of xinjiang, really hope to make it up there one day and ride, bike or board, both if I'm lucky. I assume you're living somewhere up there? Or planning to?
    OldHorse, how long do you have to ride out of the city before you hit the trailhead? Nice to know that there are places to ride around Bjg. I've only been up there once in the middle of winter a few years back and only in the city, didn't even see any of the tourist sites, like, you know, everything.
    Yes, you need to get your trip together. It'll be the trip of a lifetime, then you'll do it again and again. Not to mention places out there like Qinghai, Guizhou or even Tibet, if not for the permit thing. But Yunnan by itself has more than enough to cater to riders of every category, unless you're into stunts, ladderbridges and dj's. Save that for the shore, there's more than enough natural terrain here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1+1
    OldHorse, how long do you have to ride out of the city before you hit the trailhead? Nice to know that there are places to ride around Bjg. I've only been up there once in the middle of winter a few years back and only in the city, didn't even see any of the tourist sites, like, you know, everything.
    Yes, you need to get your trip together. It'll be the trip of a lifetime, then you'll do it again and again. Not to mention places out there like Qinghai, Guizhou or even Tibet, if not for the permit thing. But Yunnan by itself has more than enough to cater to riders of every category, unless you're into stunts, ladderbridges and dj's. Save that for the shore, there's more than enough natural terrain here.
    1+1: I live outside the 5th ring road in the NW section of BJ. That puts me in reasonable proximity to the designated open space around Fragrant Hill park. Its a very large area so I have several routes with different access points. Its about 20Km or so from my apartment to the trailhead so I can do it in about 45 minutes. Its not too inconvenient and it does give me some extra aerobic conditioning work I used to live more central city but decided that was just too stifling. I don't have a car and wouldn't want one here. But taking a taxi to the trailhead just strikes me the wrong way.
    BJ, like just about everywhere there is a mountain or hill in China, has a huge amount of singletrack. Even in the area I ride after several years there are still trails I have never been on. When you look west from the ridge top in the open space you see one line after another mountains, each taller and more rugged than the one before it. I'll get out there again this spring and get some more pics.
    You are right - NW Yunnan is pure mountain bike paradise

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    Someone else riding in Dali?

    1+1: Do you know this guy? It seems Ernesto does:
    Riding in Dali, China
    He says he lives in Dali and rides there all the time never seeing anyone

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    That'll be me. I lost my password to the email account(lame I know, but it was a random thing and it was in my keychain) when I lost the password to that mtbr acc. as well, after the hd on my mac died, so I gave up and created a new acc.
    I STILL don't see anybody else on the trails if you want an update.
    One friend who have a Yeti ASX and Ernesto are pretty much the only people that have riddden with me here. Some friends from Kunming showed up for a couple days but it was a bit much for them. So more to myself, I'm greedy that way......jk.
    BTW I should I should be ok for a couple weeks in Apr. for a road trip. If it was up to me, I'll ride TLG, Haba, the stuff south of Lijiang, the stuff north of Dali and Dali itself. Just a couple days in each place and hit lines you want. Some you could be dropped off at the top and pick up at the bottom, others you have to work for it. Anyways, you would not be disappointed with Yunnan, I know I'm not.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldHorse
    1+1: Do you know this guy? It seems Ernesto does:
    Riding in Dali, China
    He says he lives in Dali and rides there all the time never seeing anyone

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1+1
    That'll be me. I lost my password to the email account(lame I know, but it was a random thing and it was in my keychain) when I lost the password to that mtbr acc. as well, after the hd on my mac died, so I gave up and created a new acc.
    I STILL don't see anybody else on the trails if you want an update.
    One friend who have a Yeti ASX and Ernesto are pretty much the only people that have riddden with me here. Some friends from Kunming showed up for a couple days but it was a bit much for them. So more to myself, I'm greedy that way......jk.
    BTW I should I should be ok for a couple weeks in Apr. for a road trip. If it was up to me, I'll ride TLG, Haba, the stuff south of Lijiang, the stuff north of Dali and Dali itself. Just a couple days in each place and hit lines you want. Some you could be dropped off at the top and pick up at the bottom, others you have to work for it. Anyways, you would not be disappointed with Yunnan, I know I'm not.
    I wondered why his posts ended suddenly
    I understand the greedy thing about having the trails to yourself. After doing most of my riding in California and Colorado where multi-use and hordes of people are the standard I'm totally spoiled here. Even though BJ has 17 million people now I hardly ever see anyone on the singletrack. And when I do they are never the kind of people. They just step off the trail and let me zip by with a "hello!" greeting or "zhen bang!" compliment.
    Ok, I'll work on setting it up for April. April is a good time to escape here because its sandstorm season What are your logistic challenges? Should we arrange to pick you up in Dali or do you have your own vehicle? Some other idea? Its Yunnan, its all good for me.

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    I have to agree I've never had problems with locals on the trails, some tourists on horses are d!cks even though I'll come to a complete stop and step off the trail for them as bikes freak horses out. But the rude ones are few and far in between, say about twice a year if I'm unlucky. The locals usually tell me it's impossible to ride on the mountain(mtb is not a mainstream sport in China as elsewhere, so it's kinda strange for them to see someone haul a bike up a mountain), or they tell me to be careful, in a nice way, or ask if I'm duan len shen ti(training my body?). But after this year's Olympics, things might change, but not in Yunnan, I suppose mtb have a lot more exposure and more people would get into it.
    About the trip. I do not have any logistic challenges. I do not have a car, but I can always rent one. Where would you be flying to? If Kunming, we'll just hook up here and ride a few days here first for acclimatization and more used to doing longer dh runs, there are loads of dh here, but you do have to work for it.
    I'll talk to a few people who ride and try to put an itineary together. I'll say keep it to an area more around Dali/Lijiang, unless Zhongdian has warmed up considerably by then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1+1
    I have to agree I've never had problems with locals on the trails, some tourists on horses are d!cks even though I'll come to a complete stop and step off the trail for them as bikes freak horses out. But the rude ones are few and far in between, say about twice a year if I'm unlucky. The locals usually tell me it's impossible to ride on the mountain(mtb is not a mainstream sport in China as elsewhere, so it's kinda strange for them to see someone haul a bike up a mountain), or they tell me to be careful, in a nice way, or ask if I'm duan len shen ti(training my body?). But after this year's Olympics, things might change, but not in Yunnan, I suppose mtb have a lot more exposure and more people would get into it.
    About the trip. I do not have any logistic challenges. I do not have a car, but I can always rent one. Where would you be flying to? If Kunming, we'll just hook up here and ride a few days here first for acclimatization and more used to doing longer dh runs, there are loads of dh here, but you do have to work for it.
    I'll talk to a few people who ride and try to put an itineary together. I'll say keep it to an area more around Dali/Lijiang, unless Zhongdian has warmed up considerably by then.
    1+1: We do have a few local young guys now riding mtb, but most of the old locals walking in the hills have no idea what we are doing and why. One of them asked me "why do you ride on the trails, its so much easier to travel on the fire road"? He didn't object, he was just curious. How did I come to give "Not Safe to Ride Trail" its name? One day I come bombing off the upper section onto the intermediate fire road and am about to jump onto the lower section of singletrack. A local woman comes running over to me waving her arms and shouting "Qi bu liao, Qi bu liao", basically a protestation that it can't be ridden. At first I thought she was objecting to me doing this, but quickly realized she was actually very concerned about my safety assuming that if I did such a stupid thing I would certainly be hurt. Not Safe to Ride. I told her it was fun and took off.
    I agree that maybe Zhongdian is not to be on the itinerary. Nixi is nice, but most of Zhongdian is actually too flat. Plus its easy to get into too much altitude. Between Dali and Lijiang is the best of everything I agree.
    As to my flight plan, the easiest thing for me is to fly into Lijiang via Chengdu in that way I don't have to change airlines like I would in Kunming. Doing that with a bike is troublesome. I could transit to Dali from there and work our way back to Lijiang. Altitude adaptation is some concern but I'm in good condition, adapt pretty quickly to altitude if we are going to be mostly below 3000 meters. Let me know what you think.

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    Qi bu liao, qi bu liao

    Yeah, I get that all the time too. I used to tell them it's no problem, my head is already damaged and so is the rest of the body, I cannot do any worse, but that takes too long. Now I just pretend I cannot understand and just smile. And they smile and say 'Niu bi' or great, carry on.
    They really are geniunely concerned that you're going to wrap yourself around a tree, break your bike and require a helivac(no such thing in China, of course, that's why we're all expert riders here...jk). Even my friends who surf think mtb is the most dangerous thing to do right after crossing superhighways drunk. Sheesh, as if surfing on reef breaks is safe, come on, those guys don't even wear a helmet, let alone armor. I tell them I never fall, I just need to step off my bike now and then to inspect the ground close up.
    Wherever you fly to, I'm sure I can arrange to meet up. If you're flying back out from Lijiang to Bjg, I'll say work your way north, if you're flying back from Kunming then the other way.
    Yeah, Zhongdian is a bit flat and cold. Great for mostly xc but Ernesto has found some worthy dh's out there, we were going to do a 1000m plus dh last time I went up, but Ernesto cut his knee open on the first day and I just came back to Dali. Alt. adaptation should be no problem for you, shouldn't take more than a couple days. On the bright side, you can get more buzz out of your beer here than at sea level, but that also only works for the first couple days.


    Quote Originally Posted by OldHorse
    1+1: We do have a few local young guys now riding mtb, but most of the old locals walking in the hills have no idea what we are doing and why. One of them asked me "why do you ride on the trails, its so much easier to travel on the fire road"? He didn't object, he was just curious. How did I come to give "Not Safe to Ride Trail" its name? One day I come bombing off the upper section onto the intermediate fire road and am about to jump onto the lower section of singletrack. A local woman comes running over to me waving her arms and shouting "Qi bu liao, Qi bu liao", basically a protestation that it can't be ridden. At first I thought she was objecting to me doing this, but quickly realized she was actually very concerned about my safety assuming that if I did such a stupid thing I would certainly be hurt. Not Safe to Ride. I told her it was fun and took off.
    I agree that maybe Zhongdian is not to be on the itinerary. Nixi is nice, but most of Zhongdian is actually too flat. Plus its easy to get into too much altitude. Between Dali and Lijiang is the best of everything I agree.
    As to my flight plan, the easiest thing for me is to fly into Lijiang via Chengdu in that way I don't have to change airlines like I would in Kunming. Doing that with a bike is troublesome. I could transit to Dali from there and work our way back to Lijiang. Altitude adaptation is some concern but I'm in good condition, adapt pretty quickly to altitude if we are going to be mostly below 3000 meters. Let me know what you think.

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    Jan 24, 2008

    Managed to get out and ride again today. I was all set to ride yesterday when the wind came up at night blowing like 30 mph. Today was better but still rather cold - high of 28F in the city much colder in the hills. It was windy but sunny and very dry (10% humidity). I decided to avoid the high north ridge and push a little further south in the open space to a bowl-like area I call the "Playground". There's a small reservoir there that is frozen with like a foot thick or more of ice on top. I saw some guys methodically trying to bust up the ice at the edge of the dam. I guess they felt it might too much pressure on the dam itself.
    A few pics to enjoy
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Nice to see all those wilderness so close to Bjg.
    I guess you wouldn't be out there this time of the year if not for your Epi.
    That's what I love about riding, you can escape the 'real' China if you're willing to pedal or push a bit. So much out there with nary a person around.
    Keep posting pics, I'll update pics as soon as I pick up a new camera. Yeah, crashing and cameras in your pocket don't go too well together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1+1
    Nice to see all those wilderness so close to Bjg.
    I guess you wouldn't be out there this time of the year if not for your Epi.
    That's what I love about riding, you can escape the 'real' China if you're willing to pedal or push a bit. So much out there with nary a person around.
    Keep posting pics, I'll update pics as soon as I pick up a new camera. Yeah, crashing and cameras in your pocket don't go too well together.
    Its definitely a big place. Once I finished the climb up and started my singletrack runs I didn't see another person until I got back on pavement. I realized I have been riding too many times the same "Not Safe to Ride Trail" because it is convenient and loads of fun. Need to keep mixing it up. What you see in these pictures is maybe 10% of the total area, at most. I also rode a whole other section of downhill singletrack on the way back and didn't take any pics there. Also got lost in there for awhile as its a complicated set of valleys full of intersecting singletrack and I don't do that area very often. Eventually I picked my way out to familiar territory.
    I'll try to take some pics of the mountain range to the west, but its hard this time of year to get out early enough before the setting sun gets in the way.

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    Old horse, I go to beijing a few times a year. If I am there on a weekend, is there a decent chance of being able to rent a decent bike near a trail? I've ridden in england, singapore, korea and all across the US. I'd love to add china to that list this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike
    Old horse, I go to beijing a few times a year. If I am there on a weekend, is there a decent chance of being able to rent a decent bike near a trail? I've ridden in england, singapore, korea and all across the US. I'd love to add china to that list this year.
    Austin_bike: Depends on where you stay, as you know BJ is a very large city. There's a group made up of mostly ex-pats that organizes rides every weekend except in the winter. They are called "The Mob" - you can google them for their latest contact info. They meet on the east side near the Great Wall Sheraton on Saturday and can hook you up with some kind of rental. They have a variety of riders of different levels.
    I live way over on the northwest so I never get together with them. PM me when you are planning to come to BJ and I'll see if I can hook you with riding on the west side - that's where all the great singletrack is

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    Old Horse and A_B,
    I'm really liking the ride pics and info on rising in Asia. I'm moving to South Korea in 2 weeks and it makes me feel a lot better about the move to see such great riding happening.

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