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'Brave heart not enough' as number of cyclists along Sichuan-Tibet line surges [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-8-5 20:49:25 |Display all floors
Cyclists rest and pose for a photo before entering in Erlang Mountain tunnel on Sichuan-Tibet line on Road 318, July 23, 2013. (Photo/ CFP)



For cycling lover, Sichuan-Tibet section of Road 318 is a road where beauty coexists with danger. Despite frequent traffic accidents, many cyclists flock to the section in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province. Conservatively estimation shows more than 10,000 people are cycling on the Sichuan-Tibet line. This summer, the number of cyclists on the road has reached an unprecedented level.

The reporter interviewed 100 random riders on Sichuan-Tibet line in a week. Nearly 90 percent of them are college students, aged between 18 and 23. About 40 percent of riders are armatures who do not have rich long-distance cycling experience and some of them set off their journey for first time but with less than three months’ preparation. Their life is simple and boring, riding in daytime and sleeping in a small inn (4-5 US dollars/night) at the roadside. They often rely on biscuits and bun on the long mountain road.

"Sichuan-Tibet line has come into cyclists’ view since 2004 due to a popular TV drama at that time,” an experienced cyclist surnamed Miao said. “In fact, most riders give up on their way. Less than 20 percent of cyclists eventually arrive in Lhasa.” Miao said that he felt sorry for those who sell their bikes and equipment at a relatively low price and go home by train and airplane at last.

A highway staff said that the Erlang Mountain tunnel on Sichuan-Tibet is eight meters’ wide only open to cars. “It’s OK. We can collect the wastes left by riders every day,” he said. “But the graffiti they left on the NO bike sign, railing and landscape stone is annoying.”


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Post time 2013-8-5 20:50:11 |Display all floors
A cyclist sits beside his bike after he rode through a mountain pass which is 4,298 meters above sea level, at Sichuan-Tibet line on Road 318, July 24 2013. (Photo/ CFP)

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Post time 2013-8-5 20:50:24 |Display all floors
Cyclists rest at the Zheduo mountain pass on Sichuan-Tibet line on Road 318, July 24, 2013. (Photo/ CFP)

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Post time 2013-8-5 20:50:43 |Display all floors
Graffiti is left by riders on the NO bike sign near the entrance of Erlang Mountain tunnel. Road 318 is the path riders must take to Tibet. (Photo/ CFP)

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Post time 2013-8-5 20:51:37 |Display all floors
Riders sleep in Badeng Inn at night (4-5 US dollars per person / night) in Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province on July 23, 2013. (Photo/ CFP)

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Post time 2013-8-6 07:46:23 |Display all floors
I'm game for a nice ride, but would like more back-up in the event of bike problems. It would be nice to be followed by a sleeper with food and supplies...Of course, company would be great for the ride, but finding seasoned riders could be difficult for me...

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Post time 2013-8-6 09:13:31 |Display all floors
That's the life what i want
let me know if U like tennis

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