The Preparation

After one year of prepatation it is soon time to leave. Often people ask me "what you're riding to china, but how u prepare for a trip like this?" Actually it was never hard to planany trip, it is a question of time . I start with the basics, and some themes can be quite interesting, like the equipment, weight, climatezones, sightseeing etc. and soon you will find out in what schoolhours you should have been awake, when it comes to the capitals of all these countries, borders and so on.

There's no list with what i begin, i only note over what i should get informattionlike: political problems sertain countries, bordercrossings, where to get the next visa, maybe there are cities to get one for the overnext country too.

One of the main themes is the equipment that you have to carry. the main question is always the same. what do i need, what not really , and how much is luxury.

as we have to count with the worse, i guess our bikes will never reach a dreamfigure and with this though we have to live. or it might be the opposite, the gear will get more.Think about the food you need in sertain areas!

harder it is to get informations about roads, bridges, open borders.my main sourses for that are websites or slideshows about these places, these are usualy more acurate than the book you are reading in.

here some books that were great help

trailblazer

-asia over land

-silkroute a route and planningguide

 

 

slowely the panniers and small packbags are getting filled, the list is getting shorter, but the thoughts about the weight and the size is not leaving me. so some parts have to be made multicompatible other cut shorter. spare parts were organized, passport - and vacination-papers copied, photos for all the visas were made.

 

My "Rocky mountain" MTB that I bought and fixed in Katmandu in winter 2001 will join me again this time. It has a new colour and a few new parts like racks, and a new fork which is not a suspension one anymore. I decided to ride with front and back panniers this time. Also new on the bike are three self made Stainless steel bottlecages for 1,5 liter PET bottles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rita's bicycle got fixed by herself and allmost all parts are new. A steel frame weldet for touring, and also back and front racks, for panniers. Wheels were new made (by hand, a must for a good wheel).

As we will start in october, we will ride through a european winter for about 4 months, and hope to enjoy a warmer climate when we start climbing the higher areas in the middle east. For this our bags will be quite full packed with 4-season equipment, like thick sleepingbags, plenty thermo and fleece cloths.

to measure the altitude of my current level I used a Suunto Vector digital-watch ,with barometer and compass and alti-meter -6000m ( +/-5 meters exact in altitude) 

to plan the next day's distance and to know how far from the next point I am, I use a cyclometer from Cateye

the first time I will carry a GPS from Garmin with a Europeanmap and Worldmap, as a exact backup to our mapreading.

-for more information about the gear check the gearlist

 

 

 

 

 

The planning

Actually I was close before to get some informations about different bordercrossings, visas and more important things but after the 11.9.2001  I couldn't  tell anything about visas and how and even if I'll get there because of the situation in the middle-east.

-Tibet for example was totaly closed and fined hard if caught by the PSB. But I carried on preparing and collecting my gear,  maps etc.... 

-2003 SARS in china

-bush's war in irak a hot place to cycle around.

-On the 11.2003 an other terrorist bombing in Istanbul /Turkey against the british. Thirty people, mainly Turks, died in the two attacks on the consulate and the offices of the London-based bank HSBC. "We have information that further attacks may be attempted," said a statement from the British Foreign Office.

-14.12.2003 two german and one irish cyclist got kidnapped in a border province close to the southern pakistan border

-a earthquake in Bam (southern iran) where a swiss cyclist survived after 3 hours under stones

-Jan.2004 "chicken-virus" in china

-terror coming to europe 3.2004 Madrid a train got bombed

all this makes us thinking of course, and still today in this world everything could happen at home too ! And our idea is travel and to look at this world. Finally there are also people living, and where there's people there is love ,and where there's love it can't be so bad.

so we will leave our home to explore these places where these people live.