Summits: 1340

Sep 12 (2018) – Feb 14 » Asia Cycling Tour

This was my longest, best, hardest trip. I flew to Samarkand, Uzbekistan and cycled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, passing through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, China, Laos, and Thailand. There were some trains, buses, and boats along the way, I pedaled about 5000 miles of the route. Some of the highlights include:

-The Registran and hospitality in Uzbekistan

-Big mountains, high fives from children, and incredible people in Kyrgyzstan

-Desolate and sparesely populated high altitude scenery and homestays in Tajikistan

-getting stuck in Tajikistan with friend Christian Mulkey when China closed the border for 9 days

-soaking in a hot spring 10 miles from the Afghan border with a local homestay host

-Meeting a Belgian cyclist couple in Murghab, cycling with them to Kashgar China, and meeting up with them again months later in Thailand

-“clubbing” in Kashgar, with locals covering all our drinks

-camping in a tunnel in Xinjiang after a run-in with Chinese police

-eating a whole pig’s brain and visiting “underground” bars in Chengdu with Jacob Kallman

-Cycling and staying in Kangding with Yi Jie on the 318, spending 4 days in Litang seeing a Tibetan Sky Burial

-My cycling altitude record of 15455 feet

-the route through Shangri-La, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Lijiang, Shaxi. Hanging out in Dali

-Kunming! The crazy climbing through Jianshui, Pugao (rice terraces), shadiness in Erguanzhai and Riwu

-bumping into a French couple in Jinghong that I met in Pugao, the route through Mengla

-crossing into Laos with friend Jacob Kallman waiting on the other side, him pulling me up hills for a few days to eventually take a boat to Muang Ngoy

-Breaking a rear wheel on insane rough roads through tiny villages, cycling in the dark a few times

-meeting Christina Lam in Luang Prabang, visiting Vang Vieng, Phonsovan, and doing “The Loop” by motorcycle

-two days by boat on the Mekong with Christina and Phil Stinis, to get to Thailand. Hiking the high point and visiting Pai by scooter

-heat, Surin Islands, Sukhothai, Kanchanaburi (and the random hotlel en route), hiking my bike to a secluded beach in Thailand

-Meeting Bobo (cyclist from China) in south Thailand. Traveling with him through Langkawi Island (and the Russian) and Penang.

-Finishing in Malaysia, my 50th country

Uzbekistan

Kyrgyzstan

Tajikistan

China

Laos

Thailand

Malaysia