May 26, 2012

The full circle... Cycling Tea/Bamboo Mountain

After traveling for several weekends in a row and poor weather all week, Andrew convinced me that we should stick around Yongchuan and enjoy the surrounding areas by bike... Friday night Andrew, Tyler, Fimo and myself had a group treadmill and weights session in the gym... On fridays we finish work a little earlier so the gym is much quieter at 4 which is much easier to move around and actually have a good work out! It was great... funny enough since the Great Wall Marathon has completed I was hoping I would take a little break from running but have been out three days in a row;) Its been raining so not too great for biking and there is not much else to do here so running it is! I want to try and get strong for paddling now... I can't paddle as we dont have any friendly waters in these parts so I need to do my best with weights, running, and biking... I diverge... after the gym we enjoyed some local food, and then headed over to the apartments for some wine and cheesecake while watching the movie Hangover 2!

Saturday, Andrew and I slept in (well deserved and needed... I had been feeling pretty tired all week), made our usual breakfast feast of scramble egg, veggies and coffee(thank you parents for the stash). We decided to go on an exploratory bike ride. We have been up tea/bamboo mountain many many times on our bikes but always seemed to get distracted by hikes or slacklining before riding the whole ridge and seeing what was on the other side...

It has been wet all week so the dirt road was pretty slick riding up to the ridge. Also there has been some new developments.. A gate has appeared... Normally you have to pay to go onto the ridge and to the park via the road but in the fall after paying once to get onto the ridge we had found this dirt road that was more exciting and pretty and FREE and got you to the same paved ridge road. I fear that someone will ruin this at some point very soon... I just know for us... if this road hadn't existed the way it has our time in Yongchuan would have been more difficult as we have spent many hours in the woods exploring and playing!

Anyways, we eventually got to the top of the dirt road despite my heavy bike and slippery mud (I felt like slacklining so had brought along the big lock and the slackline providing me with a rather heavy bike... good training for something I suppose:))... The weather was on and off with sun and clouds, hot, humid, and cool temperatures... we road on.

After enjoying the bamboo, the twists and turns, the ups and downs of the road, we finally got to an intersection where a dirt road and the continuation of the paved road meet.. We took the paved road. It was called Jade Corridor, a fairly unused, not well maintained section of the park. We don't have a map for the area just the GPS so weren't sure at this point where this road might take us. In the end it took us nowhere. After decending for a while with tight turns the road just stoped at a farmers home... we were forced to turn around and ride back up to the intersection. On the way back up we passed a load of chinese people just walking up the hill (happy)... didn't really understand where they came from but they seemed content enough yelling and singing... We got back to the intersection with the dirt road, rode a little along it until we managed to get a little view and stopped for a snack and decision time. The day was still young and we were feeling adventurous and curious so we decided to continue along the dirt road and see where it would take us. The road had a couple of switchbacks up and the flattened out with small climbs, descents and turns.

We passed through what we believe was an old factory that got burned down... It was pretty big with lots of buildings, most had collapsed roofs.. It was really cool but also a little spooky... after taking some pictures we rode on, we passed some abandoned farm house villages, some that seemed abandoned but had a couple folks working in the fields. We rode, and hoped we were making the correct decisions to et ourselves down and to a paved road and a town. Eventually after only one real mistake that we eventually corrected we made it down and through some pretty farm lands with rolling hills. Another 30km or so, through some more villages and small roads we made it back to Yongchuan. We headed straight to one of our favorite noodle shops and filled our tummies with delicious spicy noodles. We rode for about 6 hours, about 1500m elevation, about 80km and saw some new areas surrounding Yongchuan. Awesome, I felt spent and happy about it.

Today its raining and we are feeling lazy.... but it is only 11am... anything can happen!

I took some pictures our local market....

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

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