Forum home Mountain biking forum Your pics and vids

No trail parks here, just lots of mountains

FesterfeetFesterfeet Posts: 90
edited December 2013 in Your pics and vids
I am a Brit living in Western China, most of the crazy locals buy mountain bikes and ride them on the road so their wheels don't get muddy!

There are no trail parks here, no official places to ride and a very limited mtb scene but there are loads of lovely mountains.

Having recently brought my new bike, a Ghost Cagua 650b E:i back from the UK it needs to be used and we went out for the day to an area called Wenchuan. This area was hit by an enormous earthquake in 2008 causing a huge loss of life and serious damage to the local infrastructure. This place is only just getting back on it's feet and local tourism is being encouraged but it is a beautiful mountainous region.

As eccentric foreigners we were not going to be deterred by earthquakes and landslides when there are virgin mountains to ride.

It should be said we are not gnarly free riders looking for the next big thing, just enthusiastic newbies with no common sense and a set of wheels.

We drove as far as we could and put our wheels on and hit the mud track up to the mountains
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This is me and my new bike - well the bike looked good!

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The trails completely covered by thousands of tons of landslide so we have to clamber over carrying our bikes

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Sometimes the trail has fallen away so there is more carrying while pressed against the side of the mountain.

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Even getting up the 'easy' bits is tough with the thin air at this altitude.

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There were a few crashes but this on into thorn bushes was pretty painful!

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But the views are great and there are even some flat bits near the top, this is a Yak meadow (sans yaks)

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The sunshine is warm but in the shade the streams freeze up and ghetto built bridges are essential if rickety.

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Even in the remotest areas we bump into the very friendly locals - badger stew for dinner anyone?

In fact everyone we met was lovely although they couldn't understand why the sill foreigners wanted to take bikes where most wouldn't walk but what a great day out, 4.5 hours up and 40 minutes down.

Really stretched my lack of skills and fitness but I think the new bike enjoyed it.

Please excuse the phone pics, I hope your Sunday was as good as mine.

Posts

  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    fair play, that looks epic :)
  • Thanks, it was.
    Sometimes I read about you and other peoples visits to Bike Parks and I am slightly envious that you have convenient fun just on your doorstep, then I remember that all I have to do is load up the bike and drive out of the city for a few hours and we have thousands and thousands of square miles of mountains.
    Almost none of it has been ridden before and so I realise just how privileged I am.

    A lot of the locals think we are mad or stupid or both but there are a few that want to have a go. If I can find a source of suitable bikes to hire I would like to arrange for a much bigger trip to introduce more people to it.

    Just beware the badger stew, I am reliably informed that in a country where almost anything that was once living can be eaten, Badger is possibly the worst tasting thing you can imagine!
  • Looks fun. Seems great place for enduro riding.
    It was nice to read and watch the photos.

    I got some questions:
    What are the heights of this mountains?
    May I ask what you doing there?
    Is China cheap? I mean prices of food, rent apartment etc?

    I was thinking of goin' there for few months, I just need internet to keep my work (I am freelancer graphic design) so kinda can explore it a bit :)
    I am not English native, so my grammar isn't perfect, sorry!
    My bike blog and my design portfolio.
  • Thanks for the comments they are appreciated.

    You are right it is perfect country for Enduro.

    I have lived here in Chengdu for three years, we expats sometimes joke that it is the biggest city you have never heard of with a population of between 8m to 14m depending on what what you count as being part of the city.
    Is it cheap? Yes in a lot of ways. If you eat in the normal local places it is and rent is usually a lot less than the uk. Internet is fine usually but can be a little flaky occasionally. You would need a VPN as well because some sites are blocked and foreign sites that you and I would think of as innocuous sometimes get blocked for no obvious reason but using a VPN allows you to jump over the "great firewall" of China.

    Westerners are treated with courtesy and curiosity in equal measure. There is very little violent crime but there is plenty of petty opportunist crime like everywhere else with a big diversity in incomes.

    Most of the mountains around here top out at about 3000 meters but there are some exceptions locally. If you want really big we have the Himalayas in Tibet which is only a short hop.

    I don't think it is possible to sum up China in a few sentences and everyone has different views.
    There is heartbreaking poverty and amazing wealth, there is brutality and gentleness, ignoranece and culture, greed and generosity, something are intolerable serious and others ridiculously funny. There hasn't been a day in the last three years when I haven't been amazed and dumbfounded by the differences here.

    If you are curious I would recommend you come out and have a look around. You can always pm me with any questions.
  • Thx for reply :)
    I'll pm you soon if you don't mind :)
    I am not English native, so my grammar isn't perfect, sorry!
    My bike blog and my design portfolio.
  • Thx for reply :)
    I'll pm you soon if you don't mind :)

    Anytime
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Festerfeet wrote:
    Thx for reply :)
    I'll pm you soon if you don't mind :)

    Anytime

    can we all stay at your house then? ;)
  • Yep why not ha ha

    The better idea is to stay in the flat I have at the university where my office is, should have a mini brewery up and running in there within a month!
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