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2009-06-03-133

The Revolutions Will Not Be Televised

Or at least, they wont be televised live. Our steady stream of posts and videos is set up that way for a reason: to ensure that you, the reader or viewer, are drip-fed just enough high-quality content to ensure your continued interest. Were we to drown you in a deluge of info, you might get […]

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Visas to the Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

We are now in possession of our Kazakh visas. They have an entry date of June 25th, giving us a definite exit date for China. We can’t enter Kazakhstan before that date and, barring any unforeseen complications, should comfortably reach the border by then. Finishing our first country, the largest one of the trip, will […]

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2009-04-17-005

Squatters Rights

I said before the trip that it would make us appreciate the simpler things in life. One of those things would definitely be the use of a proper porcelain throne. Squatting is the norm for pretty much all of Asia. The people here have been doing it all their lives and have developed the necessary […]

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2009-06-03-176

This One Time, At Band Camp…

We’re going to be camping a lot more this week as our passports are awaiting processing in the visa office in Urumchi. All hostels, guesthouses and hotels are supposed to ask for our visas and register all guests, foreign or local, into the PSB (Public Security Bureau) system. Since we don’t have the passports, and […]

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Arachnophobia

Desert camping seems like a fun and carefree idea, until you consider the local wildlife. On Tuesday afternoon, after one of our rest stops, I spotted a massive spider nestling on the back of Jared’s rear pannier. It was about the size of an open fist, legs included, and a bright mix of white and […]

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The Sting

Bee trucks are one of my least favorite sights on the roads here in Gansu. I thought the itinerant bee farmers in Shanxi were bad enough, but at least they and their hives were stationary. The trucks are a mobile menace to navigation, leaving a steady stream of disorientated and disgruntled bees in their wake. […]

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2009-05-04-010

A Fistful of Dynamite

The sound of explosions has been a regular feature of our travels – hardly surprising, I suppose, in the country that invented gunpowder and fireworks. Barely a day goes by without the the machine-gun staccato of firecrackers, rockets and other pyrotechnics. Riding through some of the smaller cities was an experience akin to driving through […]

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2009-04-25-088

Coke Fiends

Ok, confession time. I’ve got a serious coke habit. I thought I could handle it. It started off small; just a lunchtime hit to get me through the afternoon, but before I knew it, it was out of control. In the hot days before Xi’an, I was on 4 bottles a day. At 600ml a […]

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2009-05-08-034

Beijing-Xi’an Roundup

Beijing to Xi’an – 11 cycling days, 1300km and, if you’ve read Jared’s post with the elevation data, a lot more climbing. We’ve already documented a few of the events, so here’s a recap of the rest. The terrain was tougher than the first leg of the trip, but the beautiful scenery we saw towards […]

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Small world, eh?

We’re taking a day off to rest in a town in Cixian County, over 500km south of Beijing and just off the main trucking road that we’ve been following since leaving the capital on Sunday morning. We had some interesting experiences at dinner last night. Strangeness has been nothing new for us this week, but […]

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Under the bridge

We had our first Chinese camping experience last night, albeit an unplanned and forced one. Government officials here, it seems, are about as flexible as an arthritic grandmother when it comes to interpreting registration procedures. The day had started out rather well. We completed over 100km to the provincial capital in record time, aided by […]

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Zombie Nation / Fish Nation

Is it wrong that one of my highpoints for Beijing has been the little chip shop around the corner from my hotel? It seems that the charms of the Forbidden City, Tienanmen Square, and the Summer Palace can’t hold a candle to newspaper-wrapped fish & chips smothered in vinegar. Cuisine has been a major part […]

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Hammond’s Law

In order to reach Beijing on Tuesday we were forced to undertake our biggest ride of the trip, cranking out almost 160km and nearly 9 hours in the saddle. It was a mammoth effort and, some measure of credit for our success must be given to an unsung hero, Kent Hammond. Early in the morning, […]

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What a day

(Day 9) Everything but the kitchen sink was thrown at us today but we’re still standing. I began the morning patching up yesterday’s slow puncture. Everyone was taking their time as the weather looked unfavorable. Just as we were about to set off, David noticed a trickle running from Katie’s hydraulic brakes. Cue much tinkering […]

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2009-04-15-137

It’s an ill wind…

…that blows no one any good, by which token the headwinds plaguing our pasage to Beijing must be right [email protected]*kers. Despite finishing our first leg northward and completing a near-180 degree shift to the southwest, the wind has changed direction to match our path and make sure its right in our faces again. We”ve had […]

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If the bike fits

Jared and I popped up to Ilsan last Saturday (3/20) for an appointment that David had arranged for us at a local bike store. The staff were very courteous and polite, and spoke enough English to explain each step in rudimentary detail. They measured, noted, adjusted, and measured some more, even going so far as […]

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2009-03-15-091

You Don’t Have to be Irish to be Irish

The BB team enjoy a good parade as much as the next person. So, when an opportunity arose to participate in the annual Seoul St. Patrick’s Day Festival, we positively jumped at the chance.   The festival, in one form or another, has been a mainstay of the Seoul social calendar for the last few years. […]

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The Mission

Seoul to London: 10 hours on a jet; a few comfortable days by train, and for four intrepid adventurers, a hell of a long way by bike. In April 2009, the four members of the Braking Boundaries team will attempt to ride unsupported between these two cities, a total distance of over 16,000km – almost […]

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