In Decenber 2010, Pierre, Fai, Andrew and I rode a 220km ride around the Dragon Jade mountain near Lijiang, Yunan province, China. The trip was sponsored by Chiru Bikes.
The ride was the opportunity to put the Pulse – Chiru's 29er – to test. I rode the bike during the entire trip and fell in love.
Going around the Dragon Jade mountain involved finding a way to link three different valleys. We didn't have maps – there are no trail maps in China – we only had a blurry Google Earth aerial view of the area. There are few overpass roads and few bridges over the Yanxi river in the area. We relied on directions given by locals which invariably were at best a little off, and often way off. People kept telling us "not possible on a bike"! The trip turned out to be 30% longer and higher than we thought.
We rode in the Tiger Leaping Gorge on a hiking trail suspended 1000 meters above the raging waters of the Yanxi river. That trail was gnarly, even difficult to walk for some parts.
We were carrying 28 pounds backpacks at all time. Saddle pain was certainly the most demoralizing factor of the trip!
On the last day we faced an unexpected 40 kilometers continuous climb on road – the longest and highest continuous climb any of us climbed.
But that wasn't it, we had another valley to go and the end the light was getting low and the temperature dropping.
For all of us that last day turned to be one of the toughest cycling day we ever experienced.
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