2wheels, the return: Edward Genochio's bike expedition across Asia to England

2wheels: The Return

Edward Genochio's bicycle expedition from China to England

September 2005 - November 2006

Sponsored by Decathlon China

 
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Mongolian Horseman Stole My Bicycle!

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The 2wheels expedition book:

- 'But Isn't There a Bus?' - details here.


2wheels is sponsored by:

- Decathlon China
- Drennan Co Shanghai
- Eclipse Internet
- P&O Ferries


2wheels supports:

- CereCare Centre
- Sustrans
- Force Cancer Care
- The Lotus Project
- The Wheelchair Foundation


Other writing by Edward Genochio:

- Some snippets
- In Voyage Magazine
- In The Adventure Cycling Handbook


Read the 2wheels latest:

- The 2wheels expedition blog


Send a message to 2wheels:

- Post your comments here
- Email me here here


Beyond 2wheels:

- Some links to other websites


Are you a journalist?

- Get the 2wheels media pack here


2wheels in the future:

- Some map-gazing ideas


Pretty pictures:

- The original 2wheels photo archive


The original 2wheels expedition site:

- 2004-5 from England to China


As seen / heard in:

- 2wheels media credits


2wheels websiteography:

- 2wheels sitemap
- Historical and technical notes on the 2wheels website


Krasnoyarskiy Kray, Siberia, Russia

Siberia

Tuva, Siberia, Russia

Horses, Mongolia

Baikal, Siberia, Russia

Hop off

Priyanik, half-eaten (by me), Kyakhta, Russian-Mongolian border. Shortly after this photograph was taken, the other half was eaten. Also by me.

Buryatia, Russia

Roadsign in Tuva, Russia

Tuva, Russia

The sky, I think

Tuva

Christmas in Li Ling

 

This is a longer version of an article by Edward Genochio which appeared in Voyage Magazine in February 2005. Extracts from it may also appear in the Adventure Cycling Handbook.

 

China's tourism industry likes to make 'top five' lists - top five famous mountains, top five famous shopping streets, top five places for eating barbecued chicken feet, that sort of thing. The town of Li Ling in Hunan province features in none of these lists. That is its charm. It is a place that offers no reason for visiting - and that, in my book, is reason enough to have a look around.

It was Christmas Eve, it was raining, and it was very, very cold. I was pedalling west on the G320, the epic road that runs through the heart of China from Shanghai to the Burmese border, when I hit a pothole. Hard. My rear wheel took the punishment. The result: a badly cracked rim. I didn't know whether it would give me another fifty kilometres, or only another five, but at any rate it was clear that there wouldn't be a long wait before it would dump me unceremoniously, leaving me with a unicycle and a sore backside.

I dug out my map and assessed the situation. Nearest town: Li Ling. Distance: about 25 kilometres. It was touch-and-go. I got back in the saddle and pedalled gingerly, wincing at every bump and rut. I crossed the border from Jiangxi to Hunan, and the road surface improved.

An hour later I rolled into Li Ling, where Christmas is in full swing. All the shops have "Merry Christmas" - in English - sprayed on their windows - except one which, cryptically, proclaims "I love Gloria" instead. There were life-size inflatable Father Christmases for sale. But 2004's real must-have was a red and white felt Santa hat with flashing