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


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


2wheels: The Return - The Expedition Explained

Route - overview & map

Route - details

Route - facts and figures


Aims and Objectives


Writing & Reports






Route - overview & map

The expedition will begin in Shanghai on 5th September 2005, and is planned to end in Exeter (Devon), England some time in November 2006. The planned route passes through south-east Asia, western China, Central Asia, Iran, the southern Caucasus, Anatolia, the Balkans, and western Europe.

Route map from China to Europe - click for larger versionOutline of the planned route from Shanghai to Exeter.

The actual route taken may vary from that shown.

Larger version.

The total distance covered will be approximately 25,000 kilometres, across around 28 countries.


Route - details:
(Dates given are approximate only - actual timing and route details will depend on conditions on the ground.)

Eastern China (September/October 2005)
From Shanghai I will ride south and west through Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, and Guangxi provinces to the Vietnam border at Dongping on the South China Sea.

Vietnam, Laos and Thailand (November/December 2005)
I will ride through the northern highlands of Vietnam, via Hanoi and the Red River basin, to Laos, passing through Luang Prabang and Vientiane to the Thai border. In Thailand I will ride north again, and cross back into Laos at Houay Xay, heading towards the border with China near Mengla (Yunnan).

The Tibetan Plateau (January/February/March 2006)
In Yunnan I climb out of the jungles of Xishuangbanna in the south, heading north-west up onto the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. The route climbs, drops down to the Yangtze / Jinsha Jiang river gorge, and climbs again as it crosses and crosses into western Sichuan province, keeping close to the border with Tibet (Tibetan Autonomous Region). The route crosses into Qinghai and I head towards Golmud via Yushu, across the heart of the Plateau. The route here is mostly above 4,000 metres, with passes up to nearly 6,000 metres - more than 2/3rds the height of the summit of Everest. It will be mid-winter, with temperatures down to - 40°C. Finally I cross the Qaidam Pendi (Qaidam Basin), west across Qinghai to the Xinjiang border and the north-western rim of the Tibetan Plateau.

Xinjiang and the Taklamakan Desert to Kashgar (April/May 2006)
Descending steeply off the plateau towards Ruoqiang / Qarkilik, I enter the Taklamakan desert. From there, the route crosses the southern part of the desert, via the oasis towns of the ancient southern Silk Road, Qiemo (Qarqan), Minfen (Niya), and Hetian (Hotan), west towards Kashgar, first attempting to cross a spur of the Pamirs to link Yarkant (Shache) with Taxkorgan on the Karakoram highway.

Visa hunting (June 2006)
At this point I will leave the bicycle in Kashgar, and catch a train to Beijing to organise visas for the next section of the route, through Central Asia.

Tajikistan and the Pamir Highway (July 2006)
With visas all arranged, I return by train and rejoin my bicycle where I left it in Kashgar. The route climbs over the Irkeshtam pass into Kyrgyzstan, to Sary Tash, where I turn south and climb into the Pamirs and over the border into Tajikistan's Gorno-Badakhstan autonomous oblast (GBAO). The Pamir Highway, one of the highest, roughest roads in world, takes me over the Pamirs, down to the border with Afghanistan before turning west again to Dushanbe. From Dushanbe I turn north over the Pamirs again to Ayni, from where a road leads west to Samarkand in Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and the Karakum Desert (July/August 2006)
Heading south and west through Uzbekistan, I pass through Bukhara before reaching the Karakum desert and the border with Turkmenista near Farab/Chärjew. The road runs south across the desert to Mary and on to the Iranian border.

Iran (September 2006)
In Iran I ride south of the Caspian sea through the Elbruz mountains, passing by Tehran on the way to the Azeri border.

The southern Caucasus: Azerbaijan and Georgia (September 2006)
Through Azerbaijan from the Iranian border at Astara to the Geogrian border near Tblisi, and through the southern part of Georgia to the Turkish border at Batumi.

Anatolia: The Turkish Black Sea coast (October 2006)
Heading west through Turkey right across northern Anatolia to Istanbul on the Bosporus, and across the straits into Europe.

The Balkans (October/November 2006)
North and west through Greece, Macedonia, and up the Adriatic / Dalmatian coast through Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia.

Western Europe (November 2006)
Into Italy, over the Alps to Switzerland, and then north through France, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, and France again to catch a ferry to Dover. West along the south coast of Britain to finish in Exeter, Devon.

Route - facts and figures

Start point: Shanghai, China
Start date: 5th September 2005
End point: Exeter, England
End date: November 2006

Distance: difficult to estimate in advance. Approximately 25,000 kilometres (15,000 miles).

Countries en route: 28
Namely: China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, France, UK.

Major geographical areas:
Yangtze river basin around Shanghai & Eastern China.
Tropical jungles in northern Vietnam, Laos, Thailand.
Tibetan plateau of western China, up to 6,000 m above sea level.
Taklamakan desert, western China.
Pamir mountains, Tajikistan.
Karakum desert, Turkmenistan
The Balkans
The Alps


A solo bike expedition, with Edward Genochio in the saddle.

Aims and Objectives

The primary aim of 2wheels: The Return, is to ride a bicycle, solo and unsupported, from China to England.

This is necessary because, at time of writing (July 2005) I am in China, and I need, eventually, to get home, without flying.

On bicycle expeditions I like to ensure that I cycle every mile, except when water gets in the way and I have to take a ferry.

Subsidiary objectives include:

To complete what I believe will be the first solo winter crossing on a bicycle of the Tibetan plateau on the Sichuan-Qinghai-Xinjiang route.

To cross the Taklamakan Desert solo on a bicycle.

To ride the Pamir Highway solo on a bicycle.

To cross the Karakum Desert solo on a bicycle.

To promote cycling as a safe, sustainable and environmentally benign means of getting about.

To spread the word about flying, or, rather, not flying.

To raise money for and awareness of Sustrans, who do good things for people, communities and transport in the UK.

To raise money for FORCE Cancer Care, who provide a valuable service to people in the hardest times.

To raise money for CereCare, the Lotus Centre, and the Wheelchair Foundation, all of which in different ways help children and adults lead normal lives.

To use the 2wheels website, and other means, to allow people in different countries and on different sides of the world to understand and respect one another a little more.

To try to learn to swear and curse a little less while riding a bike through traffic / mud / potholes / washboarded tracks / rain / headwinds.


I will be riding a bicycle, sleeping in a tent, and cooking meals on a stove.

Writing & Reports

I will be writing monthly for Voyage Magazine, and later will publish a book.


I am grateful for the support and assistance of my sponsors.


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Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005 Edward Genochio
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