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Old 12-19-11, 09:58 PM   #1
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Shantou to Xiamen, and then a plane- Logistics/bike question.

Hello all! New to both posting here and distance cycling (runs in the family though, most of my relatives have crossed either the US or Europe on bikes).

Having moved to China, I've been cycling a lot more, and recently a colleague floated the idea of biking up to Xiamen (about ~360 km) from our current location, before flying back to the US.

Has anyone else ever tried touring (even short legs) with vacation gear, as opposed to touring gear? When I was biking in the Rockies, usually anything unnecessary stayed behind, but in our case, we'd be bringing a month of clothes, laptops, and other goodies on the road, in bags meant for airports (i.e. potentially carrying stuff on our backs).

I've been hitting local roads for about ~20-40km after work, with a loaded backpack (~19 kilos), and my back does not feel good afterward, despite being in otherwise good shape (24 year old ex-Coloradoan). My colleague, being Chinese and completely inexperienced in camping/long-distance hiking/biking, seems to think it won't be a big issue.

So, I'm looking for input- has anyone ever tried biking a few days, then taking a plane? Is there any way to take a month of stuff without unnecessarily burdening oneself? I am leaning towards having our stuff sent ahead, and the bringing only the necessities for the cycling portion. Given the unreliability of Chinese shipping around here, and goodies like expensive laptops, this is option #2, if at all possible. Based on my experiences, I doubt it, but I promised her I'd ask.

I'd also like to ask another question about the cycles: both of us are using off-road bikes, with much thicker tires than are preferable for on-road cycling. This trip is about 80% paved and 20% dirt; should we look for skinnier tires than the standard mountain bike-styles (we are using Giant's Talon 770D bikes).


(And if this goes well, would anyone want to join us for Chengdu-Lhasa in the summer? ^_^)
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Old 12-19-11, 11:54 PM   #2
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I live in South Korea and shipped all my earthly possessions (3 boxes of stuff) from Korea to the US before taking off for 5 months across Asia on the bike. Since I didnt need the stuff right away in the US I shipped it on a cargo vessle that took 1-3 months, actual time was just 30 days. It was something like 40-50$ a box and they were large, I think 20kilos each but I cant remember.

Dont make your first bike tour more painful that its already going to be. You are doing something very new and different for the first time in a tough country. Send cheap but heavy stuff like clothes home on a boat or something. If you really dont trust Chinese mail then you could Fed Ex your laptop to yourself but then again it wouldnt be that hard to take just that with you on the bike if you wanted.
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