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Saundez

Cycling from Xian to Chengdu

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Saundez

你好,

I'm looking to visit China for a second time, for a longer period than before, to gauge whether I would enjoy living there. One thing I'd really like to do is cycle from Xian to Chengdu via the G108 stopping at Foping or one of the nature sanctuaries in the qinling mountains (if that's possible) on the way.

I've read about people doing this before, but I would rather purchase a 'disposable' or resellable bike than rent one I've got to get back to xian, are half decent bikes expensive or is this an awful plan altogether? Any advice would be much appreciated!!

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abcdefg

I cannot comment on the route, but buying a suitable road bike is possible in Kunming for 1,000 Yuan or less. Would guess, but don't know for sure, that prices in Xi'An would be approximately the same. Re-selling it in Chengdu should not be too difficult.

Your plan sounds generally feasible, but bear in mind that most of the major highways won't allow bicycles. You will be required to ride on secondary roads.

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Saundez

Thanks abcdefg, the road is open to cyclist and the advice with the bikes is very much appreciated! Thanks again

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Silent
One thing I'd really like to do is cycle from Xian to Chengdu via the G108 stopping at Foping or one of the nature sanctuaries in the qinling mountains (if that's possible) on the way.

Should be be no problem. From my experience (2008, roughly Hong Kong - Chengdu) the main roads are quite easy for cycling. That is, easy to find directions even without knowledge of Mandarin, at some places the mainroads can be busy while at others traffic intensity is low. Quality of roads varied strongly but despite the occasional very bad road in general were quite decent. Cycled a small stretch of the 108 between Jiange and Chengdu.

I found the moment you leave the main roads it often becomes a challenge to find your way without basic Mandarin skills.

I've read about people doing this before, but I would rather purchase a 'disposable' or resellable bike than rent one I've got to get back to xian, are half decent bikes expensive or is this an awful plan altogether? Any advice would be much appreciated!!

I did not check in China (or at least don't remember), but in my experience quality bikes are pretty much the same price range the world around. However if you're willing to compromise a little like local components instead of shimano and/or a bit more weight acceptable bikes can usually be found for very decent prices. It usually means you have to travel a little slower, put in more energy and/or try to avoid mountainous roads.

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UNited Language Academy

Hello,

For bikes I strongly recommend the Giant Hunter (model 1.0 or 2.0) they can handle rough tracks and get good speed on tarmac because they have special gearing.

I used one for a trip from Nanning to Guilin on both the highways and countryside tracks. They are very strong and come with everything you need (mud guards and a rack)

For a guide to prices search [捷安特hunter 2.0] on taobao. You can find these models in most cities, if you have the time head to the second hand markets too. (but check the bike over properly

If you want to keep the bike, you can mail it back to your start point from the train station using CRT mail service. You just need to show your train ticket for the destination. (very cheap too)

Finally I recommend you make yourself an "emergency card" listing in both Chinese and English essential information like, name, age, blood type, emergency contacts, passport number etc incase you have an accident.

Enjoy your trip.

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