April 23 is coming closer. That day Gary and I plan to fly to Lhasa, via Chengdu, for our mountain bike trip. The idea is to ride from Lhasa to Kathmandu, a distance of over 1200 kilometers, through the Himalaya. Over the past weeks we have started our preparations, but because we are both quite busy running our companies we did not spend enough time on it yet. But things are changing quickly, we have now set the dates, determined a rough itinerary, and contacted people in Tibet to sort out the logistical problems that come with a biking trip on the roof of the world.
We plan to stay in Lhasa for four days to acclimatize, which is one of the most important preparations for the trip. Lhasa, at 3650 meter altitude, is the lowest point in Tibet of the trip, and we have to make sure that our bodies are used to this before we jump on our bikes. Altitude sickness is very dangerous and can even kill you, so we take this seriously. The advantage is that we can do a lot of the preparations for the actual bike ride during these days. Buying good tents and warm sleeping bags (it will still be freezing during part of the trip, and we might have to camp in the snow), and arranging a jeep or truck that carries our luggage, food and oxygen tanks (hopefully we won’t need those).
The good thing is that we can also still do some work in Lhasa, we plan to take a hotel with good internet connections. We will leave Lhasa just before the Chinese May Holidays, and should arrive in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu about 3 weeks later. This means that we are effectively only two working weeks away from the office. During the trip we should be able to get online sometimes, but it seems that our original plan to upload video’s to Tudou everyday will be very difficult. It would be cool to blog from Mount Everest Base Camp, though (maybe it works, keep checking this blog). But I plan to only answer emails in emergency situations – which may actually be one of the most difficult things of the trip for me.
During the ride there will be a small camera crew filming our trip. Saturday night we met one of the camera men to discuss the ideas for the program they plan to shoot. Depending on the result, the program will be aired on several Chinese TV channels and maybe even some foreign stations. Of course it will be also be available on Tudou in a compressed format.