Week 7: Rainbow Mountain to Dunhuang, 628km

I left Danxia and was feeling pretty good, still enjoying the nice gradual descent from the Tibetan Plateau. I decided to try my longest day in the saddle yet, and aimed for Jiuquan which was about 210km away. The ride itself was fairly uneventful, with just desert and scrubland for most of the day and not much else interesting to look at. 

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Week 6: Lanzhou to Danxia National Geographic Park (home to China's Rainbow Mountains), 626km

I headed out from my hotel in Lanzhou to check out a famous bridge—the first bridge to ever span the reaches of the Yellow River. The bridge was built in 1949 so there was a large display set up to celebrate the 70th anniversary. The bridge and surrounding area was absolutely buzzing with Chinese tourists and as I was taking it all in, I heard, “nice bike.”

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Week 5: Tianshui to Lanzhou, 289km

I left Tianshui early on and headed up into the beautifully landscaped terraces in the mountains of Gansu. As I gained elevation, it started to become much less humid, which made it a lot more comfortable to put the hours in the saddle. There were much fewer villages and towns along the road. I would only pass a little farm house or a truck stop every 20km or so. 

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Week 3: Luoyang to Xi'an, 404km (and 'climbing' the infamous Huashan)

My slow pace this week allowed me to take in some more sights as I passed from one ancient city known for its giant carvings of buddha to another ancient city known for its subterranean army of clay warriors. Along the way I managed to get to the top of one of the five sacred mountains in China.

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