7.01.01
59 km
6.0 hrs
20 km of gradual  climbing and suddenly cross into Tibet and the Aksay Qin, left the Kunlun Shan behind. Listened to the Pixies on the ride up. 17,000 foot pass, only 1000 ft descent to the plateau. Apparently, truck drivers have died here from the altitude, there’s no easy way to descend from here. Camped at 16,000 ft, excited to be back in Tibet.
week 3:  aksay qin
7.02.01
83 km
7.3 hrs
16,000 ft and flat enough to land a 747. Long day 7.5 hours. Spent most of day riding on jeep trail short cuts off of the main road. Hit record top speed of 12 mph on a smooth section. Rare speed. Big tailwinds, big storms, but missed most of them during the ride. Camped in the rain.
 
7.03.01
49 km
5.6 hrs
Woke to a snow storm. Waited it out, started cycling at 11.  Rain and snow had turned road to thick mud. Slow. Another stormy day, rain, hail, wind, mud. Crossed 5350 m pass at dusk. Camped as a big storm hit.
 
7.04.01
40 km
5.5 hrs
Woke to snow again. Cold, cloudy, stormy. Had momos and yak butter tea with Tibetan nomads, first we had seen, they refused payment. Caught in hail storm. Started climbing pass in light rain. Pass is all mud. No road is left. 5km took 5 hours of carrying. 20 lbs of mud on the bike, carry it 5ft and stop breathless at 16,000 ft. Trucks are stuck all over the pass, some won’t move for days. More hail. Made it to Sumxi at dusk, hardest work yet. Bastard Chinese man ripped us off for dinner. Stayed the night with Uyger man – very nice.
 
 
 
 
 
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The Aksay Qin is a high altitude plateau averaging over 5,000 meters above sea level. It is a desert climate home to almost no people excepting Chinese military.  The plateau has been a disputed territory between India and China since the 1962 Sino-Indian war when it was discovered that China had secretly built a road through, and claimed the Aksay Qin.  This is the road we are now cycling.
 
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