Pencil this in for 2013:
On a 1000 km mostly sealed road, a 3 week journey would include:
a Kathmandu – Lhasa flight, fly to Chengdu, train to Lhasa, acclimatization in Lhasa, several 5000+ m passes, Everest base camp (the one Mallory used) and what is rumored to be the longest downhill stretch of road in the world to Kathmandu.
I had to check out the profile, so mapped it in bikeroutetoaster here.
That’s a drop from 5100m to 700m in ~150 km. Whoo hoo!
On the train, instead of earphones, you plug in your oxygen supply
Its a 44 hr 3360 km trip. More info here
The China National Highway 318 goes 5,476 km from Shanghai to the Nepalese border. From Lhasa to the Friendship Bridge on the border it is known as the Friendship Highway and has become a Mountain bike touring Mecca.
All milestones are kilometers from Beijing:
Some solo bike journeys (pre-2008):
(These are great reads with amazing photos. Go to www.crazyguyonabike.com, click on “Journals” and search for “Lhasa”. You will turn up 100’s of stories.)
Graham & Gwil
Kids fire messages to foreign devils:
It’s mostly fat tyre dirt road stuff, but this guy has a pennyfarthing and pith helmet:
After 2008, there are complications as permits are required in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) as well as a Chinese visa. You have to go as a group, no single permits granted. Lonely Planet has a good thread here.
This guy arrested trying to sneak past a checkpoint without a permit.
But I think we can do it cheaper. Start saving, lets aim for $2,000 + $1000 Kathmandu return flights each. Unfortunately it’s too cold around Christmas, July-August best time.