Cycling in the Mountains

Today again we took a bus out North to the mountains for some supreme road cycling. We had a bit of late start due to the confusion of the departure times. The bus dropped us off near Lui Cun.

Here is Tom Lanhove’s (Cyclo Sports China) description of the ride planned for the A riders:

From the GaoYaKou village (near the Stone Lions) we go the normal way over Gao Tai. At the train tracks overhead, we turn left (east) towards Beijing. We go through the “Dong Fang Hong” tunnel climb and ride over the flat valley floor to Shang Wei Dian village. Here we turn abruptly left and start a 20km (!) climb at 4-5% to the intermediate summit. We descent into Jian Gou Village where we tackle the dreaded (and most spectacular) Yang Tai Shan. (7km at 7%) In my humble opinion, this is Beijing’s premiere road bike climb – the most Alp-like for sure. It takes us up to 1180m above sea level and offers awesome views of the city below. Then we descent via the same way back to Jian Gou Village and go up 5km to Miao Feng Shan. We descend back 2-3km and go up the “Alpe D’Huez” of Beijing, an alternative route up to Yang Tai Shan.

This is my note from after the ride: The beginning was nice as we started cycling as for the Bai Yang Gou loop. But when we turned left (East) we had to cycle on a busy road with stupid drivers overtaking the opposite traffic and coming really close to us at high speed. The river was huge, it even had rappids at some points. The 20km climb is not a steady one. In between there are flatter parts, and even downhills. But there is a beautifull very long stretch just below the ridge of the mountains. It is a very narrow but nicely paved road and it seemed to last for almost 10 km slowly winding higher and higher. But then after a small village after 17km of uphill it suddenly get steep as hell. One part of me was saying get off and just push, you can’t make it. But the other side succeeded saying do whatever you can but stay on the bike at all times. Then from teh Jian gou Village the guys went up to Yang Tai Shan and the A-girls went up to Miao Feng Shan. The A-guys actually did not do the 2 other climbs „for time reasons“. But I think many of them were very exhausted already.

How small the world is: At the parking lot toilet of the temple Miao Feng I bumped into the wife of Ge Yajun. Ge Yajun and a friend were there too. What a nice coincidence! They took some pictures.

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