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On the edge of the abyss

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Because of the forthcoming mountain crossing and the uncomfortable bed, I have hardly slept. Knocked out, probably also because of the yesterday strenuous, I open the zippers of my sleeping-bags and look by the murky window pane at the dark coniferous forest which spreads itself not far behind the house. The morning sun has not still created it above the mountains, which is why the small place freezes in the shade. „Best I would remain lying“, I say yawning, close fast again the zippers and creep away in the warmth of two sleeping-bags. At 9:00 o'clock it has still not become warmer. Although the today's stage is only approx. 55 km away, we have to go over a high mountain range. So nothing else is left to us, than to leave the warmth of our sleeping bags. We slip in our sweaty bicycle clothes and go down the concrete steps to use the only wash basin of the house to wash our faces and brush our teeth. So that the house inhabitants get no frostbites with their morning toilet, a thermos jug with hot water which one can mix in a plastic bowl with the frost water stands beside the wash basin. The toilet is, like in the country often commonly, an enclosed hole in the ground. So that one does not slip on the frozen urine saw filings are strewn. We carry our bicycle bags, loaded accumulators and everything else all the steps down. Like yesterday we are again supported by helping hands.

The sun already has climbed over the ridges. We sit in front of a little restaurant, beside our loaded bikes. For the first time having breakfast outside since we are in China. We have a piled up plate with rice, eggs and vegetables. It is already 12:00 o'clock as we swing us onto our saddles and leave the village with helpful and friendly inhabitants behind us. Just having passed the village sign, the announced gradient begins. Because our accumulators are full and the increase should be no longer as 15 kilometres, we take it calmly.Up to a height of 1,600 metres nothing is to be seen by ice and snow. „Maybe everything is already melted?“, believes Tanja confidently. Then from 1,700 metres the first smaller snowy surfaces appear. We make our way around them and make furthermore some distance without difficulties. At a height of 1,800 metres we must already drive slalom around the more and more often appearing ice surfaces and with 1,900 metres big areas of the street lie, at least on the north side of the mountains, completely under ice and snow.„It is clear ice!“, I warn Tanja when my back tire suddenly spins and my heavy loaded bike gets briefly dangerously in rolling. „Go completely on the right by the snow! There the tyres own a better clutch!“, I shout. Among us snow and ice crunches. On the right from us it goes precipitously in the depth. If the grade was still rather pleasant before few hundred metres, here it becomes all at once a suicide mission. Suddenly I hear Tanja calling behind myself. I pull carefully the back brake and stand instantaneous.Tanja pedals highly concentrated about 50 metres behind me. She has given no sound of herself. It was the crunching or something other what made me believe Tanja was calling. When she sees that I stand, she also wants to stop. „Do not stop! Go on quite slowly and deliberate!As soon as the tyres coming to a stand nothing is going anymore!“, I warn. Then she gasps almost in the step tempo along me, only one small inattention, a wrong steering movement and she would fall without fail.„So an insanity“, it goes for me by the head. Tanja disappears meanwhile behind the next bend. I consider how I should come out from my situation. It is so icy that I cannot lift and swing a foot over the middle pole. No chance. As numbly I stand there and do not know what I should make. To stop was on this subsoil the absolutely wrong. After I can not push my bike for one millimetre further upwards, I roll it slowly backward. Immediately the hanger bends. Because one must think with trailer always in the opposite direction steering, so vice versa, it can happen that one can drive back not further because the hanger ends up in parallel to the wheel. Now exactly this has happened. To release me from this situation I would have to go again forwards.This is impossible because of the icy subsoil. So I need Tanja, to help me to push of the bike from the icy ground. „Tanja! Taaanja!“, I shout because I hope to be heard and calculates on the fact that the ice surface is interrupted behind the curve and she waits there for me. Except some birds twittering I get no answer. I curse. Then I dare it once again, to lift my right foot about the middle pole. Besides, my left almost slips away. Only with a lot of luck I can hold the bike.A possibility would be to lay me with my bike on the road, to creep out under. It is such a strange situation. „Concentrate Denis“, I admonish myself. I stand there absolutely quietly and deeply inhale. "Now", I command myself and lift once more my right foot. This time it really works without falling to stand beside the bike. Now I try to push the bike. Immediately I slip away with both feet. Then I put the bike on the side stand, uncouple the trailer, push the e-bike of the ice on a snowy surface, get the trailer and couple it again. Ajaci squeaks pleasantly and means the whole procedure is only one play. Clear, I would leave him now from the hanger. This would make easier starting to me. However, I would have to click him with his rope to the special device which is fastened to the carrier. That is again that Ajaci must run during the difficult journey precisely beside the bike. So may not pull the rope what he makes most if he freshly comes out his trailer for a run. In this case it would lay me anyway on the nose. To let him go freely is also no good idea because over and over again cars rush down the mountain. To those the icy surface seems to make no difference or they are not aware how dangerous the road conditions are.So I rise again on my bike and step carefully in the pedals. The back tyre immediately spins and forces me to get off again. With the third attempt it works. Slowly I make headway. Tanja has really stopped only few hundred metres behind the bend.„Where have you been so long? Had already worried me and wanted to start to run just to look whether what has happened.“ „It was really a mistake to stop on such an ice surface. However, thought you would have called me. What ever, I am here again. For sure we must pay very good attention. It is more ice than we thought. On some places even the walking is a challenge“, I explain, as one of few cars rushes too high at speed around the curve. To warn the driver I wave like a savage. He does not take the slightest note and roars direction of the ice surfaces on which I so big difficulties had to get on. We look at the vehicle and wait for the fact that it loses the road holding every second and falls in the gulch. He just made it without sliding above the ice surfaces. „Lucky“, I say the head shaking.

It goes past frozen waterfalls and particulate wonderful winter scenery. I would never have thought to be caught up at this season once more from the winter or that he could endanger us once more. With pleasure I would stop to shoot one or another photo, but because the snowy and icy surfaces on big distances have buried the whole asphalt under themselves we keep on driving. Meanwhile we worked ourselves up to 2,200 metres. It seems to me in such a way as if we moved on a mine field, because only one short stumbling, a wrong movement and the ice would throw one of us to the hard ground or carry us in the abyss. On top of that horror thoughts cross continually my brain, how will it probably go on when we reach to top of the mountain? „Whether can it be really ice-free over there? And what do we make, if not? How should it go on then?“ In spite of the strain the increasing cold creeps under the wet sweated clothes.Then there appear big road signs which stretch like a bridge over the mountain road.In fact shines here, 2,300 metres the sun and from the snow is, at least on this segment to see nothing more. „Looks good!“, I shout. We stop, laugh with relief, bang our right hands mutually and are happy that we reached the mountain height healthy. Then we put on our rain jackets and the thick gloves, so that we do not cool down with the downhill driving. And who would have thought it. We have unbelievable luck. Really there is on this side of the mountain no ice and snow on the road.On a 37-km-long downhill driving, wishing it comes never to an end we feel like adventurer, just escaped from a wild lion


The live reporting is supported by the firms Gesat GmbH: www.gesat.com and roda computer Ltd www.roda-computer.com The satellite phone Explorer 300 from Gesat and the rugged notebook Pegasus RP9 from Roda are the supporting columns of the transmission.

Date:
16.02.2016 to 17.02.2016

Day: 232 -233

Country:
China

Province:
Shaanxi

Town:
Ningshan

Latitude N:
33°18’39.3’’

Longitude E:
108°18’29.8’’

Daily kilometer:
53

Total kilometer:
12.184

The crow kilometer:
34.51

Average speed:
20.4 km/h

Maximum speed:
52.2 km/h

Driving time:
2:35 h

Ground quality:
Asphalt partly icy

Maximum height:
2.200 m

Complete height meter since tour start:
19.922 m

Height meter of the day:
802 m

Sunrise:
07:31 a.m. – 07:30 a.m.

Sunset:
06:30 p.m.

Temperature day max:
8 °C

Temperature day min:
minus 5 °C

Temperature night:
10 °C

Depature time:
12:00 a.m.

Arrival time:
04:30 p.m.

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