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Asia > China > Chengdu > Useful Info
Submitted on Sep 07, 2020 Useful Info

How to Prepare Sichuan-Tibet Cycling and Mountain Hiking

The complete cycling and hiking experience through the mountains from Chengdu Sichuan to Lhasa of Tibet.

The world is so big, I want to see, how much heart was moved by this sentence back then? Cycling has become a choice of many people, not only for the scenery on the road, but also for a special trip and a good memory. Today I want to recommend everyone the most beautiful landscape avenue in China: Sichuan-Tibet Line! Thanks to China Adventure Club for the information! China Adventure Club offers hiking and cycling across China from the Great Wall to Tibet.


The most beautiful landscape avenue-Sichuan-Tibet line

The Sichuan-Tibet line is actually along the 318 National Highway from Chengdu, Sichuan to Lhasa in Tibet, so it is also called the 318 Sichuan-Tibet line. The 318 National Road starts from Shanghai and ends at the Tibet Friendship Bridge, with a total length of 5,476 kilometers, and a total length of 2,142 kilometers from Chengdu to Lhasa. It is the longest national highway in China. 318 South Sichuan-Tibet Line was officially opened to traffic in 1958. The southern route starts from Ya'an and separates from National Highway 108, crosses Erlang Mountain to the west, passes through Kangding, Yajiang, Litang, Batang, and crosses Zhubalong Jinsha River Bridge into Tibet, and then passes through Mangkang, Zuogong, Bangda, and Basu , Ranwu, Bomi, Nyingchi, Mozhugongka, Dazi arrived in Lhasa.


318 South Sichuan-Tibet Line is at 30 degrees north latitude and is known as "China's most beautiful landscape avenue." Plains, mountains, canyons, rivers, grasslands, glaciers, rivers, canyons, forests, wildflowers, seas, snow-capped mountains, lakes, hot springs, residential buildings and other very different sceneries are extremely beautiful and within reach. On the way, you will climb more than 10 large mountains with an altitude of more than 4,000 meters, and cross the Dadu River, Yalong River, Jinsha River, Lancang River, Nujiang River and many other rivers. Diverse residential, national culture, national customs, independent languages and even beliefs will let you immerse yourself in a colorful national cultural corridor. Although the journey is difficult and dangerous, the beautiful snow-capped peaks, magnificent canyons, and mountains are undulating, criss-crossing, with vast forests and seas and forests. Because of this, Sichuan and Tibet have become a holy place in the hearts of many riders, and even a place where they must check in in this life.

User submitted photo of Chengdu

Many riders who have ridden said that from the moment you set off, they begin to interpret the beauty that you will never forget. Each mountain has different scenery and humanities. On the Sichuan-Tibet line, you can enjoy all the beautiful scenery in the world.


In theory, every season is worth riding in Tibet, because every season has different scenery and it is beautiful all year round. December to March is the driest time, the plateau is a unique bleak beauty, April to June is the spring of Tibet, everything recovers. July-August is the peak of entering Tibet, but this is also the rainy season in Tibet. It rains often and there are many landslides and mudslides. September to November is the golden season for traveling in Tibet, with stable weather, magnificent scenery, not cold, not hot, few people, and no traffic jams. However, the most suitable time for riding the Sichuan-Tibet line is May, June, September and October each year due to factors such as comprehensive climate, supply and rest along the road.


After all, the Sichuan-Tibet line is far away, and there is still a big gap between the catering and accommodation along the road and the cities in the mainland. You must do your homework in advance and be prepared. In addition, there are many mountains over 4,000 to climb along the way. You must make adequate preparations before departure, both in terms of physical fitness and equipment. In addition, the plateau climate changes a lot, the temperature difference between morning and evening is large, the ultraviolet rays are strong, and so on. People who have been there say that the body is in hell and the eyes are in heaven. However, preparing enough homework can always avoid unnecessary troubles and make the journey smoother. Next, let’s talk about the Sichuan-Tibet line.


User submitted photo of Chengdu


Personal Equipment


Accompanying personal equipment, even if it’s summer vacation, in view of the large temperature difference between day and night in Tibetan areas, consider bringing windproof fleece riding long sleeves, trousers (autumn/winter) or breathable and warm cycling clothes and cycling pants; if you plan to wear riding If you have short-sleeved shorts, if you have the conditions, you should wear outdoor shoes that keep you warm. Remember not to wear new shoes. You can prepare in advance and wear it many times in the practice before departure to prepare for the break-in; the magic headband has a few more windproofs Dust-proof and sun-proof; you should also bring sunscreen, and it is estimated that there is no condition to reapply it along the way. It is recommended to buy SPF50+; finger gloves should not only bring half-finger gloves, but also full-finger gloves; raincoats are required in summer Keep it, if the camel bag is not waterproof, remember to wear a rain cover; not to mention the helmet is life-saving.


User submitted photo of Chengdu


Other items


It is recommended to bring a small travel speaker that can be mounted on the car faucet or hung on the bag, especially when riding alone, a little music can relieve the loneliness of the journey. Power banks can provide electricity for mobile phones and other electronic products. Remember to fully charge it every day when you stay in. A few batteries are also available. Medicines to prevent and treat gastrointestinal discomfort, cold medicines and anti-inflammatory drugs, appropriate amounts of gauze, iodine, and Yunnan Baiyao should also be prepared for emergency needs.


Preparation before departure


Physical reserve

The Sichuan-Tibet line is not only long and complicated, but you can’t really just go as it is. You must prepare for your physical fitness in advance. If you usually ride a bike frequently and you have experienced short- and medium-distance distances, then you should go ahead. 8 weeks, riding 5 days a week, one day off, one day to go to the gym or follow fitness apps such as keep to do physical fitness training. Among them, the one that zips once a day for a long distance of 100+ kilometers on two days on weekends will be halved in the second day of training. On the one hand, you can experience the long-distance conditions you will encounter, and on the other hand, it also gives your body the memory of long-term exercise. The remaining three days of training will conflict with work and study, so you should arrange your own time reasonably. Try not to be less than 1 hour at a time for training during the working day. It is more appropriate to control it at 90 minutes.


At the same time, warm-up and stretching must be done before and after exercise. Don’t just ignore it because you don’t have enough time. If the time is too tight and you don’t want to reduce your exercise time, you can take advantage of the lunch break at work for a good stretch, or Before going to bed, use foam rollers to help the body stretch and recover. Training is very important, but not getting hurt is king. If you seldom ride a bicycle and do not experience more than 1 hour in normal cycling, then the training should be advanced to at least 12-16 weeks, no matter whether you are riding in a group or having a veteran rider to take you, you are not on the road. People can ride for you for one minute. Others can accompany you but not for you. In order to be more enjoyable to ride, avoid repeated conditions during the ride. Don’t ignore physical training.


High altitude riding is a long-distance journey, and usual endurance and strength training is also very important. Arrange a day a week to combine running and strength to practice to increase your aerobic endurance, explosive power, acuity and flexibility, and be more prepared. One more guarantee on the road.


Skill reserve


Tibet is still different from cities in the interior, with unique cultural history and geography. Before setting off, read more books and documentaries about Tibet to learn about the history, humanities and geographical scenery behind Tibet. Help yourself to better understand Tibet to approach a more real Tibet. At the same time, let yourself understand the customs and habits of Tibet, and avoid taboos when going to the countryside. Some specific basic precautions will be put forward below, please take out a small book and record it.


The ability to repair a car should also be trained before departure. The most common problems with the car on the road are 1. tire repair and tire replacement, 2. adjusting the transmission, and 3. adjusting the brakes. Learning to make up bad tires quickly can save you a lot of time. Or correctly judge whether the inner tube needs to be replaced, and learn to change it skillfully. And when you encounter transmission and brake problems on the road, you can adjust it yourself without the hands of others. Even if you have a companion with these skills, you need to find a car friend or ask a professional car shop technician for advice before you go to practice and master them. Otherwise, it’s too late to cry before the village and the shop.


If you start by cycling when you start, you must go to a professional car shop to do a thorough maintenance of your car, and inform the car shop technician about your long-distance appeal to keep the car's performance in the best condition. You can also learn a few practical school bus maintenance skills from the car shop technician.


If you need to disassemble and pack your car for freight or take it with you to Chengdu before setting off, then you can find a local car shop and set it up before setting off. If you are accompanied by a skilled rider, congratulations Saved a fortune. Pack and send freight or pack and carry with you to carry trains and airplanes. If you pack and disassemble correctly, you can consult a knowledgeable rider around you. I won’t repeat them here.


Matters needing attention during your Tibet adventure


1. The Tibetans stick their tongue out to show respect, and putting their hands together is a kind of etiquette.

2. When you go to Tibetan tents and rooms, and Tibetan temples, remember not to step on the threshold.

3. When drinking butter tea, when the host holds his hands in front of him, he must take it and drink it with both hands. Receive gifts with both hands, and bend and raise your head when giving gifts.

4. Don't touch the top of others' heads with your hands.

5. Tibetans taboo to kill. Although they eat beef and mutton, they do not slaughter them by themselves. Tibetans absolutely forbid the eating of donkey, horse and dog meat. Most areas do not eat fish, so be careful.

6. Although celestial burials are more common in Tibet, there are many taboos, including those who are not allowed to watch. Don't join in the fun out of curiosity.

7. When talking with monks, you should not mention killings, marriages, eating fishy meat, etc., so as not to arouse people's disgust.

8. Do not smoke, make loud noises, make comments, ridicule, walk around or move things in the temple when you visit the temple, and especially forbid messing with gods. If you encounter Buddhist events, you should stand silently or leave quietly. For religious objects such as amulets and prayer beads worn by lamas, they are not allowed to touch them without permission.

9. Don't cross the ritual implement or brazier; turn clockwise when turning the warp or turning wheel.

10. The prayer flags, hada, and scriptures on the top of the mountain are strictly prohibited to step on. When crossing the Fengma flag, please raise the flag rope above your head with your hands.

11. Taboo to point at Buddha statues, thangkas, scriptures, murals, temples, etc. with your hands. Please stretch out your right hand with your palm facing up and pointing flat to show respect.

12. Respect the customs and living habits of the people in Tibetan areas, care for the plants and trees on the road, don't pick them at will, don't throw rubbish everywhere, and everyone is responsible for caring for the environment. Stay away from the wild animals on the road and watch them from a distance. Be careful to avoid stray dogs. Don't try to ride hard to get rid of them. This will stimulate them to chase more wildly.


User submitted photo of Chengdu


China Adventure Club

China Adventure Club is a division of the famous Great Wall Adventure Club. It has adventure cycling and mountain hiking programs from the Great Wall to Sichuan and Tibet.

Please check the China biking programs on its Website.