Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Happy-slapping, Golmud style.

This bloke comes up to me, right, and starts clicking me with his mobicam.

So I'm like, right, have some of this then.


  1. That bloke looks well pleased with himself to have taken your picture. Perhaps he's an Ed spotter or with the secret police hiding in the open to avoid detection. Perhaps he likes blokes with beards especially round eyed devils!

    You might want to consider staying public places incase he comes back!

  2. Ed!

    I got a bit carried away.
    There may be a untru rumor under "gloves" about you and dog meat.




  3. Well would you believe it I wrote to Boris Johnson MP. He's got a pretty good website google him and have a look.

    Anyway told him about your cycling adventures and as he's been on the J. Ross show thought he might put a good word in for you.

    Got to dash more evil deeds need my attention

  4. Not surprised the guy's sooo happy. I'm sure he thought to himself that you are a walking Yeti, with your beard;))))

    When visiting some remote villages in Nepal a few years back, I became an instant success with kids, who were falling over themselves to pull on my beard. They just couldn't believe that people can have so much hair on their faces.

  5. Ed!

    Are you lurking in Golmud?

    I just looked,for the first time in weeks,for you somewhere else on the web.
    And I am very glad for the last question you came with!

    Since no one has answered you I give you my outdated(?) information. I`m not getting me a codename just for that so I do it here instead.

    I tried June 04 in the C. in Al. They where just closing down but would open up again permanently in January of 05.

    I got mine in As.in a few minutes after spending the previous day outside the gate in a futile wait to get in.
    For 30 days it probably cost me close to 100 for express!

    In Al. and As. they made it very clear that faxes or photocopies would not be axcepted.
    Only original.
    I got mine throug Jibek Joly or somthing like that in Al. It is in Z.something Hotel where I stayed both times paying 2.700(!) single,toilet+ TV. But Al. is a bit expensive.
    J.J. got it from Sputnik in Ir. And because I was in a hurry I had to get it by DHL. My most expensive v. ever!
    I later visited Sputnik to get my extension.

    When things started to move in As. they moved fast! In 02 I banged my head against a similar door in U.B. without getting anywhere.

    If the C.in Al.really did reopen it should not be too much of a problem as long as you have the original LOI waiting for you in Al.
    If you write an e-mail to J.J. they probably will tell you they need 2-3 weeks to be sure to get it by snailmail to Al. The price was 30-40 to them. Normal price. If you order it from U. it will be waiting for you when you arrive in Al.

    A bit odd that no one has answered you. Did you use the correct branch?

    You can get permission to X by b. in U. or K. itself.
    Not PSB but something else.
    Stubborness worked twice(both ways)but I will not recommend it! Best to get a p.

    Good luck!



  6. Golmund is slightly to the left of the arse end of beyond!

  7. Ed!

    On road 312 there might be a slight problem with wind.
    When head or side wind is so strong I hardly can make any progress walking,I just find a sheltered spot and wait and sleep untill the wind dies down.
    Sometimes it slows down at night.

    I love cycling at night,especially during fullmoon week. Even boring landscape becomes magical in moonlight.
    Road 312 is perfect for nightcycling. Hardly any drivers are drunk nor is it likely anyone would be out to rob and/or harm you.

    Once over the border drunk drivers can be a problem especially during the night.
    And about safety,well you probably remember that story as well...
    So if you want to do some nightcycling before England - now is the time.

    When I was younger I would somethimes challenge myself to see how far I would be able to cycle in 24 hours.
    No sleep just cycle,drink and eat.
    Now you are brimfull of red bloodcells and hopefully in the shape of your life.
    Needless to say it is dangerous and if you get so sleepy you can`t stay avake then off course you must stop.

    I "cheat" by using Coke or Pepsi. Warning: too much coffein will mess up the liquid balance in your body.
    And you are cycling in a desert.

    Why I would suggest something dangerous? Well you were doing something dangerous and you gave up something even more dangerous. So if danger is what you need then this is "safe" danger.
    Unless you don`t listen to your body.
    And again: once over the border drunks and others make this impossible.

    For me a 24 hours ride would normally start with a very good day of cycling and it would just be too tempting to see how far I could go. Now I`m too old. Oh no! I mean I can`t be bothered to do something like that again.
    I have several rides at around 400 km. But the record was around 425 km in Australia. Most of the rides would include a few hours of tailwind.

    But how is it with you and nightcycling? I have the impression you don`t like it. It is a bit like cycling on tracks. Bad untill you get used to it. By now you probably prefer a good track to a boring asphalt road.
    I don`t know if you carry bikelights with you. Frontlight + flashing white front and flashing red rear. If you haven`t got you should be able to get what you need in Dunhuang.
    Drivers don`t expect to see a cyclist so make sure that drowsy drivers will see you. Tie your "spaceblancet" over your top bag at the rear and hang some shiney new CD/VCD/DVD`s dangling here and there. That way drivers will see there is something they don`t want to hit with their car.
    In Urumqi I bought a 28 kuai headlamp in an ordinary shop. A similar headlamp like that should have found its way into a shop in Dunhuang as well. It got a good strobe light and easy too see at great distances. Put one at the front as well,somewhere it won`t annoy you. If you don`t have a good torch you can probably find one in Dunhuang with LED "everlasting" bulbs. They are very kind to batteries like Energizer Alkaline. Make a holder and put it on your handelbars. It must be easy to twist and turn so you can get the light beam wherever you want it to be. The light must not vibrate too much.

    For your helmet make an add-on of that thing at the front(visir or whatever it is called). I take a baseball cap and just use the plastic. But you can make it for free from no-see-through half stiff plastic junk.
    Steal some velcro from your own clothing and glue and velcro it on. The main thing is to keep out the sharp light of oncoming cars. But it also keeps out the setting sun from your eyes during the end of the day.

    When at night a car comes up behind me,I watch my own shadow in its headlights. If my shadow doesn`t move out of the road,I will. Or else I will be torpedoed by the car.
    If a car comes towards me as well and they will meet somewhere near me,I will leave the road just to be on the safe side.

    Hami is slightly off the road so I never bothered to go. They probably have a wangba and so does Turpan. Turpan is abow sealevel but 20-30 km before you will be below sealevel. Just around there it will be slightly hot. If for some odd reason you get tired off 312,there is another road via Mori to Urumqi. I haven`t taken this road jet,but there are eatingplaces near the turn off where you can ask about the roadconditions.

    Be careful on your ride from Dunhuang to Urumqi!



  8. Ed!

    I`m just visiting your blog to warn you against long and hard bikerides in the desert sun,but then I read another rumor under "gloves" and it totally sidetracked my thoughts for your safety.

    I have read it over and over again and it starts to look likely to me.
    Do you really have that kind of hunger?

    If you are going to use the money from your bestselling book to enter politics then a rumor like this is really bad news.
    OK you will get a lot of votes from the Chinese and Vietnamese community and if I had the right to vote in your country I would off cource wote for you no matter what.
    But for everyone else this will look very bad.
    You could off course say you are sorry and become a vegitarian but then you risk losing all the C/V votes.
    Do you know a "spin doctor" that can help you with this problem?

    But how did it all start? Did it start years ago or was it lately when no one would lend you money?
    And was it really this that keept you alive on the Tibetan Plateau?

    Even more important: When you are out of China this eating habit will be frowned upon. Are you sure you can stop? Or will the number of dogs in your home town be in for a steady decline as soon as you get back home?
    Maybe the best thing now is just to ignore this rumor. If you try to deny it I`m not sure people would believe you as long as you look like a wilderbeast.
    Just ignore it and by the time you get back to England it will all hopefully be forgotten.

    But you know once out on the web-it stays. So one day everything is moving along smoothly for you when some political opponent or investigating journalist will find it and everything is ruined.
    Maybe best to meet it head on now with a promise to seek professional help when you get back to England.

    That gives you the opportunity to many a delicious free meal in the next few months....

    Best of luck!


  9. where did you get the maps you used for Thailand, Laos, Yunan from? I can't find any good ones in the UK and will be doing that same leg pretty soon, but i'll be going off into Bhutan and south into Bangladesh before flying home from India.

  10. JB -

    I had a Chinese map of south-east Asia. It was fantastically vague. And in Chinese, which neither I nor the locals could read. Quite an entertaining way to travel, in fact....

    Somewhere across Vietnam I met another cyclist who had some rather better maps (?Nelles), so I got some photocopies of them.

    In Laos it doesn't really matter because there are only really about a dozen roads to choose from.

    Outside of Hanoi, the only map for sale in Vietnam was a very long, thin one covering the whole country and not much use for cycling.

    In Thailand there are proper motoring atlases etc widely available.

    In China I use the Brown Bible, a trucker's atlas that covers all of China in just about enough detail, accurate enough to get you across the country but not so accurate as to become dull....

    There are is also an increasing range of glossy European-style road atlases of China appearing in the bookshops, though whether the quality of the mapping in them is any higher than that in the Brown Bible, I doubt. Mostly it seems to be the same mapping, reproduced in larger print and brighter colours.

  11. Asmund, old buddy, listen, I know you are trying to be helpful and this is just a personality failing on my part but do you think you could maybe zippit for a little while?

    Maybe I can find a psychologist somewhere to tell me why, but there comes a point when having every single bleeding step of my existence second-guessed in public by a deranged Norwegian gets a tinsy-winsy bit irksome.

    So here's what I suggest.

    When you get out bed tomorrow morning, why not try putting your feet - which you will find dangling at the end of your hairy Norwegian legs - on the ground, shuffling them about a bit until they wind up in some shoes, tie up your shoe laces (I find that a knot-and-bow approach is best) using your fingers (remember to remove your pink gloves first) and then stand up, and walk towards your bedroom door, which, although I have never seen it, is probably to the right of your bed. If you have trouble working out which way is right, try checking to see which wrist your watch is on, if you wear a watch. Likely, right will be the other way, unless of course you wear your watch on your right wrist, which some people do, especially in Azerbaijan. Remember to turn the d.k. [door knob] b/f attempting to open the door. Walk down the hall, by placing one foot i.f.o. the other, and then repeating the exercise until you reach your f/d (front door) - though, unless you live in a bungalow or ground-floor flat, remember to take care on descending the stairs first. Go o/o the f/d, and look out into the street, glance l and r to see whether any vehicles are coming, and incidentally don't forget to breathe every few seconds at least during this whole routine, once in Ghastlistan I forgot to breathe for almost 3 weeks and as a result had to spend 17 years lying on my back in a truckers' hostel in the provincial capital of Utterleighvighl, and start walking down the pavement, looking out for potholes, flying killer whales, etc, keep going till you reach the Fishy Fish wangba, and then ask yourself one question:

    Do I Want My Own Blog?

    And if you do, go log in. I have set one up for you. It is at http://pinkgloves4ever.blogspot.com/

    You can log in at www.blogspot.com.

    Your username is: pg4ever
    Your password is: asmund99

    You can say anything you want on there. I am sure you will attract a large audience, including most of 2wheels' current readership.

    And if you don't want your own blog, just keep on walking, boy.

  12. Well put, could have been shorter!