My name's Mark and I'm London based, I booked up on this trip a few weeks ago and I can't wait!
Think I've got a lot of preparation to do before this trip, but just a perfect excuse for going for some more long rides and buying myself some new kit! Just wondering how cold it is going to get, as I've never been anywhere in this kind of altitude, or part of the world before?
Never been to Tibet in September, but in Nepal it got very cold when the sun set (or hid behind a mountain). In April 2010 (my previous Tibet trip) it got down to about -10C overnight (worst case) at 5200m, I had thermal top + t-shirt when the sun was out during the day. From memory, Lhasa is amazing, Tingri is dusty, Nyalam is cold and Zangmu is damp... and Kathmanud is just crazy. I love the place!
I am still undecided about my layering for when I'm cycling, but a decent down jacket for post-riding is a definate (you can buy them in Kathmandu).
4 1/2 months to go ;-)
Hiya Helen and Mark,
Very pleased to be in touch with you both. I have also booked on this trip with a friend of mine that I met on a previous Exodus trip. I am travelling from Sheffield and he is travelling from Canada. It should be fantastic, I cannot wait for it to start.
Welcome to our discussion John. What other trips have you done - this is my first cycling trip, so I'm a bit apprehensive about all those long days in the saddle.
Looking forward to meeting your Canadian friend - another friend of mine has got me interested in cycling the Tour du Canada in the future.
I'm travelling out a day early to spend a bit more time in Kathmandu - so I will be seeing you all at the hotel (or Rum Doodles).
This will be my 4th trip with Exodus. In the past I have trekked up to base camp on the Nepalese side. The other two trips have both been biking ones. In 2010 I did the Indochina trip and last year I biked across Rajasthan.
I know what you mean about the long days in the saddle, on the previous cycling trips, we did had plenty of breaks so we should be ok. I'm kind of wondering about biking in such thin air, I remember what it was like walking at that altitude so biking at 5200mtrs could be very hard work ( but fun ). I would imagine we'll have to drink quite alot of water aswell.
I noticed you have done Mera. I am planning to do Mera and Island peak next year so I may ask you for some advise as time goes on.
Speak soon, John
I am also booked onto this trip with my pal John. We are taking some time out to cycle various parts of the globe. The Lhasa to Kathmandhu section is part of our journey and one i'm really looking forward to....
We head off in July and will be joining you in Kathmandhu.... I sense we may need to get extra clothing for this part of the journey when we arrive as we will have been limited by our panniers ... still trying to determine how much chamois cream we can carry and how long it will last!!
It's my third exodus trip - have done vietnam and sri lanka biking ones before....
I meant to say that in last email.... if you want to get out on any rides then drop me a note!
Wow, when I first posted the response I didn't expect so many people to join the discussion - I'm sure I'll remember your names easier when we finally all meet up.
Nao - a training ride in/around Edinburgh sounds great. Not sure how to send you a private message to arrange this (I don't put my personal emails on open forums) - but I'll find a way.
you can email me on naomi at bikemind.co.uk
This is my first trip with Exodus, and it's comforting to see so many of you coming back and doing further trips with them, they're obviously doing something right!
My training has only really recently begun, whilst I consider myself to be a relatively active person, I'm no where near in a position to really take advantage of this adventure! I'm trying to ride into work 2-3 times a week, 16 miles round trip and then a longer 40-50mile ride on the weekend with 30-90mins runs in between. Got several other demanding events coming this year so my training will start to tailor towards them as they come up, I can't wait!
Main thing now is not to injure myself during the training :S
Hello fellow bikers
Looking forward to the Lhasa trip. Have just got back from an Exodus cycling trip around Cuba and although that trip was hot and moderate rated, I would definitely recommend taking some electrolyte tablets or powder and energy bars and gels to Tibet. Jelly babies also work well for a burst of energy when you're flagging!
Just heard about the new rules from the Chinese about nationalities on group visas (min 5 of the same nationality). Hope no one is affected.
In addition to Marina's comment about bars/gels - I can recommend Maximuscle chocolate flapjack! Mmmmmm.
Just got word from my Canadian friend, Exodus have cancelled his trip because of the changes to the visa rules. I think somebody else from Canada has had there's cancelled too. It sounds like the visa rules change fairly frequently. Quite a surprise and very dissapointing.
Oh that's horrible - after all the training and preparation, and looking forward to the trip. I do hope your Canadian friend manages to rebook and gets to do the trip with a different group.
I wondered if anybody is taking any means of water purification with them. I have spoken twice with Exodus about and one person said to take some and the other said not to bother. Not sure what to do, if we have to take it with us it could ammount to alot of water purification tablets. I also asked about the local chef who travels with the group for a cost of $400 but have not as yet had a reply back. Anybody have any thoughts on this issue.
The trip notes do say that the local chef provides all our drinking water - so I presume he treats/boils it all. There are several towns that we'll pass through where you could buy bottled water - though last time I was in Tibet one of my fellow travellers manager to get a bottle with a fake seal and ended up with Hep-E.... Personally I think if I had to buy liquids I'd be buying coke/fanta, which would at least be flat if it had been tampered with (and will give me extra sugar for energy).
Has anyone thought about energy bars/gels - how many am I likely to need (per day say)?
Also - I'm doing a post-trip extension to Chitwan... anyone else going?
I will ring up Exodus again and see if there is an update on the local chef who travels with the group. I might get some energy bars from our local bike shop but for 14 days cycling it would mean taking alot of them, so I might just take a few for emergencies. On the previous cycling trips I've done they provided all the snacks and drinks at rest stops on route. I'm not doing the Chitwan extension.
Seems a bit touch and go, looks like I will be dilligently watching my inbox and the news channels for updates on what's going on in Tibet...
I hope this all goes ahead, I've been so excited for it, and with only 2 1/2 months left to go!
It doesn't look good does it. I rang exodus and they have cancelled alot of holidays. I suppose we will find out for sure on July 7th as that is the balance payment date. I am hopeful.
I did e-mail someone about the water situation and he said that all water will be provided by the local tour guides and operator's in Tibet, it is included in the $400 for food and water which is collected locally. He said there is no need to take any water purification.
Thanks for that update John, looks like it's just a fingers crossed until the 7th July.
And good to hear about the water, at least it's something we don't need to worry about! Can't think of much worse than trying to cycle 100km a day with a dickie stomach...
The Visa situation is really confusing, check this out http://www.thelandofsnows.com/tibet-travel-update/. It looks like tourist visas will start to be issued again from Wednesday.... but not to UK passport holders! Also Everest BC will remain closed to all.
But hopefully this is just the start of things getting back to normal - keeping my fingers crossed.
To add to what Helen said, I found the following:
Explore Tibet Team, June 14th, 2012
So that's hopefully reinforcing the point. Still holding out.
Thanks for the update on the visa situation, I agree it does look very confusing. Not sure what to think. If it is still touch and go at the time of paying the balance, I may cancel. I wouldn't want to think that I was travelling all that way and then be stopped at the border and not allowed in.
Hopefully Exodus will come up with a definative answer.
I'm certainly up for the travelling chef - hopefully this will guarantee a varied diet and more importantly hygenic conditions for both cooking and eating (and the supplied treated/boiled water).
Spoke to Exodus yesterday. Situation is changing daily wrt Visas/Permits - but nothing positive to report as yet. We should get some offical correspondance sometime during the coming week - I guess it is decision time on whether the trip goes ahead.
I can't do August - I'm looking at Vietnam in October.
I had a phonecall earlier - so I'm sure you'll get one as they work their way down the list of names. I'm willing to hold on a couple of weeks, but after that I'd have to cancel. I suspect I will rebook for next year and hope it goes ahead then.
Hi All, I am waiting for the cancellation call, have spoke recently with Exodus and discussed options. I have reserved a place on the Nothern India cycling trip on 9th Nov just incase they cancel, sounds like they will. They did ask me if I would hold for two weeks - trouble is, there is no guarrentee that the border will stay open for the next 8 weeks, so I probably won't hold on.
If any of you decide to go on any cycling trips in the future send me an e-mail and I will see if I can go, it would have been good to meet you all. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
I've been to the Himalayas a few times and specifically want to do this trip - so I'm prepared to wait until it happens rather than doing a different Himalaya trip. I have a few treks and cycles on my "to do" list so I will just start ticking them off in the meantime.... first is likely to be the Vietnam Cycle (MOV) trip in October.
Thanks to you all for your correspondance over the past few months - I''m genuinely disappointed to not be meeting you.... it was likely to be the first trip I've ever done where I would remember people's names! Good luck in your chosen alternative trips.
It took weeks of hunting for me to find and settle on this one, so I'm massively keen to hold out as long as possible.
If I understand it correctly, even though they restricted down the Visas, they still permitted groups of 5 or more people from the same country. At which, travelling on a British passport, Exodus have informed me that there are enough British people travelling that this should reduce the risk.
So if you can travel on a British passport that should help, should they change the policy again.
Also, comment from Exodus is that this is a passing stance similar to a situation they had in mainland Chaina during the Olympics, so chances are still strong.
My husband and I did this ride in 2010. No regrets.....absolutely amazing people, scenery, and challenging ride. If you are fortunate to have Kumar, a Nepalee as your lead guide you will be cared for beyond description.
Do not worry about the water as safe drinking water is provided for your entire trip.
If arriving early get bottled water at the local markets as it's about 5% the cost of that in the hotel.
Above all, pace yourself and take time to enjoy high 5ing the kids and taking in the amazing scenery.
We're off to Mongolia with Exodus this week.
Renee' and Steve,
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