General

Lifesavers for long MTB trips

Lifesavers for long MTB trips

Anyone know what this is and why I carry two of them for emergencies?


If you could ask 1 question to the State Oracle of Tibet..

If you could ask 1 question to the State Oracle of Tibet..

what would it be?
I need one more question for Thupten Ngodrup who is the present Chief Oracle of Tibet. I’m lucky enough to be interviewing the Dalai Lama’s right hand man tomorrow at the Festival of Tibet and wondered if anyone had any questions they would like to me to ask on their behalf, if [...]


Lock it in – 6th Feb! Great Cycling Routes of the World with Dave Turner

Lock it in – 6th Feb! Great Cycling Routes of the World with Dave Turner

Great Cycling Routes of the World with Dave Turner @ Newport Beach
Wednesday Feb 06, 2013 – 06:30:00 PM
Newport, NSW
Bhaji on the Beach Restaurant, 315A Barrenjoey Road, Newport
Price: $35.00 per ticket

We’ve got a cracker of a night lined up. I’ll be teaming up with World Expeditions to talk high altitude adventure on two wheels together with [...]


Cycling gear – at the start of a big trip

Cycling gear – at the start of a big trip

Here’s the gear I took for the 15 month trip across the Himalayas. It’s quite funny looking at the photo below compared to what I carried at the end of the trip. I’ll pop up a photo of what I finished the trip with next week!
Here’s the list (from top left to bottom right):

Sleeping bag [...]


Flow magazine publishes ‘The root of it all’.

Flow magazine publishes ‘The root of it all’.

Australia’s newest mountain bike magazine, Flow Mountain Bike, has just published an interview with yours truly! We talk about the roots of adventure cycling, advice for planning long distance off road trips and how to sweet talk remote Himalayan border security into letting you look for a place which doesn’t exist on any map.
Get your adventure [...]


She’s all finished

She’s all finished

The decals went on this morning. They were on for about an hour before she was wrapped in bubble wrap and cardboard before being popped in to the bike box bound for Nepal. Hope they make the journey – next stop Kathmandu and then on to Lhasa – woohooo!
I popped a short video on you [...]


Recycled in time for Tibet

Recycled in time for Tibet

She’ll be heading back to Tibet in two weeks and she’s still in pieces. Had a nightmare with the clear coat yesterday, it matted the frame something horrible and took me a whole day to sand back and strip. She’s going in to Favourite Cycles for her pre-trip extreme makeover in a couple of hours.
I [...]


Australian Geographic publish “Searching for Shambhala”

Australian Geographic publish “Searching for Shambhala”

Australian Geographic have done an amazing job on the story of my ride across the Himalayas in search of Shambhala. It’s featured in the current Jan/Feb issue in the shops now. The story starts where this blog left off back in August – high up on a glacier on the India/Baltistan border following a clue [...]


Slipping in to the Forbidden Land of the Gods

Slipping in to the Forbidden Land of the Gods

Day 11 of climb; Unmapped border area of Kashmir; GPS blinks – I’m at the start of ‘the‘ valley
It’s 5,100m, dark and super cold.   I’m into the second week of a tough climb; pulling, pushing and throwing my bike on ice – a lot of ice – a dirty great glacier.  I’m looking for [...]


Almost at an end..

Almost at an end..

Last week something monumental happened, I turned to the last crumpled page of
my Himalayan map!  After 12 months and goodness knows how many kilometres I’ve
finally reached the north western most point I’m crossing in to Ladakh and
Kashmir, following a river of ice.
Turning pages, for the last time
Last week, I turned to the last crumpled page [...]


..but there should be a track here, where is it?

..but there should be a track here, where is it?

“Sir, it is in the river down there sir”  Tshering, a local herder says, pointing to a gushing river 1km below with no bridge to the connecting mountain.
Brilliant.  Another dead end after 3 weeks of riding.  But all is not lost, it’s only a three day detour to get me to the other side of [...]


Snow joke – from 15 below to 40 above!

Snow joke –  from 15 below to 40 above!

In the past three weeks, Grub and I have downhilled it from 5500m to 100m above sea level and covered 1500km across Nepal and in to Uttarakhand in India – back in the foothills of the Himalaya.
This will be my 10th ascent of the Himalayas and in three weeks time I have the biggest [...]


Lhasa to Kathmandu Cycle Expedition 2011

Lhasa to Kathmandu Cycle Expedition 2011

With it’s ancient monasteries and breathtaking natural Himalayan backdrop, the Lhasa to Kathmandu ride has deservedly been on the list of most iconic cycle tours for years.
In September I’m leading a World Expeditions cycling adventure from Lhasa in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to the colourful city of Kathmandu in Nepal and I can’t wait!
This [...]


Shambhala; The Dark Side

Shambhala; The Dark Side

Over the past two months, there have been many twists in the Shambhala ride.  Each time a new piece of information is uncovered, more and more questions seem to crop up.  What has become clear is that there is a disturbingly dark side to this mythical paradise in the Himalayas.

When I started this trip, I [...]


“Mr David, shine your candle over here; I’ve found something!”

“Mr David, shine your candle over here; I’ve found something!”

A moment really can change everything.
I’m writing this in in my tent.  It’s six o’clock in the evening, the sun has just set and I’ve downed my last coconut biscuit washed down with Himalayan chilled water from a nearby stream, it might be a simple meal but at this moment I couldn’t think of a [...]


Bhutan; Putting the Adventure back in to Adventure Cycling

Bhutan; Putting the Adventure back in to Adventure Cycling

Back in the 8th century, Guru Rinpoche had a fleet of Tigresses to ride all over the Himalayas subduing demons as he went.  In 2010 we’ve got a sweet bunch of Konas to ride at a secret location 4000m above the Paro Valley.
Bhutan’s mountain bike scene is still very young but it’s a growing sport [...]


Chasing clues in the land of the Thunder Dragon

Chasing clues in the land of the Thunder Dragon

The dark barrier which separates Bhutan from India could be from the set of Lord of The Rings, it’s dark, it’s big and what lies beyond are tales of Gurus, magical Dakinis, treasure laden Beyuls and dragons of thunder – oh, and some of the best mountain biking on the planet!
Bhutan’s southern facing mountains loom [...]


Shambhala on the AG Blog

Shambhala on the AG Blog

Australian Geographic have published the first of the Searching for Shambhala stories on their Outdoor website.  I will write more updates in the new year but for now this gives a nice little intro about the project.
Here’s the link;
http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/outdoor/searching-for-shambhala-.htm


Himalayan India – jungles, mountains & a dead Lama

Himalayan India – jungles, mountains & a dead Lama

China certainly provided an impressive geoligical backdrop for what they claim is Shangri-La but now I want to delve deeper in to the story which started it all off; Shambhala.
For this, I need to head west, north west to be more precise,  to where Buddhism began and flourished with tales of dragons, crazed demonesses [...]


8kmph Police chases & border security heading west

8kmph Police chases & border security heading west

Slowest police chase ever
You’d think riding to a border crossing would be fairly straightforward.  Well, in order to save some time I thought it would be a good idea to jump onto the express way from Dali – big mistake.  I was clocking along at a good 27kmph for two hours when I heard a [...]


STOP! The road’s sliding!

STOP!  The road’s sliding!

Those were the words I shouted at 4000m up on a freshly collapsed road heading to Deqin on the Tibetan border.  Five minutes before hand Chen, Mark, Lan and I were watching the freshly fallen rocks for signs of further movement.
The rain was beating down, but at least the mist had cleared enough to see [...]


Music in the mountains

Music in the mountains

This is the ride I’ve been looking forward to the most in China, the ride to Shangri-La.  Confusingly Shangri-La is a county, a city, an old town and appears not only in Yunnan, but also Sichuan so it’s a little confusing to know where to head to.  The city of Zhongdian (or to give it [...]


You must see “The Governor”

You must see “The Governor”

I just met with Xuan Ke again, the larger than life character from Lijiang who was instrumental in the name change of Zhongdian to Shangri-La back in the late 1990s after reading a copy of Lost Horizon by James Hilton.  Xuan is half Tibetan and half Naxi (pronounced Na-Khi) and is something of a local [...]


Sichuan – the best way to see it, is to ride it.

Sichuan – the best way to see it, is to ride it.

Check out the state of my front disk brake pads. Two massive descents on the way to Daocheng at 3750 m altitude did this. Amazingly the pads just kept on going, and going for three agonising days right up until my approach to the town of Daocheng. I couldn’t believe it, it [...]