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Biking in western China

Listed under Cycling Challenges in Chengdu, China.

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Biking in the western province of Sichuan is a world away from the hustle and bustle of eastern China. Exploring by bike allows you to get close to the people and experience the ever-changing landscape and culture at your own pace.

After leaving Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province and one of the major cultural centres of China, you can ride through lowland rice fields and the farmlands of the Sichuan Basin, then climb gently towards the Tibetan Plateau.

This region has every landscape imaginable; deep gorges, mountain passes and arid valleys and the open grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau.  The route to the plateau climbs over 4000m passes, zooms down sweeping mountain roads, passes through valley of dense bamboo forests - where panda were first discovered - and allows you to experience crisp mountain air amid soaring peaks.

You can limit your route to riding mostly on sealed roads, making it manageable for anyone with a good level of fitness. It's better if you arrange it so that distances vary every day, with a couple of 80 and 100km days leaving you feeling like you have achieved something, and some days just 30-60km to allow time to take in the culture and cuisine for which the Sichuan region is famous in one of the many roadside restaurants.

The best way to do the trip is fully supported with a guide service and vehicles there to carry your gear, provide refreshments and carry you when you feel like a break. On days off you can look around the local area where there's plenty of interest.  Stunning scenery, colourful culture, world renown cuisine and history all combine to create one of the most diverse, interesting and memorable biking destinations on the planet.

Mandy's company can help you organise your biking trip.

Written by  Mandy Richards.

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