Hangzhou: Rapha Worldwide Challenge

This is just a quick posting to let everyone know that I am starting up my training again after almost a whole month off the bike!  The training will begin with a bang, taking on the Rapha Festive 500 Challenge that many people around the world are taking part in.  It has inspired me to clock up the miles and also documenting what China has to offer cyclists along the way.  The goal is to reach 500km over the next 7 days, but,  knowing me, I will shoot for higher.  So anything close to 1000kms will be on my mind while I do these epic rides in the dead of China’s winter!  Wish me luck!

The unspoilt beauty of Moganshan in late autumn

The first day destination is Moganshan, a beautiful oasis of forest and mountains lying 65km North-west of Hangzhou. I did this ride from Hangzhou back in October (this was when I took the above photo) and clocked up 180kms for that day.   Don’t think I will clock that many miles as I was lost for a bit and I will strive to get quality miles without traffic (so will take 40min bus ride out to Moganshan Village).  I plan to meet up with Mark Kitto, a legend in the area who owns Moganshan Lodge. He is an avid cyclist himself and he is going to show me some great routes in this area. The weather forecast for tomorrow is looking good: sunny and not too cold.  But after tomorrow, it looks like the weather is closing in with snow and minus temperatures.  This will be mentally challenging as I don’t particularly enjoy riding in sub-zero temperatures!  I will have a mixture of gear from different brands (as I don’t yet have a complete set from one), including Champion System, Pearl Izumi, Skins and Merino wool… and, oh yeah, I will be on Velocite’s new 2011 Magnus Prototype.  Velocite is a company that is going places and they recently won an Entrepreneurship Award in Taiwan for innovation and business excellence!  It will be the first rigorous test this Magnus ‘Dark Horse’ will undergo…

The Dark Horse I will be on for my Epic journeys...

I tried to get my polar heart rate monitor going again, but after going to several places here in Hangzhou, I was unable to find the correct battery. My Powertap computer is also low on battery power… so do not have anything concrete to prove my mileage! However, I will try to use my mobile phone and Mapmytracks program on it to track the riding I do in Moganshan. If this fails, you will just have the verification of my mate’s computer and the photo documentary that you will enjoy in my next posting!