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A pedal power trip to world's highest mountain

China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-08-20 10:50

YINCHUAN-When he finally arrived at the base camp of Mount Qomolangma, also known as Mount Everest in the West, in the Tibet autonomous region last week, Fu Qisheng couldn't hold back his tears and took photos with his black bike in front of the mountain.

"Mount Qomolangma is not only lofty and grand, and I feel so pleased with my decision to ride all the way here," says Fu, who has just returned to Lhasa and is resting there.

Fu, 60, is a resident of Yinchuan, capital city of Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region. He has been a cycling enthusiast for many years, but in the past he could only ride to work or travel by bike on weekends and public holidays. In 2019, he retired and has since been able to dedicate more time to cycling.

"I've probably cycled around 10,000 kilometers per year these past three years. Riding the bike not only gave me chance to see the beautiful rivers and mountains around China, but also build up my body," he says.

It has always been Fu's dream to go to Lhasa by bike. After over half a year of preparation, on May 22, he bid his family and friends adieu, and set off.

"I rode up to more than 100 km per day, and along the way I had encountered rain, fog and wind, which made me very tired sometimes," he says.

It took Fu 82 days to get to Mount Qomolangma, cycling a total of 5,600 km, passing through six provinces and regions, such as Gansu, Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet.

The biggest difficulty is climbing mountains at a high altitude. "There is a severe lack of oxygen, which can make anyone struggle and even collapse," Fu says.

Fu believes it was his scientific approach to training and preparation that enabled him to overcome those difficulties and reach his destination.

Starting in October last year, as well as cycling, Fu would run several kilometers every week. By the end of April, he was running 15 km four times a week. "You can never succeed without good preparation," he says.

During the ride, Fu posted what he saw and heard on social media and attracted many followers.

"My family, friends and cyclists from all over the country all gave me great encouragement and support. Without them, I might not have finished," says Fu.

For the future, Fu has many more plans. "Cycling has become an indispensable part of my life, and I will continue riding every year and try to realize my dream of riding around China," he says.


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