Disabled man completes 2,800 km bike ride to Qomolangma
A one-legged man cycled 2,800 kilometers and crossed 21 mountains more than 3,000 meters high to reach the base camp on Qomolangma, also known as Mount Everest in the West, at an altitude of 5,200 meters above sea level, said online portal zynews.
The Sichuan-Tibet cycling lane, which combines beautiful scenery with treacherous conditions, is famous for its difficulty, said 27-year-old Sun Youzhi, speaking about his trip on Aug 8. The lane includes snow-capped mountains, age-old forests and torrential rivers.
“I made preparations before starting the journey, but I was still worried that I would not reach my destination,” Sun said. “I can draw this cycling dream to its conclusion now.”
Sun Youzhi, a native of Miaogu village in Huixian county, Central China’s Henan province, had his left leg amputated after an accident in 2009, when he was a freshman.
After the accident, Sun became depressed because he was forced to take a year out of school. His depression was later reinforced by repeated rejections when he sought a job after graduation in 2013.
He told himself: “I am still young and I can’t give up on myself”, and decided to travel alone to border regions such as the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Heilongjiang province. While in Southwest China’s Yunnan province, he met a disabled cyclist, whose story moved Sun and prompted him to take up cycling.
In his first real challenge two years ago, Sun spent more than a month riding 2,000 km from his hometown to Hainan, the country’s southernmost province, covering more than 100 km a day.
He had many difficulties to overcome along the way, including flat tires, the loss of his bike and torrential rains. However, he overcame the problems with his then cycling companion, who is now his wife.
“Cycling was addictive. It helped me to regain the excitement of running and my love of life,” he said.
During his latest journey on July 5, Sun led a team of more than 20 amateur cyclists along the Sichuan-Tibet Highway from Chengdu, capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan province.
Most of his co-riders quit halfway because of the harsh roads and poor weather. Only four arrived in Lhasa, including Sun, though he felt unwell and had a bad cough.
The situation became even more difficult on Aug 3. One companion’s bike was damaged, so he chose to take a bus to the destination. Sun and the two remaining team members rode 100 km upward on Mila Mountain at an altitude of more than 5,000 meters above sea level, and still had other mountains to climb when their tires were punctured.
Sun said the team encountered a variety of conditions along the way. Sometimes the road was too narrow to accommodate many vehicles and they rode on, despite their fear of potential accidents.
“I felt that I had cycled uphill all theway, and I was even more tired because I was only using one leg,” Sun said. During the journey, each member spent about 100 yuan ($15) a day on food and lodgings.
On Aug 6, having covered 2,800 km and crossed 21 mountains, the team finally arrived at Qomolangma Base Camp in the Tibet autonomous region.
Sun and his wife now run two hostels, one in Hulunbuir in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and the other in Haikou, Hainan province. He said he now wants to undertake a long journey every year, and when his 9-month-old daughter grows up, he plans to take her and his wife on trips around the world.
“To challenge myself, to challenge life, to challenge the limits, and prove that nothing is impossible with a willing mind. I want to be a role model formy daughter,” he said.
Sun with his wife and daughter.
Sun Youzhi at the base camp of Mount Qomolangma at an altitude of 5,200 meters above sea level in Tibet autonomous region on Aug 6.