Dis­abled man com­pletes 2,800 km bike ride to Qo­molangma

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By WU YAN wuyan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

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.

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