I'm back in the Beijing city limits. After last night's camping expedition I decided to get a cheap hotel for the night to update the blog and recover from the last two days of riding. I've done a lot of climbing, a few category 5 climbs actually, one of which I broke down and walked because I ran out of gears to shift down to. Today I had a lot of technical problems. My phone shut down whenever I tried to do a panorama picture, saying it had no charge. But it had well over 10% but not quite 20% each time there was a problem. Anyways some of the views from the country side I saw today will have to be for me and me alone. There were a lot of Wow! moments today with the views, last night as well.
I didn't sleep very well. It dipped below freezing last night and the wind was kicking up really hard. My tent did very well but my sleeping bad was not enough to keep my toes from feeling cold. I feared exiting my sleeping back this morning at 6 am. I did get up though and had climbed the mountain before 9am. I expect to sleep like a rock tonight.
From my camping spot I could walk 50 meters up a hill to look down on a little mountain town. I saw more stars last night that I have ever seen in my time here in China. The air was so easy to breath as well, but I kept a mask on to keep warm. For the first time I rode without my feet feeling cold due to some nice wool socks I bought at Decathlon the day before. Considering how much equipment I bought from them, Decathlon should be this trip's sponsor. My bike polo friends took notice of that on Sunday.
I got into Beijing and found that my rack broke again. This time the other side. This has become very frustrating. I've now changed my setup due to the break. I'm carrying more weight on my own back, my computer, iPad and solar charger. These are the heaviest items I am carrying. I've bought a different rack that is similar in design to the name brand racks suggested to me by my frame builder. Its no Tubus, but it'll get me to Shanghai I hope. I've also shifted the weight on the rack as far forward as I can so that the weight is as straight down as possible. To help out even more I went to Decathlon to have my wheels trued and my break pads adjusted. The bike rides so much better after truing the wheel and changing the rack. But I am carrying an uncomfortable back pack around and I slow down to a crawl whenever I see a bumpy road ahead.
I think the brazons have failed for a few reasons but the one thing I can do better is adjust the weight and stop immediately if there is any wobble in the bike.
I've decided not to do a "Timelapse across China." I don't have the right hardware to make such a video. Instead I'm going to do shorter time lapses of interesting rides and post those as videos. I'd like to get Timelapse Live to handle pictures to be taken when I want them to be taken but not necessarily automatically at a set interval. I've passed so many interesting things that the automatic photo missed because of the timing. I hope I can find a way to use the volume control as a method to take a picture. That way I can be listening to music and take pictures at the same time.
Power has become and issue. Keeping the iPhone on while using GPS and taking pictures is a major power hog, even if I disable the camera when it is not in use. I can't generate enough power with my solar panel to keep it alive either. I'm going to be riding into the sun for most of the trip now so its awkward to place the panel at the right angle (apparent on my head would be the best solution). So I'll be stoping more now to take quick photos and post them here automatically. The project hosted on Github should show those changes shortly.
Here is a Map My Ride of my trip today.
Theres a lot more to come from today's ride. I've got 4 amazing Timelapses ready to edit and upload to Youtube.