10-08 Day 90 (Shimian, China arrival)

Beautiful roads, except for dense fog


Travel FromChengdu, China
Intermediate Location 
Ending LocationShimian, China
Starting Odometer36,899
Ending Odometer37,115
Miles Driven Today216 Miles
Total Trip Mileage12572 Miles
Countries visited Today 
Countries visited on trip US, Canada, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Estonia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China

Well, I’ve finally reached the 3/4 mark for my world tour. I’ve got until the 26th of October as part of the Edelweiss Motorcycle Tour, and then it’s into Thailand to see that country in more detail.

Today’s Ride


We left the hotel at 8:00 AM, and the ride was very busy as we exited Chengdu. Chengdu is a big city, that is sprawling, and at the 54 mile mark, I saw a sign stating that the building on the side of the road was part of some Chengdu Business Park. So, you get the picture, a big city, with lots of people.

It took us about 2 hours, to travel 34 miles, to a point where we could take a quick break, and begin to think that we were outside of Chengdu.


As usual, Tom selected all of the dishes for lunch, and it was again delicious. I cannot get over how every meal seems to be as good or better than the last. These guys can really make some Chinese food, right?

After lunch, I walked out to the bike, thinking that I could take care of a few little things, and was mobbed by a horde of little old ladies, and a few younger ladies. Now, when I say old ladies, I’m talking 70+, and when I say younger ladies, I’m talking about 50, but I’m a very poor guesser for the ages of the Chinese women, and I did not dare ask them. Oh, I couldn’t ask them, I still don’t speak Chinese.

Any way, we took a little video. Enjoy

A generally uneventful day

The ride had shaped up to be a generally uneventful day, with a few exceptions. We saw the aftermath of three accidents today. One accident involved a scooter and car, as did the second accident. The third accident involved a single car, overturned on the side of the road, right in the middle of a small town. How on Earth they managed to turn the car onto their side, and put it in a ditch, in the middle of town is beyond me.

And then at about 3PM, we started to climb up the mountain.

The Mountain Pass

Over the n ext 2 hours, we crossed through 4 mountain passes, the first three, cresting at about 3500 feet, but the 4th pass was formidable indeed. This pass crested at 7800 feet, and from about 5000 feet upward, we began to experience mist, rain, and construction.

As we climbed, the mist and rain got worse. As we reached about 6700 feet, we found ourselves in fog. The fog continued, and got worse until we reached the summit at 7800 feet. To make matters worse, the road was under construction. And so, all of the sudden, as we’re riding in the fog, the entire right lane (our lane) disappeared, and there was a crater in it’s place. Imagine that the road is made out of concrete, and the forms were laid for an 18″ deep layer of concrete, but the forms were empty. What remained in its place was a hole.

Hotel Arrival

We arrived at the hotel at about 5:45. Because I no longer have to drag my panniers into my room, check-in was a breeze, and I was in the room in just a few minutes.

The hotel seems to be one of the newest buildings in this old town, but the rooms are serviceable, but not excellent. That said, after being on the road for so long, you learn to accept less, without questioning or complaining. So, the room is just fine.

Report from the road

What will tomorrow bring

Tomorrow’s route is just shy of 210 miles, but it will have at least one, very significant mountain pass. In this case, the pass rides along the ridge for quite some time, keeping us above 6000 feet for much of the ride, so colder temperatures may affect the ride.

About the Author

Cliff Musante

Cliff Musante is a technologist, business leader, motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, and more. In June, 2013 his passion for motorcycles was revitalized, and he set out to ride across Patagonia. Since then, he's logged thousands of miles, ridden across the US, and on July 10, 2019, he began a 120 day trip through Europe, and then on to Russia, China, and parts East. This 'Blog is the story of all of his adventures.


    1. Yessir Chris,
      I can’t wait to see you either. Too bad the bike will be in a shipping container by the time you arrive. Nevertheless, the mango daiquiris are on me.

    1. It’s funny how all of these ladies flock to us. It’s not just me, sad to say, but they love the whole idea of these big machines, ridden by real men, and one woman.

  1. Hey Cliff – It’s amazing that when you look at your real time tracking map you realize that you’ve traveled more than the equivalent of two round trips across the USA on a motorcycle in just a few months. You must be looking forward to resting your bones in the seat of a car for a change.

    Haha Bear is a pretty cool dude. Is he a relative of Mr. Bill?

    I’m looking forward to knocking down a few beers with you when you get back. Be safe.


    1. Doug, I love this travel, but it does take it’s toll. Specifically, while the people of China have been really wonderful, it’s a place that is very tough to accomplish even the smallest thing. But, we’ve got another week, and then I’ll be in Laos, where things will change a bit, and I’ll begin taking my anti-malarial medicine.
      Yes, it’s also hard to believe that I’ve already traveled the distance of 4 trips across the US. that’s 12,000 miles, and counting. I need a chiropractor, and a new AMG, pronto.

  2. Hey Cliff….in a post from a few days ago when you were in Chengdu, you mentioned Xi’An, but I’ve seen no post from or about your time there. I’ve searched, but to no avail. Am I missing something somewhere?

    The fog and mountain ride sounds harrowing; glad all safely through it.

    1. Hey John,
      I’m still trying to catch up, not only to the posts, but also to the comments. I’m hold up in the hotel room with food poisoning, but this gives me a great chance to stay close to the toilet, and work on the Blog. I’m working on the Terracotta Warrior videos and post now. But, even with my new trick for uploading, the speed and throughput are minimal, so it takes a very long time to upload a video. Nevertheless, I’ll get it done today, tomorrow, or the next day.

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