Linfield professor bikes on rooftop of the world

Cecilia Tang, visiting scholar of Chinese, spent her summer embarking on a 19-day adventure with a friend, exploring places such as Tibet, Nepal and Beijing, China. Photo courtesy of Cecilia Tang

While most people spend their summer relaxing, one Linfield professor traveled across Tibet and Nepal by bicycle.

Cecilia Tang, visiting scholar of Chinese, made a 19-day trek, starting July 4 from Tibet to Nepal with a friend. Taking a train from Beijing, China to Lhasa, Tibet, they started their journey with the goal of reaching the base camp of Mt. Everest.

Before leaving, Tang and her friend Han Jiang “did their homework.” They figured out where they would stay each night, where they would shop and where they would eat before embarking on the trip. Tang said the two also bought used bikes, “because the new ones get stolen often.”

Tang’s journey was rocky at times after an unexpected injury.

“Before going, I was playing badminton, and I hurt my ankle,” Tang said. “I was in bed for a month.”

Once on their journey, Tang realized how much more experience Jiang had than she did when she fell behind on the first part of the trip. Stopping in the road, a tractor with two men in it asked if she needed a ride. Despite a language barrier between Tang and the two men, she understood and took them up on their offer.

“It was the only time I got a ride during the trip,” Tang said, only to realize that she had also taken the train to catch up to her friend.

Finally catching up to her friend, they met with some other bicyclists and traveled with them for some time.

Along the way, Tang stayed in hostels.

“There were six of us at one time, and it only cost us $10 to stay for all of us,” Tang said.

While Tang was a beginner in long distance biking, she said that there weren’t too many days that were difficult.

“There were only three really hard days,” Tang said. “During the rest of the time, we traveled on flatter roads.”

Upon her arrival in Nepal and Tibet, Tang said that things were different from China. After experiencing new foods and culture, Tang described both as beautiful.

Tang also talked about other routes that she would suggest traveling. These included bike trips to Qinghai Lake, Sichuan to Xinjiang, and a city tour of Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou.

Tang plans to take another bike trip during the summer of 2012 in east Asia, including Vietnam and Malaysia.

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Kaylyn Peterson/
Sports editor

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