Chengde Crank-a-thon

Ride Report.

A few weekends back 17 of us left Chengde in Hebei for the 200+ km ride back to Huairou in Beijing. Thanks to 60km of construction road this journey ended up being one of the most difficult and epic rides any of us had undertaken.


We drove up on Friday night and stayed in a hotel in Chengde.

We drove up on Friday night and stayed in a hotel in Chengde.


10 something flat tyres, a few wrong turns and a slow grind up the final climb made it a very tough ride. The fast group took some 9 hours to complete the ride and others took up to 12 hours. The most amazing story of the day were the awesome girls that rode through the construction mess to the lunch meeting point and then onto the final destination to complete 150km for the day without a single complaint ! I think it was the first time that many of them ridden past 100km let alone 150km with heat, bad roads and some climbing so chapeau to the girls !

Construction, construction and more construction.

Construction, construction and more construction.


The girls powering through the rough stuff.

The girls powering through the rough stuff.



The post ride BBQ was a sight to behold.  Not many words were spoken as the weary riders rolled in. I heard a few expletives mentioned after my name when the route was mentioned so I was concerned for my well being. However after some gourmet sausages, a ice cold can of coke and recovery banana smoothies smiles started to appear on faces and stories of the day came out.


The holy grail. A cold can of coke at the end of an epic ride.

The holy grail. A cold can of coke at the end of an epic ride.


All in all an excellent day on the bike which will be long remembered. Since then I’ve been scheming up new difficult rides so keep an eye out for an announcement soon.

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Below is the info on the ride just in case you would like to replicate it yourself.


As most of you know Beijing is surround on three sides by mountains. Having explored most of the rides within 100km of the city we are keen to go further out and explore some new routes and create some epic rides.


The first of these will take place on May 31st (the first day of the Dragon Boat Holiday) and will be a 210 km crank-a-thon from Chendge to Huairou.


Come and challenge yourself to ride a double century. We’ll have a support car, plenty of words of encouragement and most importantly a delicious BBQ waiting for you at the mountain house in Huairou as soon as you step off the bike.


We are really looking forward to the  journey and the camaraderie that epic rides inspire.


We will have a fast group and a slow group. Based on the Gran Fondo ride we did in Fangshan a few weeks back the fastest we could do it in would be around 7 hours. I expect that the slower group should be able to do it in under 10 hours.



The timeline is proposed as follows ;


Friday evening May 30th


19.00 Depart Beijing from Serk workshop at YongheJia Yuan (next to Ditan Park)

22.00 Arrive Chengde Hotel




8.00 Slow Group Depart Chengde

10.00 Fast Group Depart Chengde

13.00 Lunch stop at 100km point

17.30 Fast Group arrive Wudaohe Village Huairou

18.30 Slow Group arrive Wudaohe Village Huairou

19.00 BBQ and beer and back slapping

21.00 Back to Beijing with the support van (or overnight stay and ride again on Sunday at our Cycling Escape)




Some people would prefer to go up on Saturday morning. Its about a 3 hour trip so I think it is fine for those that are riding the fast group. Those who are riding the slow group will need to go up the night before so they can start early and ensure there is plenty of light at the end of the ride. If you would like to ride the fast group and go up on Saturday morning (6.30 am depart) please let me know and I’ll see how it works logistically.



Costs ;


Hotel Friday Night 300 RMB Appox

Transport for you and bike, support vehicle, BBQ and beers in Wudaohe. 650 RMB




Options ;


You could stay the night in Wudaohe and attend our Cycling Escape the following day. If you are interested in an overnight stay in Wudaohe let us know.



The ride ;



After some suggestions I’ll probably change the route slightly to make it a bit more scenic. I expect about 2000 m of climbing.

Please make sure that you are fit enough to complete the ride before signing up. You don’t need to be ultra fast but you should have some cycling fitness. If you have been riding regularly for the past couple of weeks you should be fine. If this is only your second ride of the year you might want to give it a miss.


The support van will follow behind the slow group – if you are struggling then you have the luxury to get in and call it a day. The fast group should overtake the slow group at the 100km point and if anyone has any issues after that they can wait for the support van.




So please let me know if you are definitely in. I’ll limit the number to 12 riders so we can all fit into one van – so first come first served.