last updated in August 8, 2019
ince my first cycling experience started five years ago, I have been fascinated with this extraordinary sport that can travel in the most intimate perspective, while challenging the limits of oneself. In fact, I didn’t have any long-distance cycling experience before the first trip in 2014 — It was when I was 19 years old, who was adhering to the spirit of “new born calves are not afraid of tigers”. Our three-person team (along with university classmates Pang Cong and Wu Rui), dressed in casual clothes, departed from Faculty of Engineering of Wuhan University on the morning of August 10, 2014 — The maximum temperature of the day is 37 degrees Celsius. After most of bared body was tanned, as well the skin has been sunburned and peeled, we arrived at the first stop of the long-distance ride with a total mileage of 1,300 kilometers: the house of college classmate Song Ziyuan, which is located in Xinzhou District of Wuhan, about 75 kilometers away from the place of departure. On the first day of riding, it was not as much tired as presumed, however, there is no doubt that it could not be realized as easy as pie. In fact, when I think back to the scene of first day of departure: crossed the busy city, then the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge, successively was the bituminous provincial road that cannot be seen at the end — I realized that the experience of long-distance cycling is unique: whether in materially or spiritually.
The trips, as well as their existence has become an appropriate proof of the legitimacy of my study career: major in philosophy, history and religion, including the minor in computer science and photography as well. It is them that allow me to stick to my own path in the tortuous choices of life. I have no doubt that without them, there wouldn’t exist my current ego.
Since I used the GPS device to record the beginning and end of the cycling trips, I listed several records of them (Therefore, the occasions of having to turn back due to going wrong, were recorded as well). Such a journey has been experienced in China once (From Wuhan to Qingdao, the journey is about 1,300 kilometers, which takes 14 days); meanwhile, I have experienced twice of them during my study abroad career in Italy: once for a long distance and another for relatively short distance (The first time was a journey from Rome to Pescara, passing through the 160-kilometer Apennines mountain ridge, started at five o’clock in the morning and took 18 hours without interruption; The second journey was from Rome, following Via Francigena’s pilgrimage route and finally arriving at Bergamo, with a total mileage of about 1,000 kilometers, which took a total of 16 days).
The article has been written in the hope of mutual encouragement with you.
August 8, 2019
San Felice del Molise, CB
1. First long-distance cycling, Wuhan to Tsingtao (CN), 2014
By having a team of three people, we have traveled for 1300 kilometers for a total of 14 days. This is the first extraordinary life experience I have encountered – it is different from any previous experience of living and studying.
2. First short cycling, Rome to Pescara (IT), 2016
I started from Rome at five o’clock in the morning, and I did not stop in the middle. After riding a 164-kilometer and 14 hours trip, I arrived at Goriano Sicoli at 20:00. The maximum altitude fluctuation of the route is 2386 meters (according to the data of Cyclemeter). After exhaustion, I had to take the train to finish the rest of 68-kilometer journey to Pescara. Finally, I have arrived at Pescara at 11pm.
3. Second long-distance cycling (traveled alone with tent), Rome to Bergamo (IT), 2017
This is the second long-distance ride plan that I have carefully planned. At the same time, it was also considered as a sociological learning plan – an indispensable step to understand Italian society along with personal experience and unique perspectives: in addition to the theoretical knowledge taught in books and universities, the field trips which is beyond the limits of physical distance, will play a pivotal role in understanding a new culture. The trip was about 1000 kilometers, the highest altitude of the journey was 1500 meters. Plus the time spent on the road with friends, the trip took 2 weeks. (I departs from Rome on August 7, 2017, and arrived at Bergamo on the 21st of the same month).