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  1. #1 Solo ride through the Shans. 5 days-1400kms 
    C-Moto Senior dewsnap's Avatar
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    I've just weerily returned from an epic 5 day journey from Shanghai to Huangshan and i've been itching to write my first ever mini ride report. I managed to cover 1400 km's on my little 250, which isn't bad going especially since half of which was through the mountains of Zhejiang and Anhui provinces. I was attacked by a swarm of butterflies (laugh all you like but the Zhejiang butterflies are big and nasty), i had my cooling system explode twice, i raced around the mountains with a group of Yamaha R1's, and i saw a Lancer Evolution wrapped around a tree (the driver only hurt his pride), i also stayed out drinking with a group of dancers from Xinjiang to name some of the highlights.

    I was a little nervous before setting off as my Chinese is basic, my bike (Regal Raptor DD250G-2N) has questionable reliability, and i'd never put google maps on Android to the test. Regardless, i found some amazing roads and met some great people and must say that me and Betty (my bike) had the times of our lives.

    I would have liked to have posted a map of my journey but couldn't figure it out but my journey went like this:

    Shanghai-Taipuhe-Moganshan-Anji-Lin An-Chun An-Huangshan-Lin An-Anji-Moganshan-Shanghai.

    My first stop was a quick photo opportunity at Taipuhe before joining the G318 out of Shanghai and all the way to Huzhou.

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    The G318 is relatively unispiring until you join the G104 when things start looking more promising...

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  2. #2 Re: Solo ride through the Shans. 5 days-1400kms 
    C-Moto Senior dewsnap's Avatar
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    The G104 leads all the way down to the foot of Mogan mountain which is where i decided to take a quick fag break only to be joined by two young lads on Suzuki 125's. A quick chat and then it's heading off for Moganshans renowned twisties.

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    The roads at Moganshan are perfect for motorbikes. Tight, sweeping corners one after another meandering all the way through the mountains. The roads are narrow so you have to watch for oncoming traffic and newbie riders should be carefull here. I'm really cautious riding downhill following a nasty car accident i had at 18 where my breaks failed, but going uphill, by my own admission, i ride too fast thinking i'm Carl Foggarty. On a few occasions i went into corners thinking i had my speed right, only to find the corner tightens then tightens again leaving me in the middle of the opposite lane. If anything had been coming the other way i'd have been a dead man. It's also on these twisty roads at Moganshan where i saw the Lancer Evo crashed into a tree. I spent hours riding around these mountain roads until it starting getting dark so i found a nice place to stay owned by an Englishman (Mark Kitto, the author of China Cuckoo) and his wife Joanna. Those guys were fantastic and if anybody needs a high end place to stay or more modest accomodation at Moganshan i'd definitely recommend giving these guys a shout on 0572 803 3011 or email at enquiries@moganshanlodge.com Be sure to try their home made bacon.

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    An early start the next day and it's on those crazy twisties between Moganshan and Anji. Fred has posted quite a lot about these roads and they seriously do not dissapoint. If anybody is riding out this way though i found an even better road between Anji and Lin An (the S205, through the Daxi tunnel). It's more of the same, endless tight corners, but the roads are wider and the views more breathtaking. My photos unfortunatley don't do any justice to the place at all.

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    There are plenty of side roads to explore between Moganshan-Anji-Lin An and i found myself taking Betty off road for a bit of fun. She did ok but as soon as the roads starting getting steeper the back end was all over the place so i decided to turn back.

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    It was while taking this next picture when the butterflies attacked. There was a group of them flapping around my eyes and ears and they had me running down the mountain screaming fo my life...

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    Last edited by dewsnap; 08-07-2011 at 12:48 PM.
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  3. #3 Re: Solo ride through the Shans. 5 days-1400kms 
    C-Moto Senior dewsnap's Avatar
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    After all the fun on the mountain it was a hard slog down to Chun An. I took the S206 then the S302 which leads straight down towards Qiandaohu. It's a nice surface surrounded by beautiful scenary but it's pretty heavy duty on a 250cc machine. Once i arrived i wasn't particularly impressed with the city of Chun An, construction was going on everywhere and it all seemed overpriced and geared towards scamming tourists, but Qiandaohu nontheless is an impressive body of water and well worth a visit. I found a hotel with a view of the harbour and bunkered down after a hardcore day of riding.

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    The next day i decided to press on towards Huangshan. I crossed the Qiandaohu Bridge and turned left onto an amazing highway that was so new it didn't even have a name. These were my favourite roads of the trip. Endless sweeping curves on a perfect surface running parralel with the huge lake. Tunnel after tunnel were blasted through the mountains and i can't stress how great these roads were. Very different from the twisties on Moganshan, but an absolute must for anyone on a motorbike. It was here that my cooling system spat boiling cooling fluid all over my legs and engine. It seems that my bike can't sustain speeds of over 100km's an hour for more than 50 km's at a time. I was pretty worried so gave Betty half an hour to cool down. She fired straight back up and we pressed on keeping my speed below 100kmph to be on the safe side.

    view from the Qiandaohu bridge

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    the fantastic nameless highway between Chun An and Huangshan

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    cooling fluid spewing out all over the engine

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    Eventually made it to Huangshan, found a hotel and headed straight for Huangshan Hotsprings. Well worth a visit, especially after hours of riding in the soaring heat. They've got everything from Aloe pools, to Fish pools where the little fish eat the dead skin from your toes. The place stays open till the last person leaves and this is where i stayed out drinking with the mental dancers from Xinjiang. Crashed into bed around 2am.
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  4. #4 Re: Solo ride through the Shans. 5 days-1400kms 
    C-Moto Senior dewsnap's Avatar
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    Day four was another big slog from Huangshan back upto Lin An on one of the worst surfaces imaginable. Massive potholes everywhere, debri all over the roads, and the edges were crumbling away, and to make matters worse the nasty S324 was winding through the mountains making it a dangerous experience.

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    The S324 did take me through some quaint little villages though and a beautiful harbour.

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    I eventually made it back to Lin An and it was straight to the mountains for more fun but the heavens opened at Anji so i decided to find a hotel. This is where i met up with a group of guys from Nanjing on the big bores. We went out blasting around the mountains in the rain, it all got a bit scary for me though so i decided to call it a day. The next day back to Huzhou and onto Shanghai.

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    5 days riding. 1400 km's. An unforgettable journey.
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  5. #5 Re: Solo ride through the Shans. 5 days-1400kms 
    C-Moto Senior lion's Avatar
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    Hi dewsnap,epic ride,5 days and 1400 km,you do experience a lot,I was wondering how you made it through ......

    Last edited by lion; 08-08-2011 at 03:39 AM.
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  6. #6 Re: Solo ride through the Shans. 5 days-1400kms 
    C-Moto Guru Fred's Avatar
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    Yeah, well done Dan !!

    Very nice ride and RR ! Thanks for the pictures, it's nice to put a face on a name. ;-)
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  7. #7 Re: Solo ride through the Shans. 5 days-1400kms 
    C-Moto Guru MotoKai's Avatar
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    Great ride Dewsnap! Thanks for the pics.
    I'm a big fan of trails and this one looks amazing.
    * How long does it stretch?
    * If it has sufficient distance can you provide the tracks.

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  8. #8 Re: Solo ride through the Shans. 5 days-1400kms 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    Dear Dewsnap,

    Congrats on your boldest ride to date. I'm feeling a bit of responsibility for your encounter with that heap of construction on the S324, having gently dissuaded you from soloing down the G50 from Huangshan to Hangzhou. But, OK, I'll venture that this also put a bit more hair on your chest as a rider, with great bragging rights to go with it.

    So how exactly did you manage the cooling system meltdowns? Just let her cool off a bit and keep going? Wonder if there are any modifications you can do to improve her cooling capacity.

    Finally, very glad you came to your senses and let those Ninjas carry on in the rain without you. Last thing you want to do is be the least common denominator in a crowd like that.

    Glad you made it home safe to the wife and sprog.

    cheers
    Last edited by euphonius; 08-08-2011 at 07:05 AM.
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    Shanghai
    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  9. #9 Re: Solo ride through the Shans. 5 days-1400kms 
    Duct tape savant felix's Avatar
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    Good job Dewsnap! Those new roads you talk about along the north and west banks of qiandaohu are spectacular indeed, but i've often felt they were wasted on our 250s. You could easily do 200 through those sweepers on a bike that could do that, man that would be fun...
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  10. #10 Re: Solo ride through the Shans. 5 days-1400kms 
    C-Moto Senior DanKearney's Avatar
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    Nice! Thanks for the story and pics. Nice to see the reference to Kitto. I read his book last year. He's an entrepreneur despite all obstacles.

    Cheers,

    Dan K.
    Dan Kearney - Black Hawk, Colorado, USA
    Zongshen RX-3 - Zongshen TT250 - Ural GearUp Hack - Honda CT110
    Ural M70 Retro Solo - BMW R100R - Royal Enfield Bullet 500
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