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  1. #1 Beijing - Hebei: Two days along Baihe (White River) 
    Motorcycle Addict chinabiker's Avatar
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    On August 22nd we, Andy, Kurt & Mike, went out to Hebei to explore some new roads and camp for one night.
    The heavy rain of the day before our trip brought perfect blue skies and bearable temperatures.

    We took one of three smaller roads to go into the mountain area north of Beijing, having a breakfast and coffee stop at a place near the great wall at Huanghuacheng, which is commonly known among the bikers as the "Yellow Bridge Cafe". The family who run this shop know us for several years and we're always warmly welcomed there.


    Andy and Kurt having bf

    After the break we rode across a pass to reach the village of Sihai. From there we went west to get to Liubinbu, where we crossed another mountain range to reach Baihe, the White River.

    We followed the Baihe upriver, passed the Baihepu reservoir to reach the Beijing "border check post". Due to the Olympic Games and the resulting "checkpoint paranoia outbreak", we spent like 30 minutes to have the three bikes and us riders checked. Through no_man's_land we drove for about 10 km before we reached the Hebei "border check post". Another 40 minutes went by for "customs and immigration procedure". It was quite annoying but all the guys were really friendly and mostly curious about the bikes.


    Finally in Hebei

    Finally we were on our way to reach the small valley we planned to explore.
    The first kilometers the valley was still wide and we had some nice creek crossings.

    Unbelievably, in the middle of nowhere, we hit another "checkpoint". An old man and an ever older lady, asked us to write our data in a list. The list had approx. 15 to 20 entries, the first of which dated August 5th (we were there on August 22nd), and it was only locals who headed to and from their homes. After some more crossing the creek we stopped at a waterfall, which obviously carried water only because of the rain of the previous day and had our lunch break there.



    Mike crossing the creek


    Kurt at the waterfall


    Tiny temple in the middle of nowhere

    We went on, following the creek while the valley narrowed and we had to cross the creek more and more often. Some amazing canyon like views, where we didn't dare to stop because we noticed traces of rock and gravel fall. Finally we reached the end of the valley where there was no way to continue with our bikes. The small village there consists of really old houses and we did not expect to see a Jetta there, considering the "road" conditions. The driver told us that we could make it across the mountain when we get up path near the waterfall we've seen earlier.
    So we went back to the waterfall and climbed some hundred meters of the very steep and rocky path until we reached a point where it was impossible to continue. The rain has washed out the path and only football-size rocks remained, so we decided to turn back in order to not destroy our bikes.


    Kurt in action


    Andy


    We moved out of the valley again and the old man at the checkpoint had called for back-up while we were in, obviously knowing that we had to come back.
    They asked for passports, but we refused to show to them because non of them looked "official" at all. We asked them to call the main "border post", what they finally did and then let us go after those guys confirmed that they checked us already.

    We were back on the main road and with new tarmac under our wheels we reached a small town on the crossroads of a major North-South route to Inner Mongolia and the road from Beijing we were on. We had a cold drink there and stocked some beers and water for the evening before we went North towards Chicheng, where we intended to camp.

    We found a very nice campsite after a while of seeking, directly at the banks of the Baihe (White River) and decided to stay. It didn't even take 10 minutes, before we were surrounded by a crowd of 50 people or so. We haven't been surprised that a policemen showed up shortly afterward to check our papers. He even took a picture of one of our passports. But he was very friendly too and asked the crowd to stand back a bit and leave us alone.
    We were not surprised of course when another guy showed up, introducing himself to us as the "delegate for Olympic Games safety in Chicheng county", 250km from Beijing! He kind of interviewed us to make sure we didn't came here to make any kind of "trouble". He then told us that there will be some people near us to take care of our safety during the night. The policeman came back to take pictures of the other 2 passports - we weren't surprised, really not!

    Finally we grilled our steaks and had a couple of beers and went to tent around midnight.

    The guards, including the "delegate for Olympic Games safety in Chicheng county" really spent the night there and were happy to receive our spare beers.


    Spectators



    We found a very nice campsite after a while of seeking, directly at the banks of the Baihe (White River) and decided to stay. It didn't even take 10 minutes, before we were surrounded by a crowd of 50 people or so. We haven't been surprised that a policemen showed up shortly afterwards to check our papers. He even took a picture of one of our passports. But he was very friendly too and asked the crowd to stand back a bit and leave us alone.
    We were not surprised of course when another guy showed up, introducing himself to us as the "delegate for Olympic Games safety in Chicheng county", 250km from Beijing! He kind of interviewed us to make sure we didn't came here to make any kind of "trouble". He then told us that there will be some people near us to take care of our safety during the night. The policeman came back to take pictures of the other 2 passports - we weren't surprised, really not!

    Finally we grilled our steaks and had a couple of beers and went to tent around midnight.

    The guards, including the "delegate for Olympic Games safety in Chicheng county" really spent the night there and were happy to receive our spare beers the next morning.


    Campsite


    Mountain view


    Our guards


    Preparing to leave

    We decided to take the same road back to Beijing, hoping the checkpoint guys will remember us and the "immigration and customs procedure" would be shorter. Indeed, there were a couple of the same guys at the Hebei post so there was no tight procedure and we were released after a small chat and a bunch of pictures. Even the Beijing checkpoint staff remembered us and only checked our luggage for explosives - yes, explosives (the closing ceremony of the Olympic games was next day). Eventually we were on our way back to the city without any other checkpoints - how boring.


    Andy and Mike at the checkpoint


    We had a last break, again at "Yellow Bridge Cafe", after an intensive hour of motorcycling on perfect roads, under a blue sky and without any traffic.

    After the two rented bikes were returned to the owners, Kurt went home by taxi and Mike came with me. I had to put Mike's luggage on my bike in addition to my own stuff.


    Well loaded bike


    More pictures here.

    A safe ride to everyone.


    Click maps for bigger size.





    Last edited by chinabiker; 04-28-2009 at 04:38 AM. Reason: image links updated
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  2. #2  
    C-Moto Guru Brice's Avatar
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    Thanks for the RR. That's a nice countryside. Greener from what I remember from my last trip to Beijing but it was in winter.

    Looks like checkpoints have been a pain in the ass everywhere in China. Hope that they will vanish shortly else riding will become a burden specially with a not so clean plate!
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  3. #3  
    Administrator-tron CrazyCarl's Avatar
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    Great stuff CB! Wonderful pics too! I was happy to see the Jialing 600's in there...what did Kurt and Mike think about the bikes? Any problems? What did you think about the bikes?

    CC
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  4. #4 JH600 comments 
    Motorcycle Addict chinabiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyCarl View Post
    Great stuff CB! Wonderful pics too! I was happy to see the Jialing 600's in there...what did Kurt and Mike think about the bikes? Any problems? What did you think about the bikes?

    CC
    Observations we made during two trips now:

    - Good fuel efficiency and a very powerful front break.
    - They handle pretty good in difficult terrain.

    - The fork is a little soft and unfortunately not adjustable.
    - The engine could have a little bit more power

    Design is a matter of taste - we liked the black one a lot more, which also had a homemade crash bar attached.

    All in all good value for money

    We probably get one in autumn and do some mods on it over the winter.

    - a larger front wheel
    - try to get more ground clearance
    - overcome the power issue
    - put on knobbies
    - loose some weight

    Andy

    P.S. We go out again during the moon festival weekend
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  5. #5  
    Administrator-tron CrazyCarl's Avatar
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    I hear there are two versions of the bike, Asia and Europe. The one from Europe has longer legs.

    Power on these bikes might be tricky to work out but you can certainly get more power to weight by finding a way to cut useless pounds off the bike. Franki said the stock exhaust pipe on his was extremely heavy and replaced it soon after purchase. Franki is of course the man about town with these bikes and a good guy to talk to when the wrenches start spinning.

    What are you plans for the moon festival?

    CC

    Quote Originally Posted by chinabiker View Post
    - a larger front wheel
    - try to get more ground clearance
    - overcome the power issue
    - put on knobbies
    - loose some weight

    Andy

    P.S. We go out again during the moon festival weekend
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  6. #6  
    Motorcycle Addict chinabiker's Avatar
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    Hi Carl

    I will get in touch with Franki when we are ready to start mods.

    Due to time constraints we will head for Inner Mongolia, spending most of the time in Northern Hebei, where are too many dirt roads and tracks waiting to be explored.

    Andy
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  7. #7  
    C-Moto Not-so-Noob Lago888's Avatar
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    "...we will head for Inner Mongolia, spending most of the time in Northern Hebei, where are too many dirt roads "

    Andy[/QUOTE]

    hi Andy ,
    again, I gotta miss an upcoming ride, duty calls & I am back to Africa Sept 27,

    also, the R1150GS just sold, but am looking at getting another dirt bike
    I will give you a call to discuss
    all the best
    Tim L
    2005 Ducati 1000 SS and 2004 Ducati 999
    2006 Yamaha R-1
    2007 Suzuki DRZ-400 SM
    1984 BMW R80RT
    EMail: Lago888@yahoo.com _Cell # 1348-864-0048
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