Richard and Nicholas Crane
Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Goodbye to the Open Sea
From the Madhouse to the Land of Morning Calm
Bogged Down in Nepal
Cycling the Himalayas
Xizang Zizhiqu, Quomolangma Feng and Rinbung Dzong (Tibet, Everest, and a Little Town in the Middle of Nowhere)
Lhasa and the Tourist Trade
Cycling Out to Desolation
The Big Descent
Sprint to the Gobi
Depression on the Silk Road
The Hottest Place in China
Urumqi and the Public Security Bureau
At the Centre of the Earth


Appendix One: Equipment
Appendix Two: Daily Log of Distances and Ascent


Overall map Bangladesh India India Nepal Tibet The Plateau The Gobi, Taklamakan and Dsungarei Deserts Altitude profile cross-section ride

The start at noon on Day 1 by the Mouths of the Ganges Vying for roadspace with waves of rickshaws in Comilla Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world Goalundo Ghat, Day 4, on the west bank of the Ganges, there were only four punctures on the entire journey Dick drinking 'daab' - green coconuts. Note use of balaclava as sun visor The odyssey across the Ganges from the ferry to Monghyr Ghat: rush-hour in Bihar State Giant suncracks in flood channels on the north of the Ganges. Day 10 These Nepalese children came rushing across the terraces to get their picture taken Nick on Day 13 near the top of Simbanjyarg Pass in Nepal Nepal's original green forest is dotted with terraces and bright specks of farm roofs The Chinese had opened the road through the Himalayas barely two months before we crossed Tattered prayer flags in the wind on the summit of the Lalung Le at 5100 m (17,000 ft) in the late afternoon on Day 21 Tibetan farmworkers between Lhasa and Xigatse, 11,000 ft above sea-level In the Brahmaputra Valley; barchan dunes pushed westwards by the wind Stir-fry, noodles and omelette in Rinbung Dzong The second of the uncomfortable cold caves where we survived the night of the 25th day in the Rong Chu valley The miller on the morning of Day 26 Whiteout at Turquoise Lake; 'The most miserably cold day's cycling in our lives.' The Potala Palace, seen from the roof of the Jokhang in the centre of Lhasa Tibetan yak nomads somewhere between Damxung and Laqudiqu The longest day's cycling in northern Tibet was 212 km A moment's respite in bright sun at 17,000 ft just below the summit of the Tanggula Golmud market Nick on the Qaidam Pendi, lost in a freak dust storm Xing-Xing-Xia, for centuries a major post on the Silk Road Nick on Day 43. The dirt tracks which wandered over the sands of the Gobi almost defeated us The infrequent trucks on the Silk Road always stopped to offer water Waking on Day 44 after a night in the emptiness of the Gobi Desert The sum total of our bike tool kit. Note holes drilled in spanner and spoke key sawn in half. Map of Urumqi, Dsungarei and Taklamakan underneath