From Germany to China by bike

Hi! My name is Simon Mangold, I am 25 years old and am travelling from Germany to China by bicycle.

The main route has its orientation from three ancient pathways: Via Claudia Augusta up to Tirana in Albania, the Via Egnatia from there to Istanbul continuing on the silk road, through Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan and the Pamirs with my final destination Kashgar in China. My father lives in the Philippines running the Mangold Resort (www.mangoldresort.com) that I will fly to as my last destination before going back to Germany. But still long to go…. :)

Since my childhood I am travelling and was thinking about a new independent way to travel by myself ecologically. Backpacking 2008 for some months in Australia was nice, but I missed the active, not-only-to-sit-in-the-greyhound-bus part. On the bicycle you breath the air of the place you are, you easily get in contact to people, you don’t need to tank or load a battery and are very flexible to where you want to go. Going to bed with the most sound sleep every night, especially after being invited to a beer with a local you met at the supermarket. Everyday you can look at the map and see that you all done it by your own muscles. Doing sports keeps the mind fresh and keen. And from now on, I will have a feeling for the altitude of the Austrian Alps :)

I started at the 1st of February from my hometown Voehrenbach following the Donau direction Lake Konstanz. In 16 days I made it through South Germany along Lake Konstanz through the alps, Italy, Slovenia and to the Croatian Adria.

At the moment I am on the island Rab in Croatia, generously hosted by Kristina Ribaric and Vitomir Maricic, both passoniate travelers I got to know on Couchsurfing.

The next days will be on the Croatian coastline, to Zadar, Split all along the Via Claudia Augusta.

I am very excited about the Via Egnatia from Tirana to Istanbul and the cold climate in the higher regions. Lets see how the winter welcomes me there…

Technically I go with a Utopia Roadster Travel Bike, Rohloff Speedhub and Ortlieb Travel Bags. I use normal paper maps, as none of my routes is going far from civilization. Bike maps are not available and would be quite heavy for around 7000km  For cooking I carry a Coleman petrol stove, for reading a kindle paperwhite, and a whole bunch of spare parts. Merino wool and Gore Tex keeps me warm and dry. As well as a two shell tent and a down sleeping bag. The german “Weltfahrradfuehrer” (World bicycle guide) is like a bible for everybody who wants to go by bicycle on long distance trips, where I took most things over. Why China? It is the farthest cultural destination that can be reached by bike from my country. In addition, having a clear aim motivates me and structures my plans. Also it is easy to understand for other people: “Where do you go?” …after many times answering that question, you appreciate to say only a few words ;-)

Until now I can encourage everybody to go out cycling around the world, as I made only really good experiences with people in all countries. Travelling is awesome, be curious.

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