Takeaway English 随身英语
Cycling to China 骑车到中国
Pete Jones's camp and bike in the Tianshan mountains
The Tianshan mountains - lonely but beautiful
What's the furthest you have ever cycled?

Perhaps you cycle to school or to work, or maybe at most a short cycling trip with friends?

How would you feel about spending months on the road travelling solo from the UK to China, by bike?

For British cyclist Pete Jones, camping rough and cycling long distances through inhospitable terrain are second nature.

A veteran of expeditions through places such as the Tianshan mountains and the Tibetan plateau, Mr Jones is currently undertaking a mammoth trip across the Eurasian continent from Britain to China.

Having lived on and off in Xinjiang for three years, and having visited the country many times since 1992, Pete Jones is no stranger to China.

But he says many people there are puzzled by his passion for cycling, asking why he would choose to cycle when he can afford a car.

Indeed, while there are an estimated 400 million bicycles in China, where it has long been the preferred form of transport, rapid economic growth has fuelled an explosive expansion in car ownership.

Edward Genochio, another British cyclist who completed a 41,000km trip to China and back, said one of his aims was to "promote cycling as a safe, sustainable and environmentally benign means of getting about."

In the UK, the last few years have seen a rise in the number of people choosing two wheels over four, with some estimates saying the number of people cycling to work has almost doubled in the last five years.

Politicians also see cycling as a way to boost their eco-credentials, with people such as London mayor Boris Johnson often riding to work under his own steam.

But we may have to wait some time before we see him emulating Pete Jones in attempting to cycle all the way to China.

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