Chinese girl, 12, completes 2,166km cycle ride from Chengdu to Lhasa

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2016, 4:59pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2016, 4:59pm

A 12-year-old girl has cycled from Chengdu to Tibet on National Highway 318, covering a distance of 2,166km in 26 days, the Hua Shang Daily reports.

During the journey to Lhasa, which is located at an altitude of 3,700 metres, the girl and others in the group crossed 12 mountains, the highest peak of which had an altitude of more than 5,000 metres.

The organiser of the activity said only 20 per cent of people who expressed their interest to him in cycling to Lhasa realised that dream, and the girl was the youngest cyclist he knows of to have made the journey.

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Twenty-five people started on the trip in early July, but only nine of them reached Lhasa.

The girl, named Li Linjie, joined her father on the trip, before which her farthest distance to cycle was only 30km.

She started from Chengdu on July 5 and arrived in Lhasa on July 30.

Although her family initially objected to her taking part in the trip, Li insisted she was strong enough to complete the journey and convinced her father let her try.

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Her father, Li Zhao, said he was surprised to find his daughter stronger than he expected. He added that, after finishing the cycling trip, his daughter was more independent and willing to try things she had not dared in the past.

“The reason why she could accomplish this is not only because she has a strong body but also a comparatively light weight, ” he said. “She is 160cm tall, but only weighs some 35kg.”

The team leader of the activity said muscle is not the most important factor for such a trip, but determination is. One has to persist no matter what they encountered, he said.

“People must be aware of dangers also, ” he said. “Seven cyclists lost their lives during a biking trip to Tibet in July.”