Arrested in Tibet, Naked Photos: World Record Tandem Pair Tell All
Bicycling in Lhasa, Tibet
After the news broke that all foreigners must leave Tibet, Mandy and Benny considered whether they would need to put their Hase Pino Tandem bicycle on a train. But things calmed, so they pushed on.
Until their fears were realized: while mounting up after a night's rest hidden from view along the roadside, the police descended upon them. "Where had they slept? What were they doing?" Would the police understand that Mandy and Benny posed no threat on their peaceful tandem journey, circumnavigating the world and hoping to break the world record for the longest tandem bicycle tour?
Fortunately, they suffered only the delay and the psychological stress of repeated questioning without knowing the intentions of the unpredictable Tibetan police. But they were treated well, and invited to eat during ten hours of detention. They protested briefly, before deciding not to make waves, when forced to sign papers in Chinese allegedly detailing their statements. Finally, they were trucked to yet another detention point for unknown reasons. Upon unloading their bike and gear, the pair simply insisted that there was no more grounds to hold them. They refused to enter the police station and rode away. The ploy worked; the police left them alone.
Arrested by Soldiers in Tibet
At least, this case was better than the circumstances of their first arrest, after leaving Chiu. An altercation at a restaurant led to the pair being attacked, kicked and stoned until they could defend themselves with pepper spray and escape using the speed advantage of their bike. Only to find themselves being brought to a room across from their attackers by soldiers helping the local police. Ironically, sleeping the night in police detention was the warmest night's sleep in four months time! Somehow the situation resolved itself; perhaps the police believed their side of the story. They were released to continue their journey.
Muddy Setbacks and Bicycle Breakdowns
Anyone who sets out on a world tour by bike expects setbacks. As Mandy and Benny put it: "If you do a trip like we do it, going around the world by bike for several years, then of course we do not do this only to get into the guinness book of world records." They are out there for the challenge, to "enjoy the landscapes" and "get in contact with the local people". In their weblog, they share their technical problems as well as the ups and downs of the journey.
Natural Shower in Southern China
For every problem, there is a solution. For every setback, a success. One day you may fall in the mud, but the next brings the opportunity for a natural shower in the wilderness of a foreign land. After 800km without asphalt, the joy of riding on a hard surface again! Is it the local beer they just drank causing a wobble in the bike? No, it's a broken frame. But luck favors the bold: On a road which may see only 5 vehicles a day, a truck offers a ride to the next town within minutes of the breakdown.
Roadside Picnic on a World Record Tandem Bike Tour
Mandy and Benny's weblog, Globe Cyclers is packed full of colorful photos. It is worth browsing the German weblog, Globe Cyclers (german), which has many more photos than the english version. It is a weblog full of smiles that will make you want to enjoy their journey with them, or start one of your own!
More on Hase Pino:
Hase Pino, Tandem with a View
More on Bicycle Tours:
Explore Germany by Bike
Bike Tour of Sustainability Indiana to California
Round-the-world Bicyclists in Berlin
Tips on how to plan your own bike trip:
Tips for Bicycle Trips, part I
Tips for Bicycle Trips, part II
Warm Showers: Couch Surfing for Bicyclists