Cycling a Desert?


New Member
Jul 22, 2006

I am in charge of organizing (for next year) a cycling "trip" across the Taklamakan Desert (currently in Xinjiang province, Peoples Republic of China), but have never cycled deserts - and hence this post.

Any info on this particular area and/or on cycling deserts in general would be highly appreciated. I am especially concerned with the following questions:
1) Over 90% of Taklamakan is "moving sand"; how is the remaining 10% distributed?
2) Is the nine tenths absolutely non-cycleble, and only accessible by camel / 4WD, or is it possible to cycle there, if only in a fashion most challenging technologically, technically, and physically?
3) What about the half-mythical "road" along the Hotan river and other former silk-road north-south thoroughfares across the Taklamakan - do they still exist, and if so, in what condition (according to time of year), etc?

From my side I can offer feedback on my modest area expertise: touring China and western Tibet (Kham).

Best regards to you all,
Rafal Felbur (Poland)