One-legged cyclist's brave journey across China-Xinhua

One-legged cyclist's brave journey across China

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-04-20 21:47:00

LHASA, April 20 (Xinhua) -- How arduous could it be to cycle for more than 100,000 km? And imagine it was all done with only one leg. For Sun Youzhi, this journey never gets easy, but he keeps riding faster every time he hits the road.

The 34-year-old cyclist hails from central China's Henan Province. Sun had his left leg amputated after an accident when he was 19. The tragedy almost destroyed him.

After years of inner struggles, Sun picked himself up and began to seek positive changes to embrace the outside world and start life anew. In 2013, during a trip to southwest China's Yunnan Province, Sun took to cycling and fell in love with the sport at once.

Over the past ten years, he has conquered several popular cycling routes in China -- some renowned for their difficulties and some for the picturesque scenery along the trip. His total mileage has already topped 100,000 km.

"I met so many people along the routes and got to know their stories, which made me realize that there are no insurmountable difficulties in life," said Sun.

This time, the perseverant man is challenging himself to cycle along the G219, the longest national highway with the highest average elevation in China. With a total length of over 10,000 km, this famous highway among China's cycling fanciers links Dongxing City in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region with Kanas in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Currently, Sun has reached southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. Riding in Tibet, a place often dubbed the "Roof of the World," with only one leg is an enormous task for anyone, with high altitudes, a harsh climate, a lack of oxygen, and all kinds of uncertainties on the road.

"The bike enthusiasts I met along the way were all warm-hearted and always willing to help. I've also noticed the substantial progress in barrier-free facilities over the years," Sun said.

"I have been riding with Sun for the past few days. He was very determined, cycling fast. It took me a whole day to conquer a mountain, while for him, it was only half a day," said cycling fan Fei Yuan, adding that he was deeply inspired by Sun as the one-legged man has given him more courage to overcome difficulties in life.

As a father of two daughters and owner of a hostel in Henan, Sun seems to have found a life balance after his years of struggle. Now he dreams of taking his entire family on trips around the world.

"For those with physical disabilities like me who feel trapped in frustration and despair, I would like to advise them that it'll be much better to go outdoors and get active," said Sun.