Clare Pegler is a Brisbane nurse who, in her spare time, rides a bike across continents. We shared a hotel in Zhangye with her group of 24 Canadians and Australians after a day of foul weather. They are camping and hotelling, en route from Shanghai to Istanbul! At least they have a couple of back-up vehicles to carry tents and luggage, but they will still be riding to Urumqi and west next to the Taklamakan Desert to Kashgar, then over the Pamirs through Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey. We are now planning our first camp of the trip, with less than universal excitement.