Choose to live.

“Just choose one, Moseman…both will you lead you somewhere”. At a crossroads where I don’t have a legal permit to be, only 2 buses passing a day, 1 liter of water remaining, eating emergency food rations, and extended time at that altitude was causing horrendous physical effects, I was predicting my demise…you don’t have time to sit at a crossroads examining the paths to see which seems to show a history of more travel or kicking dirt around trying to forsee what will be at the end of each road. It’s not about the path we choose in life, it’s about making a choice and then cycling through with conviction, passion, dedication, free thought, and open heart. It’s not what route you choose that matters, it’s how you live through the journey that you felt was the “right”one at that moment. People say they are “lost”, no, they aren’t…they have chosen not to choose…they haven’t yet begun their journey. How can you be lost in life when you aren’t even living? This ain’t the gospel…just the inner-ramblings of a long-distance-lunatic-cyclist on a saga with skies in the eyes and a fiery heart that rules my journey.

Eleanor Moseman is a photographer and storyteller that cycled solo around Asia and Tibet.

Guess what ya’ll?! I’ve decided to hunker down in late winter/early spring to write the book. Yes…it’s ready to be spilled and chapters written that never graced this blog.


Hours spent sitting along the banks of Namucuo, the highest alpine lake on Earth, watching the current bring the most crystal clear water to my feet. Complete silence except for a single heartbeat, the pulsing of my own blood, and the water gently rolling and crashing to accompany the beat of my own rhythm. No one around for as far as eyes could see, small schools of fish coming to the surface, massive black ravens along the bank tending to themselves, and thousands of insects silently skimming across the lake. The waters and skies merging into one along the horizon, unable to differentiate between earth and the heavens. We are one and at the mercy of it all.

Lake Namu in Tibet Autonomous Region and photographed by Eleanor Moseman.

Lake Namu in Tibet Autonomous Region

Tibetan Sisters, Nima Tibet 2011

Click image for more info on print sales. A portion does go to charity and the remainder helps continue this project.

Tashi Delay! and please be sure to keep up with what is happening in this part of the world.

Near Nima, Tibet (U-Tsang) September 2011

I heard a crack the day before while riding. The bike didn’t stop and didn’t really notice anything different – so I continued on.

The previous night I had stayed with a Tibetan family in a very very small village. This morning she filled my bottles with tea and sent me off with a plastic bag of tsampa!

A few hours of riding there was another loud “crack” and I immediately felt my new Brooks saddle change under my booty.

I had just thrown out my old Selle Italia saddle and replaced it with a beautiful double rail Brooks B72 in Xining. This gorgeous beauty only had about 1000km on.

Dismounting and without skipping a beat I look directly at the double rails of the saddle. Both broken…snapped right behind the saddle clamp. Shit.

Really? I’m literally in the middle of nowhere. YES. LITERALLY!

There is no point in shouting or crying and actually maintain a very cool and collected demeanor. Gently setting Nelly on her side, I step a meter back and think about this situation.

This is exactly the point where I set the bike down and what I also had to decide on – which road?

First things first. I take out the multi-tool and skootch the saddle forward so the jagged breaks are in the seat clamp. This will hopefully get me somewhere for a shitty weld. I’ll have to take my weight off the saddle while riding, especially over this terrain. It will prove to also be the noisiest saddle ever.

I plop down in the fork of the road, feeling a little proud of myself for resolving this problem so quickly and not a peep of frustration coming from me.

Looking ahead, which road should I take. Again, the only map I have is a horrible tourist map of China with only main roads shown. It doesn’t even have Chinese written on it.

After gulping down some tea…wait…does this tea make me even thirstier? What is with this Tibetan tea?…and eating some tsampa I stand up and examine the road to the right.

It heads into the hills. There is a good chance it actually heads more Northeast, where at this point I want Northwest. I walk about a quarter of a kilometer down the road, closely…CLOSELY…examining the path. How fresh do the tracks look? Are there jeep tracks or just motorcycle tracks? How is the gravel thrown about?

After looking down near 16,000km of tarmac, gravel roads, cow paths, fields, I feel extremely competent of road judging skills.

I walk off the road to cross to the road to the left. Ahead, I can see that the road is pretty damaged from ice melt run off. This part of the road becomes about 3 meters wide from automobiles and motorcycles veering off the road and even another road has been made to the left. Further beyond, the road seems to wrap to the West around some large stones.

This road shows slightly more signs of travel BUT I notice multipele sets, and obvious, jeep and truck tracks. Yes, this is the choice.

(I want to state that the Brooks saddle was repaired by Brooks for free. If you use a Brooks B72 you MUST use an old style seat post or a “seat sandwich”.)

I would love to hear from you!