Lynley asked why it is that I took a train across China rather than biking across. I think this is a very good question and it deserves a good answer.
Actually it is quite easy. I need to get through Tajikistan before winter.
I am planning on cycling the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan. This is a road that at parts follows the border between Tajikistan and Afganistan. It is also a road that for its majority is at an altitude of over 3500m, and has passes at 4600m. To do this in late autumn or early winter would be rather dangerous. Therefore unfortunately I could not afford to take up to two months to get across China on my bike.
Maybe next time.