Made it to Yongsheng - nice quietish little town. Hit the road at 0900. A very tough day with a 17km climb up to 2775m  to start things off (the highest I've been so far) - was dusty and unsealed in parts as I passed factories, then a massive descent followed (the biggest I've ever done) down to 1400m - was about an hour long at over 40km/h, topping out at 59km/h! Not easy though as bitumen was rough and there were many 180 degree corners, I had to stand on the pedals most of the way. I was impressed with my brakes as they didn't show any signs of fading. At 65km mark my rear tyres sidewalls were starting to fail. Two different sections of the tyre on either side had expanded to about 3 inches wide instead of the usual 2 inches. I decided to push on as I still had a big climb ahead of me and limited time and didn't fancy a roadside repair. Amazingly the tyre held together even with a pronounced bump as I rode along. After the descent the road undulated up to around 1650m and then came the big climb into town at 2150m for the final 15km. I started the climb at 1600 and rolled into town at 1800, my face covered with salt that I sweated out during the day. At 90km mark the front tyre had developed a slow leak, and since I was so close to town decided to pump it up instead of wasting an hour patching it up (had to stop every 2-3km to refill with air though which was very tiring). It was 2130 by the time I found some accomodation, unpacked, cleaned up, wandered around town and had some dinner - so will have a rest day here tomorrow to recover and repair/replace tyres and tubes.

04/04/12 - Rest Day, wander around town, repair/replace tyres and tubes. Turns out it wasn't the sidewall of the tyre that had cracked but the carcass on the inside middle had split  for about 15cm. This had weakened the sidewalls causing the tyre to bulge out both sides. I ended up fitting one of my new spare XRs on the rear and retaining the original tyre on the front. I also kept the original tyre off the rear as there are many tyre repair shops here in China so I reckon they'll be able to hot glue a piece of rubber over the damaged section and it should be able to serve a few more kms duty on the front (I'll investigate probably when I get to Xichang, as I need to extend visa there so should have some time) I also fitted new tubes front & rear which I picked up in Thailand (as the original schwalbes have a number of patches on them - I saved them for spares though)

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