I am not going to post all the info I acquired from such a kind and giving source. It would be too easy for anyone to use all the info I have been researching for over a year, work for what you want, right?
I learned that my previous route cutting along the Tibetan plateau and heading SW through Qinghai Route of the Silk Road is very difficult…and perhaps insane for someone traveling alone and at least with my little experience and knowledge of the area.
Rather than taking the the Qinghai Route I will cross the Taklamakan Desert on a main route somewhere between Khotan and Charchan, closer to the latter. There is water supply throughout the desert and then I will backtrack towards Dunhuang, even though I took the Northern route already. Depending on time, I may jump on a train/bus since I have already cycled this area…no it’s not cheating, it’s rather beating wintertime in NW China.
Dangers along the Qinghai route: furious sandstorms, lack of water, large open asbestos mine, and often you will need a permit to get through because of all the prisons in the West.
NOTE: After nearly a year of planning, it is still impossible for foreigners to trek through Tibet without a tour group or the correct paperwork. I constantly see postings on forums by foreigners wanting to cycle through Tibet – right now, don’t attempt it, it is nearly impossible. Either way, I don’t want my visitation rights to China ripped away from me. Obey the government when a guest.