Biking around Shanghai is easily the best way to get off the "beaten path" and see stuff that you just don't get when sitting in the back of a mini van. We've now ridden through farm land, concrete villages complete with hanging laundry, by wooden shacks with dirt floors, wooded areas, and city spaces. Challenges have included lifting our bikes over guardrails, balancing our way across a small, rickety pedestrian bridge and even crossing the river by ferry....twice. We've mixed in with mopeds, bicycles, pedestrans, buses, taxis, and construction dump trucks. Really, the experience can not be put into words. I need to get a handlebar-mounted video camera to try and capture some of the experience for you.
Last week, we rode 30 miles. We had 2 flat tires amongst the 10 riders. This week, we did about 28 miles and also had 2 flat tires among 7 riders. In China, a lot of junk gets chucked on the ground. Glass, metal staples, and rocks have caused the majority of all damage.
We always get a lot of looks when buzzing through the villages or out in the farm land. I think it's a nice break in the monotony for those that are working the field or eating a bowl of noodles outside their front door. It surprised me how close we came to the daily living that rural Chinese people do. We were able to get up close and personal because there is no private land in China. The government owns the land. Needless to say, we did not run across some hillbilly with a shotgun, shouting, "Get of my property".
Some of the guys speak enough chinese to carry a conversation. That is always fun too.....to catch up with the locals. They are always so friendly and often ready to share some fresh fruit. I usually bring it home and give it to the kids. Some say the fruit causes severe constipation. Hmmmmm. JK.
I did not take pictures in week 1. Hopefully, each of these helps to convey a thousand words.