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Andy

Andy

 

Copyright © Andy, 2007

Visit Andy's website here for more photos and additional information: http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Bikepacker/

 

Part1 | Part2 | Part3 | Part4 | Part5 | Part6 | Part7 | Part8 | Part9 | Part10 | Part11 | Part12 | Part13 | Part14 | Part15 | Part16 | Part17 | Part18 | Part19 | Part20 | Part21 | Part22 | Part23 | Part24 | Part25 | Part26 | Part27


Peoples Army Say - "No, you not cycle on our Motorway"!


Day 175, 22nd November
Handan - Anyang - Tangyin

You must Go Back
"You must Go Back"!
Fobidden to cycle any further on the route 107 which turned instantly into a motorway!

Woke up to a polluted haze of fumes and assorted chemicals - the worse yet. You could hardly see the other end of the field we’d camped in. I was suffering from a kind of a cold too, along with the rest of the other guys. This rough feeling, and cycling through the soup of fumes made for an awful day.

In Anyang, I bought some flu remedy which looked very dodgy, so I did’nt take it. The fumes got thicker and thicker as we rode south. III dread to think what will happen to this place if the Chinese try to emulate the west and all buy cars - it would be hell on earth! It would even affect the whole of the world’s environment.

It was just a shitty day today. Even at the end of the day we ended up in a rip-off café where we were given paltry helpings of vile food and expected to pay Ritz prices. We ended up getting pissed-off after arguing for ages over the bill. And then ended up camping in a disused pit by the side of the road.

Disused Pit Camp
Disused Pit Camp
One of the less-romantic campsites south of Beijing was this old pit.

Total Miles: 8579.12 Todays Miles: 55.27 Average speed: 12.3 Time on bike: 4:29

Day 176, 23rd November
Tangyin - Qi Xian - Xingxiang

Another uneventful day along route 107. This road is getting to us slowly, it’s been a week now of breathing in its acrid fumes and getting ill through it. Our eyes are bright red at the end of the day and our faces are a grimy black with mascara-like tear stripes!

So what about the new guys who joined us in Beijing - Nick and Stephane? We have done nearly 400 miles together up till now, how are they shaping up?

Stephane is definitely a ladies man, it must be the French in him. He stares with fascination at most women, probably the reason he’s come off his bike four times up to now! In Canada he works for months out at sea or in the Saint Lawrence seaway breaking ice with his ship. His bike is a 12-year-old Cannondale which he rides in high gears and is his pride and joy. At café stops, Stephane often goes to his bike to do little odd-jobs, or to clean the
spokes and rims with an old toothbrush. He is careful when negotiating towns and I can see that he gets a touch pissed-off when decision making takes a long time.

Now Nick, on the other hand, although also being from Quebec, is a totally different character. He seems cool-headed, nothing seems to faze him, and he just goes with the flow.I’m actually surprised how well he’s doing considering that he drinks, smokes loads, and has never cycled much before. But, he’s the youngest of us now, and that counts.

Well, the plan was to cycle through Xinxiang, but there was a slight problem - the 107 route suddenly turned into a motorway, and there was an army checkpoint. Our map was inadequate, we didn’t know where exactly we were, we only knew that when we entered towns and matched up the Chinese symbols on our map to those on the sign. I tried in vain to allow the officer to let us pass the checkpoint, but he flatly refused to let us go on. It was better not to argue cos technically we shouldn’t be cycling in this country anyway without a guide! It was getting dark, so we backtracked out of sight of the checkpoint, and wandered across cultivated land to find a place to camp. We found a place hidden away by bushes - that would have to do.

More and More folks...
More and More folks...
It was seroiusly getting to Scott and Stephane having so many onlookers every time we stopped.

Total Miles: 8632.74 Todays Miles: 53.62 Average speed: 12.1 Time on bike: 4:26.

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Continued here...

Part1 | Part2 | Part3 | Part4 | Part5 | Part6 | Part7 | Part8 | Part9 | Part10 | Part11 | Part12 | Part13 | Part14 | Part15 | Part16 | Part17 | Part18 | Part19 | Part20 | Part21 | Part22 | Part23 | Part24 | Part25 | Part26 | Part27


Visit Andy's website here for more photos and additional information:http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Bikepacker/

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