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  1. #1
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Hi again: I'm back from China (w/ride pics)

    Hi -- I used to haunt this board a few years ago and then I disappeared for a 2.5-year posting in Beijing, China. I'm back; hi to those of you from the old days still hanging out , and hello to new 50+ers.

    I didn't do a lot of serious riding in Beijing, but I did take a converted MTB that I used for awhile as a city/commuter bike and I rode quite frequently around Beijing. (I posted some ride photos at the end of this thread about 18 months ago: Hi, again. I'm moving to China. ). I tried to ride most weekends in Beijing, but usually just roaming the back streets of Beijing, nothing too strenuous (the air is as bad as you've probably read about).

    I did some more interesting riding last fall in southern China near Yangshoul, the popular rural tourist area south of Guilin. My son and I were visiting for a few days and we found a guide w/access to some pretty decent mountain bikes and he led us on a half-day ramble through lots of back roads. Here's photos from the trip I thought you might enjoy. Meanwhile, I'm trying to ride myself back into shape...got my Seattle "rain bike" back into riding shape and getting ready for a wet winter here in the Pacific Northwest. Great to be back breathing fresh air again, see you around...


















  2. #2
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    Hi and welcome back. Did the bike and guide rental in Yangshoui, a few years back, simply amazing. Rode up the Li river bank, picked up one of those bamboo pole rafts, rode back down the river. Start of the ride back down another raft comes over selling beer, so of course had to pick up a Tsing Tao for myself and the guy poling the raft. One of those trips with a ton of great memories. One of these days, have to go back.

  3. #3
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Amazing pics.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  4. #4
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    Hello Benge! Great and interesting photos! I think I remember you having posted photos from your last stint there, where the photos were of more urban scenes and the cycling was treacherous because of the volume of bikes and an "anything goes" attitude amongst the cyclists. Do I remember that correctly?

  5. #5
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miss kenton View Post
    Hello Benge! Great and interesting photos! I think I remember you having posted photos from your last stint there, where the photos were of more urban scenes and the cycling was treacherous because of the volume of bikes and an "anything goes" attitude amongst the cyclists. Do I remember that correctly?
    Yes that was me. Riding in Beijing is a bit of a mixed bag. There are still a ton of bikes on the streets, and really safe protected bike lines on many of the major streets. And lots of the back streets in the old part of the town -- the famous Beijing hutongs -- are marvelous to ride around in. But there is a lot of craziness too -- electric delivery carts going the wrong-way coming at you in the bike lines, incredibly aggressive and chaotic drivers, peddlers setting up food stands in the middle of bike lanes, etc. Once you get it in your head that nobody is looking out for you and you might get killed at any minute you can actually learn how to ride pretty safely.

    Here's some riding in Beijing pics:

    My bike in front of Tiananmen gate:




    My bike in front of the Great Hall of the People (on Tiananmen Square)

    Last edited by BengeBoy; 11-02-14 at 11:16 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Distracted driver:



    Typical back street riding:



    View from my office on a bad air day:


  7. #7
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetAgeHobo View Post
    Hi and welcome back. Did the bike and guide rental in Yangshoui, a few years back, simply amazing. Rode up the Li river bank, picked up one of those bamboo pole rafts, rode back down the river. Start of the ride back down another raft comes over selling beer, so of course had to pick up a Tsing Tao for myself and the guy poling the raft. One of those trips with a ton of great memories. One of these days, have to go back.
    Sounds like we went to the same place. We had a super day riding there -- I think because our guide was a real bike enthusiast, he knew all the back routes and we were cross and criss-crossing some of the more popular routes, but for the most part he kept us on little lanes and dirt paths and out of the way of the crowds.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CrankyFranky's Avatar
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    Hey, welcome back!
    Great pictures of cycling in the mountains.

    I'd be dead in a month or of two breathing Beijing air. What a challenge the country (and world) is facing.

  9. #9
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Fantastic story and pictures Benge, its great to have you back, finally. I remember your posting about leaving for a while for China, that seems like a long time ago now. Now you can get some respiratory therapy for the lungs after that air quality there. The shots of the air quality for the Beijing stage of the Tour of China were gruesome, as were the marathon's pics, in the paper and on line. Glad you are posting here again.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

  10. #10
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    We were able to rent bikes on top of the city wall in Xi'an for a ride when I was in China last year. The Hutong in Beijing I visited was pretty tight space.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  11. #11
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
    We were able to rent bikes on top of the city wall in Xi'an for a ride when I was in China last year.
    I loved the city walls in Xi'an. We were tempted to rent a bike but instead took a long, leisurely walk along the walls w/my wife, peering down on the neighborhoods below. One of my favorite memories of China.

  12. #12
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    I loved the city walls in Xi'an.
    We stayed up until after dark when they lit up all the pagodas. It was really beautiful.
    The canals in Suzhou were pretty cool too.
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    Last edited by dedhed; 10-25-14 at 09:40 PM.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member NVanHiker's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting - people don't realize how stunning and varied China's scenery is! I have been in Beijing the last three years in October, and I've been lucky with beautiful fall days with blue skies, so ya never know. I biked around the city in the 90's, but now there are too many heavy electric bikes and scooters clogging the bike lanes, which kinda scared me off this time.

  14. #14
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Great pictures and adventure Benge! Welcome back to the PNW.

  15. #15
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    I loved the city walls in Xi'an. We were tempted to rent a bike but instead took a long, leisurely walk along the walls w/my wife, peering down on the neighborhoods below. One of my favorite memories of China.
    Nice pics! Brings back memories of my 3 week stay in China a few years ago.
    I was studying in Nanjing University. Nanjing has one of the oldest protective
    walls in all of China, and you're allowed to ride rented bikes on it. Best part is
    the pollution is not so bad.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi01...6zPoymgKaIoDLA

  16. #16
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    welcome back, I am fortunate to spend most summers for a few weeks in China each year, cars are fine, its those crazy electric scooter folks, plan to to do a double century around Lake Tai, Taihu next year

  17. #17
    Senior Member northbend's Avatar
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    Welcome back Steve!!

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