May
15
2018

Rambling Different Trails: Taikang, Huaiyang, And A Student Ride.

  Temperatures were still somewhat Spring-like this past week, so last Thursday I celebrated with a ride back to Taikang (really, anything can suffice for a celebration ride.) The Giant bike shop there is always tempting me with rides I can’t go on, as it’s too far to ride there for their early starts. Rolling into town, my first stop was to get some coffee at Dico’s, of course, where I had a nice chat in […]

May
7
2018

Rambling Different Trails: To Luoyang And Beyond.

Last week found Steve and I in Luoyang for International Labor Day, May 1st, where we celebrated the holiday by visiting a long-lost friend of Steve’s. Internet access was then, and still is, even spottier than usual for me, making posting this blog not a sure thing at all. One thing I noticed this time in Luoyang (my first time there was four years ago) was the number and variety of bike shares. Luoyang’s population […]

Apr
23
2018

Rambling Different Trails: Back To Shangcai And More.

Last week it warmed up for a few days before turning cold and rainy again, so I took advantage by revisiting the small city of Shangcai. I’d last ridden there when snow was still packed in the alleys, so it was a different scene with temperatures in the 80s. My mission was to see if I could get into the beautiful walled garden with the pagoda I saw last time, and of course find the […]

Apr
16
2018

Rambling Different Trails: Spring,The AQI, And Construction.

When I hear about people considering coming to China to visit or work, but are too worried to do so, the reasons usually involve the air and general pollution here. (Though some also cite the drivers) Like all countries who have passed through the process of industrialization, China has had to learn the hard way, and perhaps harder than the rest, that there is a price to be paid for it. In the name of […]

Apr
9
2018

Rambling Different Trails: An Overnighter.

There are not many of the historic early post-revolutionary buildings around anymore. This past Thursday was Qing Ming, aka “Tomb Sweeping Day.” Our plans were to take advantage of a few days off to ride up to the hot springs near Yanling, about 60 miles away. Our days off are Thursday and Sunday, so we have no weekend overnight opportunities apart from holidays. Unfortunately, Thursday dawned cold and rainy, so we decided to leave on […]

Apr
2
2018

Rambling Different Trails: So Many Routes To Re-Visit.

When you go out on a ride, how do you decide where to go? Some like to take the same few routes, maybe because they’re a known quantity and past rides can be compared. Or we have favorite stops with views along the way. Some of us like to pore over maps to find places we haven’t been or that look interesting. Whether in Zhoukou or Lincoln, I’m always on the prowl for fresh rides, […]

Mar
26
2018

Rambling Different Trails: Knees Are Fickle Friends.

Thursday’s longish ride destination was decided by Steve- Huaiyang for their annual festival. The way out of town surprised us with newly torn up streets. Zhoukou is in a constant state of flux. I thought they’d finished with those improvements after construction last year, but no. The day was beautiful and after back roads into Huaiyang we stopped in to visit Confucius at his temple on the island. The map in my head made a […]

Mar
19
2018

Rambling Different Trails: Back To Our Regularly Programmed Spring.

One thing I missed on our Big Tour was weather that didn’t require a hose-down every half hour. We arrived back in Zhoukou to temperatures in the 70’s. What could be more perfect? That lasted for a few days, then we got smacked down to the reality of spring weather. It’s changeable. Thursday I had the opportunity for the first longish ride since being back. Believing if anything I’d be hot, I left in knickers […]

Mar
12
2018

Rambling Different Trails: The Takeaway

We’re back in Zhoukou now, and our Big Tour is in the books. So what have been the best parts and the parts we would change? What did we learn? What were the surprises? There were a lot of firsts. It was the first time we’d boxed our bikes for air travel, and we had no problems, for the most part. People were universally kind and friendly. In Laos they would always wave and call […]

Mar
5
2018

Rambling Different Trails: A Week Of Contrasts

The route this week took us to some bona-fide tourist destinations, including the beautiful ruins of Vat Phou, a smaller cousin of Angkor Wat, and it’s village of Champasak. The kingdom of Champasak was independent until the French forced it to be part of Laos around 1945. The ruins of the unfinished new palace are visible along the road. From there it was back across the Mekong via ferry and on to the 4000 Islands. […]

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