Browsing articles in "Blog"
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. […]

Feb
26
2018

Rambling Different Trails: Rolling On Down Route Thirteen.

Since last week we have pedaled through innumerable villages and dodged countless cows, goats, and the occasional water buffalo and scorpion. I am continually thankful I brought some masks along because there has been quite a lot of dry-season ditch burning going on. For the most part we have kept to our itinerary, except for compressing three days of riding into two to save more time at the end. We crossed paths with another touring […]

Feb
19
2018

Rambling Different Trails: The Big Tour.

A few days before we were scheduled to leave for our cycling tour down the Mekong river from Vientiane, Laos to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, I heard from our guide that he couldn’t lead the tour. His two Germans had to cancel and he couldn’t do it with just us. Then he said something that changed everything:”I’m sure you can cycle without a guide.” Well, sure, I cycle around Zhoukou all the time without […]

Feb
5
2018

Rambling Different Trails: A Good Week For Riding, Finally.

The past week has been a little warmer, above freezing and dry, so with winter break on, I’ve finally gotten to do more riding. Steve slipped trying to brake on black ice about two weeks ago, and while riding doesn’t bother him so much, starting and stopping does. We’re hoping his hip’s healed up enough to not cause problems on our upcoming bike trip to Laos and Vietnam. We fly to Bangkok Saturday. That has […]

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