Mar
20
2017

Rambling Different Trails: Get To Know Your Own Backyard.

Recently we we were invited out to dinner by a “well-placed civil servant.” We never found out what he actually does, but he speaks English. Eventually the conversation came around to riding bikes because, well, what could be better? I had to talk about my recent discoveries along the Shahe and Yinghe rivers, and that I’d just gone the day before to Xiaolaozhen via the Shahe. He just stared at me and said he’d grown […]

Mar
13
2017

Rambling Different Trails: Putting The Puzzle Together.

This past week I’ve been exploring the levee roads upstream from Zhoukou. The Yinghe and the Shahe rivers meet on the western edge of the city but I’d never found the entrance to a levee road west of the beltway. It turns out that tributaries and topography shift them but I finally found some of the thin gray lines on the map and figured it out. There’s nothing quite like having new territory to explore […]

Mar
7
2017

Rambling Different Trails: Fast Forward To The Present

I was reminded a few days ago just how quickly things are changing here in Zhoukou. I was commenting on the small village roads I’d been riding lately. Another oral English teacher, one who has been here for more than ten years laughed and said that when she arrived all the roads were like that. There were no big roads. What traffic there was consisted of buses, trucks, taxis, black government cars, and three-wheelers. And […]

Feb
27
2017

Rambling Different Trails: The Thin Gray Lines.

First an update from last week. In Shanghai a task force has been rounding up bike shares off the sidewalks. Apparently there are so many that people were complaining that they were taking up the space needed to park their own bicycles and scooters. Are they a victim of their own success? They will still be available, but there will be fewer. http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/article/police-sweep-share-bikes-removed-streets?utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=police-sweep-share-bikes-removed-streets&utm_medium=social Now on to this week. I am not a roadie. If given […]

Feb
20
2017

Rambling Different Trails: An Adventure In Bike Shares.

We are back from a week in Nanjing, Suzhou, and Shanghai, and are excited to see that bike shares are so common there. Nanjing is a modern city, heavily damaged during the Japanese occupation but today re-built and full of interesting places to visit by public transit and bicycle. I immediately noticed that the municipal Public Bicycle bikeshare of Nanjing which uses docking posts sometimes lining a whole city block, was not the only option. […]

Feb
6
2017

Trail Ramblings: Driven Beyond Patience.

It’s easy to take for granted the dependability and generally law-abiding nature of Lincoln motorists, excepting of course the (lack of) use of turn signals. Here in China if there’s dependability, it’s that when a motorist, or anyone, sees an opportunity to get ahead, they’ll likely take it. Queuing up is not second nature here. That message was brought home yesterday when we accepted the offer of an outing to Xiangcheng to see Yuan Shikai’s […]

Jan
31
2017

Rambling Different Trails: Being Good Ambassadors.

Whether you are based in Lincoln, Nebraska or Zhoukou, Henan, as long as you are on a bicycle you represent All Cyclists in the eyes of those you meet. Here I get a twofer and so also represent All Westerners. I’m not sure which is stranger to people sometimes, (probably the latter) but combined it’s definitely a traffic stopper. Interacting with traffic and local residents in Lincoln who don’t understand why we ride on the […]

Jan
23
2017

Rambling Different Trails: Finding The Levee Trail.

Holiday season in high gear in China and even if I didn’t know the date (begins January 28, or January 1 Lunar calendar, lasting a week) I’d be able to know by the appearance of larger village street markets, fairs and crowds. Businesses close down so that employees and migrants can travel home beforehand. School is out of session, streets are being swept, fireworks bought and parade floats finished. It’s been a great time to […]

Jan
16
2017

Rambling Different Trails: Road Trip!

Our recent trip to Yunnan province was not a biking trip, but we did manage to bike a few days. In Kunming while looking for rental options I did come across a bike tour package from Bike China Adventures that does 1-2 week tours from April to October. It included an interesting sounding one in Yunnan, but we were traveling off-season and were figuring in a traveling companion who interpreted for us so maybe some […]

Jan
11
2017

Updates to Lincoln's Bike Laws: A Win!

Great news, Lincoln cyclists! On December 12, the Lincoln City Council approved a set of proposed changes to Lincoln’s city ordinances related to bicycling. You can read a full description of the update here. These are the highlights: Updated hand turn signals. You can now signal a right turn by extending your right arm out to the side. You probably already did this, but it was technically invalid before – previously, all hand signals had to be done with […]

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