Mar
30
2017

City Council 2017 Candidates: Where do they stand on Complete Streets?

Because the Complete Streets initiative prioritizes multi-modal transportation it is generally considered an important step towards improving city infrastructure for bicycling and walking.  Consequently, on March 30, we posed a question to each of the candidates running for the three-at-large City Council positions. Do you support the Complete Streets initiative for Lincoln? If so, to what degree do you prioritize the development of Complete Streets and the improvement of Lincoln’s bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure? Candidates advancing to […]

Mar
27
2017

Rambling Different Trails: At The Bike Shop.

It’s aggravating not speaking Chinese, and needing to go to the bike shop while not speaking Chinese is even worse. I can say a few phrases and get us home in a taxi, but explaining my need for a new chain and cassette and probably the bottom bracket? It’s rough. I know there must be better translation apps out there than what I’ve found but when you get into specialized vocabulary like this, it comes […]

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 […]

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