Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weekend bike ride (or: Enjoying the weather while it lasts)

Just two weekends ago (the same weekend as our excellent camping trip), Paul and I also made a fun little bike ride.
China of course used to be a bicycle kingdom, but over the last 20 years its bikes have slowly been replaced with cars and other motorized vehicles. People's driving styles, however, have not kept pace with this change and often it seems people are driving as if they are still on a bicycle. (For example -- and this might be hard to image -- we actually often see people stop along a highway and back up to go back to an exit they missed.)
So two Saturdays ago, Paul and I felt a great need to get out and bike in this crazy traffic. Besides, it was gorgious weather and in Beijing you have to enjoy that. Before you know it, winter will set in and I'll be dressed like an eskimo again.
We biked about 34.64 km in 1:53 minutes; at an average speed of 18.29 km/hour -- this information  brought to you by the Endomundo iPhone app, which nicely tracked our route. (According to the same Endomundo, we also burned 1313 kcal, a fact I immediately celebrated by eating a giant chocolate muffin.)


For the most part we biked along a canalized river. This is Beijing too, you know!


Paul enjoying the view.


Another view from the same bridge.


It's kind of hard to see, but the dots in the river are fishermen (and one woman), catching fish with a big trail net. If you like heavy metals, it should be a great dinner.


Just like The Netherlands: a nice bicycle trail. The only difference with Holland was that this trail all of the sudden was interrupted by a big fence, and we had to bike all the way back and take the regular road again.


In the middle of the trip, we came past this construction site.


I made Paul go in and take a picture of this monster (the "tree root," not the man). It's not actually an old tree, but a gigantic, enormous, humongous tree-like construction made of stone. It wasn't...eh...exactly...eh...my taste.


Back out on the street again. It looks like I am dressed for the Gobi desert! Well, I was going for a run, but then (literally) switched gears. The Chinese don't mind at all when you dress in a top and shorts, but it is a bit unusual as Chinese women usually cover up and protect themselves from the sun. (You might have read about China's facekini's earlier this year?)


The Great Wall. (just kidding--I don't want you to cancel your upcoming trip!)


The bike ride continues.


Oncoming traffic. By the way, look at the width of this road, compared to the amount of traffic. Sometimes China's infrastructure is just a little bit grandiose, as if it is planned for giants, not humans.


Again closer to home, we cycle through this village area. (Note the pipe on the right.) 


More village view. It's Saturday morning and people are just millling about.


And with this last look around the neighborhood, we returned to our own house (not pictured in this photo). It was a fun little trip and if the weather holds, we should do it again soon.

In het Nederlands: Vandaag gewoon wat fotootjes van een fietstocht dichtbij huis. Het is niet altijd even makkelijk een leuke fietsroute te vinden, maar interessante dingen zijn er altijd wel te zien!

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