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Filtering by Tag: Binzhou

Day Twenty Three - Into Nanjing

Added on by Paul Wood.

I rode out of my country hotel early this morning. This is mostly because the roosters kept crowing, the pigs kept grunting, and the few country "gentleman" next door to me decided that they needed to clear their throats in the loudest way possible. I could not sleep in. I continued to scare people out of town with my appearance so I got my breakfast of Baozi to go so I could eat it in peace and quiet on the road. I like the countryside, I actually prefer it to the cities, but right now I'm kinda tired of being looked at funny by everyone I pass. I really want to be able to blend in.

I rode on the G205 until it became and interstate and I felt like I shouldn't continue on it on bike for fear of a policeman confronting me about what I was doing. So I took the X203 into Luhe then got back on the G205 to get to downtown Nanjing.

Luhe is a suburb of Nanjing. It also looks like Pudong, in Shanghai, maybe 15 years ago when Pudong was just getting populous. All the roads have been laid out and construction is everywhere but the people haven't quite filled in the space yet. Thats all fine to me because the bike lanes were wide and smooth.

I rode down to Pukou which I suppose is actually the Pudong of Nanjing, it has a pu in it so the "Pu Jersey" joke works. From Pukou I was able to cross the Yangtze River on bike on the Nanjing Yangzte River Bridge. I really wish the Communist party got around to naming big important things in a more interesting way. I want to call it "Your legs will give out before you make it to the top bridge" because it was true for a lot of cyclist. I got up fine without going to my lowest gear. Once I got the the top I took a few pictures and slowly rode down. It would have been a fun climb if not for the many honking motorcyclist passing me, and the strong wind pushing me left and right, and the narrow lane, the pot holes, the pedestrians, the light post protruding into the lane every 20 meters, and the 200 meter drop. What really got me was occasionally a motorcyclist wouldn't honk when overtaking me, I wanted to hear that honking sound so I knew to prepare myself for a pass. I crossed safely along with a few hundred other people around the same time. Next time I'm taking the ferry.

I've got a trick for honking motorcyclist now. What I've learned is that they don't want to see you pedaling. You moving forward at a steady pass seems to spook them for some reason. However, if you stop pedaling they stop honking and get on to the business of passing you. I guess this lack of movement is a sign of submission. Granted, I'm still going along at pretty much the same pace when I'm not pedaling but people feel like I'm easier to pass. I'll see if it works on buses next.

I thought to myself that crossing the Yangtze is a big step and realized that I didn't know when I crossed the Yellow river. I checked my map and discovered that the Yellow River was so narrow I didn't notice it when I crossed it. I crossed it in Shandong province, and it was the river next to Binzhou!

 

I found a Home Inn near the Temple of Confucius. 150 RMB a night.  I don't think I can do much better in the middle of a city, especially for a hotels that accept passports. What bothers me is that my 100 RMB went much farther in Huai'an than it does here in Nanjing. I'm debating if I should stay here another night or not since rates go up for the weekend. I didn't realize that tomorrow is Friday until I arrived.

Day Eleven - Wind & Rain

Added on by Paul Wood.

I woke up in Huanghua and out my window all I could see are these Chinese lane houses. I was sore and exhausted from the night before but somehow I convensed myself that I had to keep moving. I know at 100 RMB a night I could afford my nice hotel room for a day of recovery but that if I took that day I wouldn't get to Suzhou as fast. I got on the rode around 9 am and started fighting the wind. The best speed I could sustain wash 20 km per hour, well below my adverage getting to Tianjin. But after two hours of riding I met some other cyclist riding from Huanghua to Qingdao as well. They had left an hour before me so I was making good time. Despite the slower pace I joined them for the day of riding. It turned out to be a smart move.

The rain started at about 3 pm and slowly got heavier until 6 pm when it was a downpour. We had spread out over the last hour of riding, so I waited for two of the other guys to catch up at a local gas station. My friend wanted to keep going to the big city og BinZhou, but I knew for safety reasons we should stop. BinZhou was another 40 km away & it was wet, hard to see the road and getting colder.

Once we regrouped, We found a cheap guest house at the next crossroad and after a lot of haggling paid 20 RMB per person to stay the night. In total I spent about 60 RMB today on food and lodging.

They name of this town is Xia Wa zhen, 下洼镇 . It's at the cross section of two highways. S237 and S315. It's my first stop in a one stoplight town. But no one seems to pay attention to that stop light.