Shannon Ricky and I said we meet for an early morning road bike ride all the way up North-West to Miaofeng Mountain. We had a 5:30 am meeting point just at the famous Beijing Hotel. I had luck because I found an electric bike rider that was riding at 30 km/h that I could draft behind all the way to the meeting point. Shortly before our meeting point I noticed a road cyclist standing on the sidewalk. My first thought was “great to see Chinese people in lycra this early on a weekday”. My second thought was “was that maybe Shannon? Maybe he does not know where the Beijing Hotel is”. And then by the time I thought my 3rd thought I was almost at the meeting point. Shannon came after a while and was unhappy that I passed him without stopping to help with his flat tire. Both me and Ricky gave him our pumps. Mine is the kind where you need to turn the inside of the head around if you switch from American to French valves. Well it is probably not the best thing to do early in the morning standing right over a sewage grid. Well the obvious happened, I dropped the pump head and it nicely rolled into the slits and dropped into the sewage water.
After a long flat ride as a peloton I suddenly hit a rock a got a pinch flat. Now that my pump had no head anymore and Ricky’s wasn’t working Shannon helped me pump up the new inner tube. But with his pump he broke my inner tube valve. So I took off the new now broken tube and patched the original inner tube and put it back. Then it was not far to the foot of the Miaofengshan where we split up so that each of us could try to beat their own best time. I was already feeling quite tired so I only did the 13km uphill ride from the gate to the village.
Shannon and Richy continued the additional 6 km continuous uphill to the temple at the top. It was quite windy on the mountain and I was happy when they both came back.
As we approached Beijing city the traffic started getting worse and worse. And what I find annoying is all the cars parked and driving in the bike lane. Like here, this picture shows a pure bike lane, but it has people parked on the left and right side plus cars riding in the center. Where should the cyclists ride their bike?
Or here in this picture the white line on the left divides the car lane from the bike lane. But the cars are all jammed up and standing in the bicycle path. No cyclist can ride through this mess. So it was even worse that after today’s 130km bike ride that Shannon insisted that we try out the route for tonight’s STC ride and we had to squeeze ourselves through the city traffic jams.