Stories and photos from a self supporting cyclist in China
Welcome to my site. This is where I will document my many cycling holidays in China, mostly self supporting with my trusty Surly LHT.
I will provide ideas, route information, exciting experiences and my love/passion for the wonderful country that is China.
Why Cycling in China
I was married in 1984, during our honeymoon in Hong Kong/Macau my wife and I am arranged to travel into China for a day long tour. Crossing the border at Macau, we were met by a bus driver, a tour guide and a government official who noted all of our possessions, watches, cameras etc to ensure we had them at the end of the day. We toured an outdoor wet market,
a kindergarten where the children performed a dance for us and we noticed their day beds had blocks of wood for pillows,
we drove past so many farmers, peasants and as the guide said, workers who were happy to slave away on the road side. Lunch was in a restaurant in the VIP room not mixing with the locals and finally a tour of Sun Yat-sen’s birthplace, the village of Cuiheng, Xiangshan County (now Zhongshan City), Guangdong.
We have a strong memory of the crappy souvenir shop at Sun Yat-sen’s house, it was very poorly stocked except for two things, we could buy coca cola and beautiful fish paintings by Woo Woon Leung.
We both loved our trip to Hong Kong, Macau and China. We found so much beautiful art, china, furniture, architecture, markets, culture, history, the list went on and on, but we had to wait 25 years to return due to having children, buying a house, life.
On our 25th wedding anniversary, 2009, we retraced our steps but this time it was soooo different. We caught a train from Hong Kong and travelled independently to Guangzhou, we caught taxis, subway trains and stayed at the White Swan hotel on Shamian island, Guangzhou. This trip was dramatically different to 1984, the progress and vibrancy of China was incredible. We had a few language problems but we fell in love with China again.
2009 was a turning point in our life, we moved out of our family home in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, we had a city change, downsized and moved much closer to the city. Our lovely new neighbour owned a Mandarin language school, running classes after work near my work place. It seemed I had an obvious/pre ordained decision to start learning Mandarin and have been learning formally/informally off and on since.
My wife and I live in the beautiful inner suburb of Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia. In 2009 we made a city change from the green and clean but slightly boring outer suburb of Croydon.
We bought our house in Brunswick in 2011 and have slowly been making it more sustainable with heaps of solar panels, three water tanks, veggie gardens front and back, compost heaps and chickens for fresh eggs and as a final treatment for our compost.
We both work locally and I have the luxury/privilege of being able to cycle to work every day, rain hail or shine. This is great exercise, non polluting, cheap and a fast way of getting to work reliably. I don’t understand why more people do not choose to do the same.
We have two wonderful children who we are very proud of . I love my family, bicycles, technology, rice, fish, growing vegetables, walking my dog, going to China to cycle and speak rubbish Mandarin.