2014 Hangzhou bicycle tour day one

As I mentioned in my preparation post, if your bicycle box is over 32 kg, it is illegal to check it in in Australia, luckily I had packing tape and scissors on hand to re-seal the box after a quick transfer of a few things to my carry on.

I managed to check in just one kilo over my 30 kg limit, with an extra cost of course. I poked the tape and scissors into the bike box through the hand holds. The nice check in person gave me the tip.

As I was flying Air asia , I needed to stop over in KL and surprise surprise I met the wonderful Maggie in the lounge waiting for takeoff to Hangzhou. Actually I received a few strange messages from Maggie prior to booking. My wife and I had hosted Maggie and two friends in May 2014 and the arrangement was Maggie (and her parents) would host me in October 2014 when I was flying to Hangzhou.

Maggie messaged me and said was I planning to fly Air asia from Melbourne, I said yes, on this date, I said yes, and was my connecting flight leaving at this time…. strange I thought, until I realised Maggie was booking a flight from Sydney and was checking we would be on the same flight to Hangzhou, so I would not be arriving to be hosted by her parents without her! I immediately offered to book a hostel, and tried to persuade her to not fly back just to be my host. She said it was fine , she was due to fly back home to visit anyway, all was good.

We were met at the airport by one of Maggie’s friends with a large sedan. It was a bit tricky working out how to fit the large bike box in, the only way was across the back seat taking up all of the leg room. Maggie had to lay across the back seats and peaked over the box all the way home.

Maggie’s parents lived in a pedestrian mall, there was no vehicle access, the bike box had to be carried for a couple hundred metres and then up fours flights of stairs.

I was given Maggie’s room, and Maggie slept in a spare room/alcove, although Maggie and her parents stayed up late into the night catching up as Maggie had been away for months. I felt a bit awkward but Maggie and her parents were super friendly and tried to put me at my ease. I am glad I home stayed with Maggie and her parents but I chose to book into hostels for every trip now and don’t look for home stays.

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