The great thing about China is an adventure is always near. As the longest continuous civilization on the face of the earth, there is always someplace to go, something to see. It was time to let the spirit run and see what there was to see. Destination: the coastal fishing village of Za Pu in Zhejiang province on the north shore of Hangzhou Bay.
Fall weather is an excellent time to ride. The overcast skies and cooler temperatures typical for Mid-Autumn Festival make for pleasant cycling. It’s a great time to get out and it the road and spin those pedals, especially in China.
For Mid-Autumn Festival, our family celebrated the holiday with a family lunch and dinner. In the evening there was an all-nighter playing mahjong for those who could hang. I wasn’t one of them. Besides, I would be playing on scared money anyway. Always wanting to work a bit of adventure cycling in wherever possible, decided to make a couple days of it by riding out to the ancient water town village of Xinchang near where we would be staying.
Maintaining the oil at the right level in your Rohloff Hub is essential to keeping the hub in good working order and will prevent damage the drive’s internal components due to a lack of lubrication. Here’s are a couple of tips you may be interested in that I use to keep my Speed Hub operating smoothly over the long-haul.
Bicycle Travel: An Evolutionary Process
Tweaking my bike’s set up is almost as fun as taking long bike rides. It’s a never-ending evolutionary process of trying to build a cleaner, more reliable ride produces the purest, hassle-free travel experience. Each cycling journey provides me with a few ideas on how I can improve the Divide’s set up. Last summer’s family cycling adventure around the island of Hokkaido, Japan was no exception.
After using some of my bike’s kit to outfit my wife and daughter’s bicycles for our trek through Japan’s northern most island. I was in need of a couple of new bags and pouches for the Divide, plus some minor tweaking to sweeten the ride. Here’s a quick rundown of what I came up with.
My bags are packed. The Divide is ready to roll. Distant horizons of the burnt red sun of the Australian Outback call.
Setting up a bike and kit for a long journey is an ongoing ever evolving process of tweaking and changing, deleting this and adding that. For me, it’s just the nature of the beast.
Setting up my rig and kit for Australia was a pretty casual affair. In the Land Down Under, I’m rolling fairly light and not over thinking the gear. Other than protection from the elements, a few items to keep the bike rolling, and a camera and notebook to document the journey, not much more is needed.
Just about wherever you go nowadays chances are someone’s already been there. You’d be challenged to find many places on this planet where humans haven’t already been. Virtually everywhere you go, someone’s been there before you. And worse yet, if it’s a really cool place, somebody’s probably put up a fence around it and is charging admission.
The world is changing. Adventure travel isn’t what it used to be a hundred, even fifty years ago. But that’s no reason you shouldn’t go. If you travel to where you never been, it will be your first time. The journey will still be a rewarding adventure if you approach it right. And in a sense, we are all explorers in our own right.
A Journey of Physical and Mental Landscapes
The miles and chips are adding up are beginning to add up on the Divide with adventure. With each journey, my riding style continues to evolve. Each foray over the horizon teaches me something new in the art of bike travel. At the end of each ride, I usually end up tweaking this or that. Adventure cycling is a never-ending journey of not only the land but of the self and one’s gear as well.
As of late, my bike travel has been about slowing down and getting into the experience of the ride and not so much the distance traveled. I’ve become much more focused on the quality of the ride and the places visited while paying less attention my average speed or distance covered.
Reducing the daily travel distance creates more “white space” for the serendipity of travel to occur. The shift in traveling style also generated a few component changes on the bike and kit as well.