The steady patter of raindrops form into small rivulets and run down the window of our Shanghai apartment. Vacantly staring into the featureless mist and clouds wandering through the skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, my mind drifts to places far away. It’s an excellent moment to reflect on journey’s past. Just a few days on the backside of this year’s winter solstice, our adventures in Hokkaido, Kyoto, and Hong Kong seem so far away. A new year is only a couple of days away while 2017 draws to a close, and what an incredible year it was. Twelve months filled with continual cycling and travel adventures seemed to pass so quickly. Such is the nature of time when you’re having fun. Before we plunge headlong into another year, here are a few images to recount some of our travels and places we experienced during this great year.
Not only are bicycles great for long-distance travel, but they are also excellent vehicles for getting under local cultural strata as well.
Clear days and mild fall temperatures bring pleasant riding weather. Itching to get out a bit, I was up in the morning and out into Shanghai my bike seeing what there is to see.
This morning’s destination: one or more of Shanghai’s longtangs or “lane houses” in the hopes of getting a peek into the city’s quintessential yesteryears that are all too rapidly fading away.
In a city like Shanghai, adventure is only a short ride away.
Adventure Close to Home
With commitments and obligations keeping me in the city for a few months before the next long adventure, I’d been yearning to get out on the bike again.
The milder and warmer spring weather around Shanghai was beginning to provide excellent opportunities to get out on the bike for local adventures.
It was time to get out the bike and explore some of the sights in around the city to “see what could be seen.” After all, in China, a country with over five thousand years of written history, surely there was something to be discovered and explored.
Practically anywhere you go in China, the Chinese people have a rich, robust culture foreign to Westerners, which makes for interesting places to see and experience. [Read more…] about Going Local: Exploring the Watertown of Qibao
The Girl Wants to Ride
“Dad, I want to ride with you tomorrow,” Mia declared to me as I pumped up the tires on my Divide and readied it for the following day’s cruise out to Chongming Island. Now at the last minute, Mia suddenly expressed an interest in going.
One of the simple pleasures of living in Shanghai is taking a shower in the pre-dawn hours and gazing through the wide open bathroom window from our 22nd-floor apartment to the city streets below. Standing under the stream of hot water with the cool breeze blowing in from a tall narrow window, it’s almost like showering outdoors in the warm rain under an urban banyan tree situated deep in the vast expanse of an enormous concrete jungle.
Awake before in the fading darkness while the megalopolis still sleeps, I am able to peer through my little portal to the world and catch a clear view of deserted city streets trailing off into the myriad of high-rise buildings and skyscrapers that is Shanghai. A gentle wind whispers through the window. The misty scent of fresh rain touches my nose.