As we were making our way slowly on the shoulder of the highway, a police officer ended up pulling us over. This obviously made us pretty nervous given that nothing we were doing with the bikes was legal, so pretended not to know any Chinese. The cop however turned out to be very friendly as he apologized for his poor English, explained how we couldn’t drive on the highway like that, and escorted us to the next down.
Driving through this city was pretty interesting as we were winding through an army of gigantic trucks along a dirt road riddled with ditches. Soon we found a motorcycle repair place, 摩托车修, that was really just a hole in the wall with scooters out front next to what I’m pretty sure was a brothel. However, we still managed to move the tire back and make the chain taught and all for free.
At this point, I started to notice that my temperature gauge had been running hot for a long time. I asked the guy at the shop about it and he said not to worry about it, it was a hot day. So I decided to keep going but just keep an eye on it. So we started to find our way out of the town.
This is when we started to have a very Chinese experience getting directions. Each time we asked someone, we would seem to get two contadictory answers, one guy even crossing out the directions someone had written down for us, saying they were completely wrong, and writing something different. We also got conflicting answers on whether or not we could drive on highways with our bikes.
So we started to make our way to this road we had been recommended (quick update on my bike, it had developed a slight shudder and was still running hot). The guy that told us about the road had assured us that everyone knew about it. However, it seemed everyone we asked had no idea… Soon though, a Chinese man on a Jingshen Chinese bike caught up to us and offered to lead us in the right direction.
This man was an insane driver. The driving was already chaotic as it was, cars taking up the two lanes of the opposite direction in an effort to bypass traffic. The guy we met though, after growing tired of weaving between cars and trucks and driving against traffic, lead us into a parking lot to get pass the gridlock, then onto the sidewalk, until he randomly decided he didn’t want to do that anymore an drove straight off of the 3 inch raised walkway at a decent speed (this certainly wasn’t good for Karl’s chain).
Eventually though, after asking four people who said they didnt know it only to find out from a cab driver that we were 20 feet away, we managed to get our way to the road, 205 国道, which seemed to start in a construction yard.