Well it’s Autumn in China again and that means it’s time for another road trip! Last year for the 1 week long National Day holiday in China, Amy and I rode my 250cc Jincheng motorcycle from Beijing to Qingdao with a stop over in another Chinese seaside city, Yantai. This year however, with my recently acquired second hand Honda Shadow, we’ll be doubling that distance for our longest trip in China yet, 1,200+km (2400km round trip) from Beijing to Shanghai!
I spent the past week going through all the necessary bike prep steps to make sure it was ready for the road. This was particularly important to me since I bought it second hand from a local guy and wanted to make sure it was fully ready for the journey. Turns out… it wasn’t. After going to three different mechanics this week for all the various jobs I needed doing, I’ve now got new tires, new air filter, new oil filter, new oil, new brake pads, and a newly tightened front fork suspension. You can tell from this list how poorly the bike was taken care of before. This was particularly true of the tires which had major cracking along the side walls and also had only been filled up to about 10psi. For anyone who’s interested, the two places I used were the Benelli shop off of Dong Feng Nan Lu (map here) and the other is Beijing Motorway in the 798 Art District. There’s an American mechanic at Beijing Motorway that was particularly helpful, and despite this being a higher end type of shop, I highly recommend him for anyone who really cares about their bike. Aside from the mechanical stuff, I also managed to pick up some gear off of Taobao (Chinese ebay), most important were a pair of saddle bags and a big rear sissy bar bag, making our carrying capacity significantly larger than the last trip we did.
Now with the technical stuff out of the way a quick summary of the trip…
We’re planning on taking about 4 days down to get to Shanghai. The first day will be the longest and most boring, about 425km mostly on the expressway since they let motorcycles on in Beijing (but nowhere else, so once we’re off, we’re off for good). Then after that it’s three days on provincial roads with stops in Zibo, Lian Yun Gang, and Jingjiang (on the north side of the Yangtze from where we hop on a ferry). We plan to spend a few days resting first in Shanghai then taking a train to Nanjing with a possible stop over in Suzhou (the “Venice of China”).
Unfortunately, since Amy has to be back in Beijing for work by Monday the 8th, we will be parting ways for the return journey as she will take a quicker but also much less interesting form of transportation- the train. I haven’t quite mapped out my return journey yet as I want to see how it goes on the way down and also see how much time I have to explore, so more on that later!
As always, I will be blogging on the road and you can follow the (partially) live tracking with the widget on our sidebar.. You can follow along through our usual channels (Facebook and Twitter) and I’ve also just joined Instagram! So if you’d like to keep up with the pictures from the road, you can follow me @Bukco13 (that’s b-u-k-c-o-1-3). If you want to get updates from the road via email, you can sign up for our “Chinese Road Trip” list in the box below.