Announcing The Great Ride of China!

It’s been a while now again since I last posted anything here. The last post I published gave a very obvious hint as to why that might be. For the past 5 months I have been busy preparing for a long distance motorcycle trip around China. I had intended to write updates on the preparation my girlfriend Amy and I were doing, but unfortunately, the last couple months leading up to the trip have become increasingly busy. Making The Official Announcement Well after all this work and finally clearing the last major hurdle to us starting on the trip just over a week before our planned departure date, I am happy to be able to formally announce The Great Ride of China! On July 18th, my girlfriend Amy and I will be departing on a 4 month, 25,000km motorcycle ride around China where we intend to drive through every province
Continue reading...

The Long Haul- Preparing for a Long Distance Motorcycle Adventure

When you’re getting ready for a really long distance trip by motorcycle, on the one hand you want to make sure you prepare as much as possible. On the other though, part of the fun of it all is dealing with the unexpected and just sort of “playing it by ear”. Well it’s been a while since my 2 month circumnavigation of the U.S. in 2010 and I’m ready to hit the road again. I don’t really want to say this is the formal announcement of the trip yet since there are a lot of variables still in play, but I thought it would be useful to document the process of preparing for a mentally and physically taxing long distance motorcycle ride. This will be the first in a series following the steps I’ll be taking to prepare for the next motorcycle adventure. A Little Background The Plan: To motorcycle
Continue reading...

An Accident, My Battery, And The No. 1 Motorcycle Club of Zoucheng

Hitting Bottom on Day 11- Second To Last Day of The Trip I think there comes a time for many ex-pats living in China, particularly those that don’t live in first tier cities like Beijing or Shanghai, where you sort of hit a psychological bottom and just want out. This usually happens as a result of being surrounded by a different culture, language, food, etc. from what you’re comfortable with from back home. With nearly two years and only 1 two week holiday back home though, I’ve been generally content with life in China. Today however, I think I finally felt like I had had enough. The weather didn’t help much either as last night a dense cloud of pollution had descended upon the east coast of China. The road today (mainly G104) was under heavy construction too, so in addition to all the pollution, everything was covered in dust
Continue reading...

Day 10- My Battery Exploded and It Smells Like Rotten Egg

Since I was a little behind schedule from the day before, I tried to get an early start today (which I more or less succeeded in doing). When I asked about breakfast at the front desk of the Hanting, the guy brought me outside and around the corner to a little hole in the wall where there was porridge, egg, steamed buns, and dumplings. The lady the night before said it was western style, but for 8 RMB ($1.25), I can’t really complain. Enter Nanjing I found myself going through Nanjing today as my route got somewhat adjusted due to my missed target the day before. Seeing as how I had food poisoning the last time I was in the city a few days earlier, I took the time to do some more site seeing, and despite putting me two hours behind schedule, I’m glad I did! Nanjing is a
Continue reading...

Day 9- The Road Back To Beijing And The Most Expensive Giant Buddha in China

It turns out there were some growing pains I needed to go through with my Chinese turn by turn GPS direction apps. Though I think that by the end of the day I got everything working quite smoothly it wasn’t so easy the whole day. My final goal (originally, but more on that later) for today was to reach 扬州 (Yangzhou) a city just across the Yangtze, but before I headed there, I wanted to go through a city called 无锡 (Wuxi) that was supposed to have some nice tourist attractions and it was pretty much on the way. Luckily, I was able to get on the expressway leaving Shanghai (normally motorcycles aren’t allowed on but I assume Shanghai is similar to Beijing as they aren’t as strict about it), but then, nearly two thirds of the way to Wuxi, my GPS was telling me in Chinese in my headphones
Continue reading...