U-Turn Back To Beijing

A quick summary of the few days off from the motorcycle: Said hi to Amy’s dad and took the dog for a walk Enjoyed a lovely fancy duck dinner on the Bund in Shanghai Took the high speed train from Shanghai to Nanjing (but went to the wrong train station so had to change tickets) Arrived in Nanjing, dropped off bags at the hotel, and had lunch Went to visit a Confucius temple that was celebrating his two thousandth something birthday. It was really crowded Walked along the old city wall (longest and biggest in China/the world) Had drinks and dinner at the Sheraton hotel and then soon after got food poisoning. Changed hotels to the Westin and then spent my last 24 hours in Nanjing sick in bed Next day, good as new, breakfast then train to Suzhou, visited the “Humble Administrator’s” garden and Tiger Hill and then back
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Days 3 & 4 To Shanghai: Weddings and Bridges and Fireworks Oh My!

The National Holidays in China are a very popular time for holding marriage ceremonies around the country. Apparently this is because it’s a time when everyone is home for the holidays and so they can gather the whole family together to celebrate. We found this was the case last year when we traveled to Qingdao; as there were several van-fulls of matrimonial couples dressed up in what were most likely rented outfits from the photography company lining up to take pictures in front of the big church in Qingdao (left over from the European concessions in the area). This time around was no different as we passed maybe a dozen wedding processions on the road. The way this typically works is you have a train of about 5 cars, usually either black Audis or red Fords, with ribbons tied all over them and their license plates covered in red Chinese
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Day 2 to Shanghai- Back On The Provincial Roads

Slower but a little more hectic today as we are now relegated to the smaller provincial roads. It is a little slower going but definitely more interesting as we pass through the different towns, not to mention the people at gas stations and lunch spots are a little more chatty. We were on a couple of roads today that I really enjoyed, with interesting scenery as we passed over small hills and drove through long sweeping turns. So for anyone who happens to be in the area of Lin Yi (临沂) in Shandong Province, check out routes S277 and G307. Otherwise, not too much else to report. The weather has been nice and there are definitely signs of autumn showing, particularly with all the farmers laying their corn to dry on the sides of the roads. We finished up the day today in a nice, clean (it is possible in
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The Road To Shanghai Day One- Reflections on an Expressway

Reporting in from smoggy Zibo! Extremely clear day leaving Beijing today, something unusual for the typically polluted city, but apparently the local officials here in Zibo didn’t get the memo, because as soon as we entered the city limits, we immediately noticed the heavy smog through which the setting sun was filtering through. One of the things I typically do in my “alone” time in my helmet when on trips in China is make comparisons with experiences from back home. Given that this was my first time covering any sort of long distance on the Chinese expressway, I spent a good part of my day thinking about the parallels with the interstate system back home in the US, which is now the only country with a larger and more developed expressway system then China. No Motorcycles Allowed This is certainly the most obvious comparison but is definitely worth mentioning: bikes
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The Long Road Down From Beijing to Shanghai

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,
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