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Rental Bike Lesson

I have neighbors above/below me. A couple that teaches at HIS. Jamie teaches PE. I met him from my balcony as he was having a water balloon fight with his young son Eddie. Haven’t met his wife Gabby yet. Will make an effort to chat with them tomorrow. Perhaps share a beer or ten.


Got out on a rental bicycle this morning after yoga routine. Headed towards West Lake. It’s a World Heritage Site. Just spectacular and cool items all around the Lake with thousands of years of history. I look forward to rounding the lake (about 6 miles) with someone that knows all the stories. AND THEN REALITY SET IN. It’s about a 15 mile round trip. It wasn’t flat. The rental bikes are all too small for me. It’s frickin hot (I hit the road at about 6am to avoid the hottest part of the day) and humid. After 6 miles I knew I wasn’t going to make it. Turned around and headed back. Had to stop many times to try and breathe. I could literally wring the sweat out of my shirt. The burning from the lactic acid buildup in my legs was the sort of torture that Torquemada would have been proud of. Details to follow…


Started towards the Qiantang River. Got some nice pics. Road currently flat. I got this. No problems. Road next to the river is cool. Well designed for walking, bikes, and scooters. Large parts of the city on both sides of the river.



After about a mile stopped and took two pics from the same spot. One across the river with a cool looking pagoda in the distance, and then turned 180 degrees to get one of a road leading into the Binjiang district.



Another mile and I began to approach the Qiantang bridge. It was built in 1935. Train tracks across the bottom and two lane road on the top. To get to West Lake I will have to cross the river over the bridge. Here’s a thought… I have some elevation change coming my way. Uh oh.




I got up on the bridge and realized I had bit off more than King King could chew. I was out in the open getting pounded by the sun and starting to ache when the negative thoughts crept in (always with the negative waves Moriarty, you’re welcome Brian). Umm. I’m not going to make it. Got across the bridge surrounded by heavy traffic when I came to a lovely down hill portion. Hey, wait. Going back is going to be up hill. Dang. Realized I had to cross traffic to head back. Came to an intersection and thanked chairman Mao for putting a traffic cop at every intersection. He helped me get across the street to head back the other way. I could hear his thoughts as he watched me struggle. Big dumb white round eye. That said, we smiled at each other and I was thankful he was there. It was noticeable that lots of people had weird small jobs to keep people employed. There were tons of workers cutting this sort grassy material beside the roads by hand. It sort of looked like they were working a rice paddy. I think a lawn mower of some form could do the same job a lot quicker. Same for every mildly busy intersection. There was a attendant mostly standing by and watching. Well, I was grateful for the one I needed.


Took some pictures on the bridge. I had to stop many times to let scooters get by me and also to keep from passing out. The walking/bike path was narrow on both sides.



If you read the portion in English from the plaque you get a sense of the general propaganda used to make everyone remember that China is the best. Nationalism. Bleh.


I had to stop soon after I crossed the bridge for a beverage. Lemonade was perfect. Bought a couple more to bring back to my current pad. The way they pay for stuff here rules. Using an app on the phone for every transaction is super convenient. Don’t think I’ll need a wallet for anything while here.


Collapsed on the couch in the direct line of my life giving air conditioning at the moment. It’s not even 10:00am. The shower calls to me. I’m now freezing from all the sweat combined with the AC. Lesson learned. It’s going to be my own much larger bike or a scooter. Perhaps both.

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Kari Bosley
Kari Bosley
Aug 01, 2022

I’m not envious of the struggle bus you boarded but I do enjoy reading your adventures and empathizing your struggle. Does that make me weird? of course it does! 😉 I love your sense of adventure and optimism. Keep on keeping on! You’re doing great!

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David Shick!
David Shick!
Aug 01, 2022
Replying to

Thanks, Kari. I appreciate the support. I've definitely had a small handful of "what am I doing?!?!" moments, but I've had many more "this is so cool" occurrences.

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Love the app for all payme ! ! . . . . , . .

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David Shick!
David Shick!
Aug 01, 2022
Replying to

Truthfully, I'm surprised that the USA hasn't gone this route. At home we're WAY behind in this aspect of modern day living. Best guess is that we have a stronger fear of embracing a fully digital life.

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