RIDING

End of the line

This past week, referred to as Golden Week throughout Mainland China, is one of the two long holidays of the year. Coincidentally, it’s the last national holiday before the unpredictably long while before Spring Festival rolls around. Despite the schedule being wide open for most, this means a lot of people are on the move …

The big two

Just west of Chengdu lays a veritable cornucopia of insanely nice riding. Within 75 km of the city limits you’ll find yourself at the leading edge of an enormous mountain range, the foothills of the Tibetan Plateau. This means relatively close, world-class, tall climbs. For an avid cyclist, this lesser known corner of the world …

Airport loop

A sweet little loop, today’s route takes you down and around the lower horn of the airport. The roads within the 4th Ring Road are pretty damn “meh”, but if you can tough out the traffic, construction, and choppy concrete, it makes for a decent ride. At a cool 50km, this loop is a good …

Trialing

The past few weeks have shown a solid routine developing: A solid mid-week rip round the Second Ring Road.  The Second Ring Road is a thing of absolute beauty, not to mention there’s a whole segment that wraps its way around it in both directions. From this, you have two beautiful, undisrupted, and hotly disputed …

Rapid change

Riding in China is an active choice to face change. The seemingly permanent things in life, roads, buildings, and our environment, are constantly being uprooted, bulldozed, and hillocked. Nothing stays the same. The rides I took five years ago have faced constant modification and adaptation, correcting themselves to readily guide me through the ever-changing landscape. …

Quantitative

Strava, in many rights, is a wonderful tool. From your pocket, whether you use a dedicated device or run it off your phone, you can keep dizzyingly accurate stats of your physical activities. Obviously, this open-access quantification tool is a boon for cyclists. Because people that ride bikes, despite some efforts to conceal the fact …

Unbearable heat

Chengdu is a city of two seasons: Comfortable and Uncomfortable. Comfortable persists nearly year round and is divided in two. There’s Warm Comfortable and Cool Comfortable. Personally I prefer Cool Comfortable, but alas, I’m strung out in the less desirable season, Uncomfortable. Like it’s pleasant counterpart, Uncomfortable is also divided in two. There’s Cold Uncomfortable, …

These guys

In a much abbreviated repeat of last week’s monstrous 200km day, this week I found myself and a handful of friends taking on some of the lesser climbs around Longquan. I’ve ridden the area thoroughly and know it like the nooks and crannies of my chamois, but in a real first for myself, I was …