Biking

Not too fast, not too slow

Cycling has an exceptional capacity to reveal slices of a China less travelled.

Biking Across China, Episode 11: City of the Future

Nanchong – Chongqing南充 – 重庆3 days // 170km The Hermitage My hotel room in Nanchong was another painfully expensive one, after the first one I booked refused me entry and directed me to, as usual, the most expensive hotel in town. A man in a dark t-shirt tucked tightly around his large paunch and into […]

Biking Across China, Episode 10: A Lonely Road

Cycling across China solo as a woman. Sound awful? Amazing? Terrifying? It’s all of those. Longnan – Nanchong陇南 – 南充10 days // 545 km I spent two days in Longnan, resting my legs and avoiding the repeated messages of a zealous local who had passed me in his car the day before. He had stopped […]

Biking Across China, Episode 9: Earthquake Land

Cycling across China solo as a woman. Sound awful? Amazing? Terrifying? It’s all of those. Dingxi to Longnan定西市 – 陇南415km // 10 days The idyllic autumn roads soon led me down into one of China’s countless provincial cities, this one called Dingxi. A quick search on my hotel booking app suggested this was another place […]

Biking Across China, Episode 8: She’s a Boy

Cycling across China solo as a woman. Sound awful? Amazing? Terrifying? It’s all of those. Yuzhong 榆中县0 km // 5 days Don’t You Have Any Friends Here? Gone. One of the worst case scenarios that I had tried so hard to persuade myself wouldn’t happen, had happened. I stood there staring stupidly at the tree […]

Biking Across China, Episode 7: Problems, Problems

Cycling across China solo as a woman. Sound awful? Amazing? Terrifying? It’s all of those. Lanzhou – Longxi兰州 陇西县 203km // 14 days I woke up in a field on the outskirts of Lanzhou feeling damp. The meadow of purple flowers and tall grass I had chosen to camp in had filled with copious amounts of […]

Biking Across China, Episode 6: The Crash

Cycling across China solo as a woman. Sound awful? Amazing? Terrifying? It’s all of those. Xining to Lanzhou西宁 – 兰州 220km // 3 days I set off from Xining as soon as I woke up, aiming to ride as far as I could towards Lanzhou in a day. The total distance was 220km, and my […]

Biking Across China, Episode 5: “The Extinction of Humanity”

Cycling across China solo as a woman. Sound awful? Amazing? Terrifying? It’s all of those. Mínlè to Qīnghǎi Lake, via Xīníng民乐 青海湖 西宁 380km // 4 days I woke up again in Minle, in exactly the same hotel I had been in before yesterday’s 7-hour mountain trek, feeling like it was Groundhog Day and not […]

Biking Across China, Episode 4: A Police Escort

Cycling across China solo as a woman. Sound awful? Amazing? Terrifying? It’s all of those. Jiǔquán – Ébǎozhèn 酒泉 峨堡镇335km // 5 days Desert Tombs The roads were mercifully flat and baking hot under the cloudless desert sky. Not far from Jinta reservoir, where I had seen that beautiful sunset, I passed a collection of […]

Biking Across China, Episode 3: A Museum for No One

Cycling across China solo as a woman. Sound awful? Amazing? Terrifying? It’s all of those. Yùmén to Jiǔquán玉门 – 酒泉210km // 4 days A Bowl Made From a Human Skull In the last few kilometres leading to Yumen, on a freeway crowded with trucks taking methanol and other random materials to Xinjiang province even further […]

Biking Across China, Episode 2: Melons in the Desert

Guazhou to Yumen 150km // 2.5 days I woke up in Guazhou (瓜州 guāzhōu), the next city along from Dunhuang if you trace on a map the province’s only road network with your finger. My mouth and nose were taut from a long night of breathing waterless air, a sensation I would quickly grow used […]

Biking Across China, Episode 1: Western Gansu

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a heavy bag  Leaving Home I stood panting and sweaty by gate 13B of the station, trying to ignore the schoolboy staring at me and poking his grandfather to see if he had noticed there was a foreigner standing nearby.  My shoulder burned from bearing the weight […]

Ningbo: Typhoons and Chickens

Cycling for 4 days, this 180km trip took me through a series of small towns where I caught some simple glimpses of non-urban life.

Shaoxing: China Under Construction

A few hours ride in 35 degree summer heat took me to the hometown of revolutionary writer Lu Xun. On the way, I was struck by the breakneck pace of work happening in every direction; unless, that is, you’re part of the highly socially active elderly crowd. 1. A curious goods transporter stops to see […]

Huzhou: Legs Like Tomatoes

Hot but mercifully flat highways slowly unfolded into rural scenes, until I was surrounded by green farmland and a cloudless blue sky. Nothing accompanied me, other than the sound of the breeze and the odd ebiker.


Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.