Hangzhou: Rapha Worldwide Challenge Day 5

Enjoying the golden light at West Lake...

I was supposed to do around 80kms today, but had some bad luck that caused me to shorten the ride and go home. I crashed. First time here in China I crashed while out training. I could not believe it…

The Story:

I was cruising along Wen Tao Road with plenty of space around me and I check the frame of the Velocite Magnus for a second to check for any flex. I looked back up and bam I ran into a fisherman on a bike. His catch of the day went flying in the air while he and I went sprawling on the pavement.  I was up in a split second while the fisherman remained lying on the ground with his leg twisted in his bicycle and clutching his hand in pain.  His bicycle was quite overloaded with stuff and the width of it was probably what got me.  I spent about ten minutes checking if he was ok and making sure his bike and stuff was back in order, including the live fish that was flapping around on the road-side. I picked it up and asked him where does this go and he pointed at the bucket that was lying on the side. The fisherman still did not move from his spot.  Knowing how some Chinese people operate when in such an accident, I went over to inquire about his leg – he said that it might be broken and did not want to move till the cops came. I did not believe this for one second and gently pushed the problem area he was indicating. I then grabbed his foot and slowly bent his knee to see if there was any pain. There was none, so I got him to grab both my hands to stand up. He was perfectly fine except for some blood on his fingers from scraping on the road.  I had checked myself for any damage – only my buttocks were pushing out the hole in my bib-shorts and my bike seemed fine.  I told the fisherman that he was going to be fine, just go home and get the hand washed and band-aid put on… I go to leave and he lunges for me and says I can’t go.  He’s grabbing hold of my bike and clinging on for dear life.  He obviously wanted to extract some money from me… I have seen it so many times here in China where a street accident happens and the person, while perfectly ok, feigns severe injury so that they can collect money.  At this point, I got pretty mad and started yelling at the fisherman and this must’ve scared the living daylights out of him as he was running away from me… but not before an intense struggle with me and my bike.  It took a few moments to re-align the chain and get going again.  I was so shaken from the incident that I decided to head back for the night. On the way home, I stopped by Sam’s Lets Roll Avanti Bike Shop to get the bike checked over.  It was miraculous that the bike and myself came through unharmed,  just some skin removed from my behind…

City of Hangzhou... see that smog in the distance?

Bunch of dudes playing cards... check out the scene

This guard is shooing me away... I have a bike which is not permitted!

The Magnus 'Dark Horse' in full glory...

This friendly boatman will take you out on the West Lake for 120rmb for an hour...

Summary:

59kms completed today towards the Rapha Festive 500 Challenge and this leaves me with 68kms remaining to reach the 500km goal.  The plan for tomorrow is to go riding with the wife and explore more interesting places in and around Hangzhou City.  A while back I wrote a popular “Riding with the Wife” series which you also may find interesting reading. Part 1 can be found here and Part 2 here.  On Wednesday I am heading back to the Moganshan area for some more spectacular riding that I wrote about for Day 1 of the Rapha Festive 500 Challenge.  It remains to be seen how close I can get to a 1,000kms since my switch in focus with taking more photographs…

This challenge has been a great chance to link up with others around the world and share unique experiences.  It has been a good source of motivation to get out on the bike after taking a long break and also rekindle my love for taking photographs and capturing the life and beauty of China despite the crazy moments that occur… it can be an interesting package of surprises.  If you have the opportunity, bring your bike and ride in China.  I guarantee it will be an experience you will never forget and possibly even treasure.