China - Beijing and Shanghai

On April 27, 2001 I finished packing for my trip to China around 7:00 PM. At about 8:00 PM, Paul came by and we had 3 beers. Then we loaded his truck with my stuff for China and went to his place and had 2 more beers at the bar across from his house. I went to sleep on his couch at about 2:00 AM. (Friday, April 27, 2001)

I woke up at about 7:00 AM. Then I woke up Paul and he then gave me a ride to the airport. I found Greg and Jenny at the airport. Greg was going to Michigan to give his Thesis presentation. Jenny and I watch his plane leave. His plane seemed to be smoking a lot, but apparently it worked fine. Jenny wanted me to bring her something back from China or Kit Kat's from Canada. I can't seem to explain to her that I don't want to bring her gifts! Oh well, I guess some day she will take a bus around the world and bring something back for me. Sure!! I then boarded a small plane to Vancouver, BC, Canada. I ended up sitting next to a man that was on his way to Taiwan. He was a design engineer going on a business trip for Nike. I asked him if he spoke any Chinese and he said he doesn't and won't try. He was afraid of saying something wrong. I tried learning Chinese before leaving and decided to take his advice and not even try. I saw my boxed bike in Vancouver and was glade to see it. I did not see it get put onto the small plane in Portland. At the airport, I looked at the stuff in my daypack and found that my water bottle leaked and my maps got wet. They were the only things that got wet, so I laid them out on a seat in the sunlight. They dried while I was waiting for my flight to China. I also exchanged $140.00 USD for 1020 Yuan (Chinese money). This was by far the worst exchange rate I received. The exchange rate in China was much better. I read about China on my flight to Beijing and sleep for most of the flight. I learned that camping was probably not an option. We crossed the date line on the way to China. (Saturday, April 28, 2001)

The flight was a little late arriving in Beijing. At the Beijing airport I stored my bike box. It seemed expensive, 180 Yuan for 6 days. When the guy told me the price was 180 Yuan, I repeated the price in Chinese and the man smiled. Then he tried talking with me in Chinese. I have no idea what we talked about. I think he might have understood some of what I was saying. I assembled my bike and attached my camping gear to the bike. A couple of people watched me as I worked. I started leaving the airport and went in a circle. I ended up back in front of the airport. I took off again while looking at my compass and followed other bikes. I ended up going down a muddy dirt road that had some sort of a non-monitored dump next to it and then found a paved road where most of the traffic was either bikes,horse drawn carriages or people walking. For the rest of the trip I had mud spots on the back of my white Credence T-shirt. I even had it washed and it still had dirt on it. I biked north for a while, I wasn't sure where I was and finally found a sign that corresponded to information on my map. I was about 4km west of Shunyi. I then biked west towards the highway to Huairou. Next I biked north to Huairou and tried finding an inexpensive place to stay. I asked people, using sign language (resting head on hands) and people pointed me down this alley. I went into the motel and tried to get a room. The man who ran the motel was trying to tell me something. I ended up getting out my Chinese phrase book and he pointed at words to tell me that I was not allowed to stay at his hotel because I was a foreigner. His rooms were 30 Yuan a night. After letting me know that I could not stay at his place, he hopped on his bike and I followed him to a hotel that accepted foreigners. I tried paying the man for helping me find a place, but he would not take my money. The hotel, "Beijing Longshan", cost 180 Yuan per night and was near a McDonald's. The motel would not let me bring my bike into my room, so I unloaded my gear. The porter carried my gear to my room and showed me where I could lock up my bike. The place where I locked my bike was in a fenced area near a guard shack. There were a couple hundred bikes locked up in the fenced area. The other bikes all looked very old and had very cheap locks. I walked around town and ate at the McDonald's. I did not bring spare shoes and my biking shoes were not as comfortable as other biking shoes I had in the past. I started thinking that I should have brought spare shoes instead of camping gear. I ended up going to sleep around 10:00 PM. (Day 1/ Biked 23.70 miles/ Total bike miles 23.70/ Sunday, April 29, 2001)

I woke up around 12:30 AM and had a tough time getting back to sleep. I took a sleeping pill, wrote notes for this journal and took a shower. Then I was able to get back to sleep around 1:15 AM. I woke up at 6:30 AM and asked the lady at the hotel desk about trips to Simatai Great Wall. She was not able to find me a tour to that part of the Great Wall. She was trying to set me up with a tour of the Great Wall at Mutianyu. I really wanted to go to Simatai to see the un-restored Great Wall. I went back to my room, packed my gear and was about to bike to Simatai. I did not want to deal with not knowing if I would be able to find a place to stay near Simatai. I decided to stay at the same motel for another day and to bike to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. I went back to the front desk to pay for a second night at the hotel. The lady had no idea what I wanted. A man in the hotel that knew some English helped me get a second night at the hotel. I told him I was from the US and he told me he once traveled to Colorado. I started biking towards the Great Wall. I had trouble navigating and needed to ask for directions several times. It's tough navigating in China; I had trouble matching the symbols on the signs to the symbols on my map. There are also lots of small roads. A taxi stopped and offered to taxi me to the Great Wall (I think that's what he said). A little ways down the road I was looking at my map and the Taxi guy stopped and tried to help me find my way. It was a tough uphill ride to that un-restored part of the Great Wall. I'm pretty sure I was at the Great Wall of Mutianyu (not positive). I was the only foreigner at this part of the Great Wall. It cost 15 Yuan to visit the Great Wall. At first it was a little crowded with about 5 busloads of students. When the students left, there were only about 5 people left at the Great Wall. At about 2:00 PM after going for a long walk on the un-restored Great Wall, I started biking back to my motel. Before leaving the Great Wall, I bought 2 bottled waters and a coke from a lady at one of the tourist stands in front of the Great Wall entrance. The lady tried to short change me for the water. When I went back to the motel I noticed one of the bottles of water was not sealed, so I dumped the water. Also on the way back to the motel I saw someone dumping what looked like raw sewage into a ditch near the road. What ever they were dumping, it stunk and was loaded in a very large tank on the back of a truck. I was back at the hotel around 4:00 PM. I walked around town (Huairou) and checked out the market. I finally got up the nerves to get something to eat at a restaurant. I found a food court on the top floor of a market mall (the one with a McDonald's sign on top). I ordered some food and the man gave it to me before I paid. I was not sure how to pay, I watched other people buy tickets and then prepay for their food with the tickets. After finishing my meal, I went to the place where I got my food and asked how much it cost. He said something and I went to the cashier and repeated what he said (I had no idea what I was saying). I paid 6 Yuan for the meal. It was a cheap meal, less than $0.75 USD for rice and meat rolls. I walked around town and became a little lost. I finally made it back to the motel around 8:00 PM. I watched Chinese TV (I could not understand the words), planned out the following day and hit the sack around 9:00 PM. I was very tired. At this point in my trip I had not seen any other foreigners since I left the airport in Beijing. (Day 2/ Biked 44.22 miles/ Total bike miles 67.92/ Monday, April 30, 2001)

I woke up around 1:45 AM and found a big bug bite on my neck. I then brushed my teeth, wrote in my journal and tried cleaning my shirt. The shirt had dirt spots from biking on a dirt road near the Beijing airport. Well, the shirt was still dirty and wet as well (later in the trip I had a motel clean the shirt and the dirt was still there). I went back to sleep and woke up around 6:00 AM. I still did not feel comfortable walking on the streets, people stare at me and I hadn't seen any other foreigners, yet! I went to check out of the hotel and the lady tried charging me again for the 2 nights that I stayed in the hotel. Luckily, I had my receipts and she ended up giving me a key deposit back. I was thinking my key deposit was 20 Yuan, but I actually got 24 Yuan back. I took a photo of my bike in front of the motel and then started biking towards the town of Changping. I needed to go west and according to my map it looked like I would need to go south on the main road and then head west. I went up and down roads trying to find the road west. I had 2 compasses and noticed that they read about 90 degrees different. I traveled through some quite small towns north of Beijing. I saw a railroad track and my map showed tracks north of the road to Changping. I was looking at my map and a man biking south pointed south. I caught up with the man and showed him where I wanted to go on my map and he pointed to a road headed west a little north of where I stopped him. I tried following the road parallel to the railroad tracks and ended up on a dirt farm road. Then I came to a canal with a nice road on the other side. I followed the dirt road a short way and crossed a bridge to the good road. According to my compasses I was headed west and my map showed a canal next to the road that went to Changping. When I thought I was near Changping I started heading north with the intention of going to the Great Wall at Badaling. I saw a tourist attraction and went to check it out. It was Ming Tombs, a place that I was planning on avoiding. Since I was there I checked it out, it was the first place that I had seen foreigners since I left the Beijing airport. I was checking out a Jade dragon; the lady was selling it for 120 Yuan. I offered her 70 Yuan. She was willing to cell it for 100 Yuan at that point. Then I picked up the nicer one and told her I would give her 100 Yuan for that one. I ended up buying the nicer one for 110 Yuan. I started biking north and saw a camel near a tourist attraction. I stopped to take a photo and ended up going for a ride on the camel. The man whom owned the camel charged me to get on its back (I forget the exact amount he charged). It was cheap and I talked him into making it even cheaper. I thought I could go north to get to Badaling and asked for directions (I pointed to my destination on a map). After asking a few people I felt I needed to go south and then north. After a while I was on my way to Badaling. I went through some pretty poor places, a little scary. At Juyongguan I found a Great Wall, I assumed that it was Badaling Great Wall. I looked in my Bike China book and noticed that it mentioned some motels at Badaling. I biked through a tunnel under the Great Wall expected to find a town (The book mentioned motels within feet of the Great Wall). According to the highway signs that I saw several miles early I thought I still had another 5 miles to Badaling. I ended up biking up hill for about 5 more miles when I arrived at the real Badaling Great Wall. It was too crowded to be pleasant and I looked for motels. I only saw one motel and it looked very expensive. I then meet some bikers from Mongolia and we took some group picture. I then wanted to lock my bike up near the entrance to the Great Wall and the police near the ticket stand would not let me lock my bike near the entrance. I tried asking several people where I could park my bike. I could not find anyone that understand my needs. I noticed a place about ½ mile before arrived at the Great Wall with bikes locked to a sign. I then went to the sign and locked my bike to the sign. I was worried about my bike and gear (all my camping gear was attached to my bike). I ended up going to the Great Wall and walking around for about an hour, the whole time I was worried about my bike. The Great Wall at Badaling was crowded and totally restored; I did not like it as much as the un-restored Great Wall at Mutianyu. I walked to what looked like the highest tower on this portion of the Great Wall. I could have walked a lot farther on the Great Wall. When I got back to my bike a man wanted to sell me some neat coins. I asked how much and when he said 100 Yuan, I told him I was not interested. He kept going down in price and I finally bought one for 50 Yuan. He then tried selling me a second coin. I only wanted one coin, some how I ended up buying a second coin for 30 Yuan. The man was very persistent and tried selling me a 3rd coin. The third coin I could have gotten for 10 Yuan, but did not buy it. All 3 coins looked the same. I guess I really overpaid for the first 2 coins. I started biking down the mountain and saw a small dirt road. I didn't want to bike as far as the Great Wall at Juyongguan. The dirt road was only ¼ mile south of Badaling and the road appeared to be only used as a dump. About 1/10th of a mile from the main road the dirt road ended with a pile of trash. I then bushwhacked my way up the hill. I took the gear off my bike and carried it and my bike to a ledge. I set my tent up on the ledge (it was tough getting my bike onto the ledge). It was a very nice place in the mountains and no people in site. It was the first place I had seen in China that I was able to get away from all the people. I was very hungry when I arrived at camp; I was not eating a lot (I did not feel comfortable with buying food yet). I was on the camp ledge at about 6:15 PM. After eating, writing my journal and setting up camp it was a little after 7:00 PM. It was a nice quite place and I was glad to be away from all the people. I started thinking it would have been nice to have a biking buddy on my ride. The air pollution was very bad and I kept telling people I was from Canada. I did this because the US/ China relationship was not going great. (Day 3/ Biked 58.88 miles/ Total bike miles 126.80/ Tuesday, May 1, 2001)

I woke up at about 5:00 AM and tried staying asleep until about 6:00 AM. Then I got out of my tent, packed my gear and made my way down the canyon to the road. I bike to the Great Wall at Juyongguan. It was very crowded; I stopped to eat noodles at a street side food stand at the tourist area outside the Great Wall. A lot of people gathered around to check out my bike (pretty normal in China). The Great Wall was set up as a long (about 5 mile) loop from one side of a canyon, to the bottom of the canyon, to the top of the other side of the canyon. The whole time you could walk on the top of the Great Wall. I paid to get into the Great Wall and hiked up part of the Great Wall. It was so crowded that I could hardly walk up the stairs. At one point 2 little girls wanted me to get in a photo with them. I then had their father try to take a photo of me with his daughter. Sometimes my camera does not work and it didn't take that photo. Not sure why, it's an expensive camera and just doesn't want to take photos some time (you can push the button and nothing happens). Then I went back down and walked the other direction on the Great Wall and it was not crowded there. I continued to the highest point on that side of the canyon. Then I took another way down and found at the bottom, I could either walk through a parking lot to get back to my bike or continue up the other side of the hill to make a loop. I walked to the top of the other side. At a tower at the top of the hill, I heard people speaking English. I wanted to talk with them (first people that spoke good English since the flight from Canada), but they took off. I went in the same direction as they went and they stopped to take a self-timer photo. I asked them if they wanted me to take the photo. I took their picture with their camera and they took my photo with my camera. That's the best way for me to get photos of myself. I talked with these guys as we walked back to the base of the Great Wall. They told me they came from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They also told me how they had been traveling all over Asia. They gave me the name of the guesthouse they were staying at in Beijing. I ate food at the Great Wall; it was cheap. I decided to bike to the guesthouse that the Canadians mentioned. I figured if I stayed there I would have a couple of temporary friends. I then biked towards Beijing and had to ask for directions a few times. I stopped to take a photo of a fancy fenced palace, I felt like it might have been a place that I should not have photographed. I didn't have trouble getting to Beijing; I stopped at the Summer Palace and ended out getting a crowd checking out my bike. I didn't go into the palace. I continued and stopped to look at my map. A man came over to me on a bike and directed me towards the guesthouse. I went a ways and had to look at my map again. While I was stopped the man that gave me directions passed me and pointed straight ahead. I passed him and stopped again. I saw the man pass me again while looking at my map and caught up to him and he pointed in the straight-ahead direction. This was the last time I saw that man. I had been going in the same direction as he was going for several miles. I continued and was able to find a few of the roads on my map. I had real poor quality maps (no details). I kept asking people for directions and people kept pointing in different directions. I think I was close but could not find the guesthouse. I stopped at a bus stop to see if I could get a taxi. I went to what looked like a taxi and asked about getting a ride to the guesthouse. The person I asked had no idea what I wanted. Several people gathered around to try to give me directions. They all pointed in a direction that I was sure was wrong. I assumed since so many people pointed in the same directions and they seemed to recognize the place on my map, they must have been correct. I went a long ways in that direction and decided they must have been playing a trick on me. I was going west by my compass and none of the roads where on my map, so I tried backtracking to a place that was on my map. I thought I was headed back to Beijing, but my compass was pointing south. I was pretty sure I was back to Beijing (which would have been north). It was about 6:10 PM and I wanted a place to stay. I saw an expensive looking hotel and asked how much for a night. I had to use my phrase book to explain that I wanted a single room for the night and ask how much it cost. Very nice hotel, Yannan Lu Ming Chun Hotel, with marble floors, lots of motel help and the room only cost 188 Yuan. I had to lock my bike to a tree; they would not let me take my bike into the hotel. I think the people at the hotel got a good laugh out of me; I was very dirty and could not speak any Chinese. I took a shower and asked about getting a map. They had a taped up map and gave it to me. I also asked where I was on the map; I had no idea where I was with respect to Beijing. That was when I found out I was about 10 miles south of Beijing. I walked down a side road near the hotel and got food (2 sodas = 3.8 Yuan; a piece of Chicken = 7 Yuan; 2 things that looked like egg (one tasted like an egg the other tasted like cheese) = 4 Yuan; 3 Chicken sticks = 3 Yuan; a beer = 4 Yuan). That night was the opposite of the previous night; I was full, staying inside, clean and it was noisy outside the hotel (I was next to an all night construction project and I could hear fireworks). It was the day after China's Labor Day. I'm feeling a little better in China, however lots of people still glare at me. Also when I spend money people normally watch me take the money out of my pocket (I never flash more that 20 Yuan in public (about $3 USD)). I ended up going to sleep around 11:00 PM. (Day 4/ Biked 59.71 miles/ Total bike miles 186.51/ Walked about 5 miles/ Wednesday, May 2, 2001)

I woke up around 6:00 AM and went to exchanging currency at the hotel. I used my phrase book; they pointed in a direction and then helped me leave the hotel. I was already packed, but did not think I was telling them I wanted to check out. Oh well, they helped me and I was out of the hotel early. I then started biking towards Beijing. There was a large super freeway being constructed in front of the hotel. I biked a few miles on this new highway. It was not opened to traffic yet. I saw a few other people on bikes and a few people walking on the unfinished highway. However, I saw way more bikes and people walking on the old busy road that ran parallel to the new highway. When I biked near the road construction crews, they seemed to look at me funny. Maybe I should not have been on this road. After biking about 5 miles north of the hotel, I came to the part of Beijing where I asked people (The people I thought were taxi drivers, I think those people purposely gave me bad directions, but have no idea why. They seemed like very friendly people) for directions the previous day. Biking north I kept asking direction to Tiananmen Square. I saw several people biking and some of the bikes were overloaded. I kept getting good directions, maybe the reason I did not get good directions the previous day was that people could not figure out where I wanted to go by looking at my map. Finally, I was able to find both roads of an intersection on my map. What a relief! I then continued biking until I arrived at Tiananmen Square. I tried taking my bike into Tiananmen Square, but the police would not let me take my bike into the grounds. They wouldn't even let me take a photo of it outside the gates with the square in he background. I wanted a photo of my bike with Tiananmen Square in the background, so I crossed the road and took a picture from the sidewalk. I then biked to the Lu Song Yuan Hotel (a hotel that I found in my Lonely Planet book). They did not have any dorm rooms available; the motels in Beijing were crowded, because it was some sort of Chinese holidays. It was only 11:00 AM and the dorms were full, but they did have one double room left (400 Yuan per night). They said that they would have a dorm room the next night. Instead of taking a chance I took the room and paid for a dorm for the next night. It was very expensive; I should have probably tried finding a room in another hotel. The total was 599 Yuan (about $75 USD) for the 2 nights. I arranged to get my laundry done at the hotel (it cost 21 Yuan for socks, a T-shirt and pants. The T-shirt still had the dirt from near Beijing airport after getting cleaned). I exchanged $80 USD for 646 Yuan at the hotel. So far I had biked 13.58 miles since leaving the other hotel. I took a shower and left the hotel at 11:46 AM. I started biking and then returned to the hotel to get my map. I ended up buying a better tourist map from the hotel for 7 Yuan. I then went to the Forbidden City. I spent a lot of time at the Forbidden City and bought a T-shirt for 70 Yuan. A couple of times people wanted to get photos with me in them. When people requested photos, I would say if they took a photo with my camera with them in the picture. I also experienced my first art student, these people spoke very good English and wanted to show/ sell me their art (paintings). I ran into a lot of art student in Shanghai. I did not want to buy painting; they did not seem real good and would not travel on a bike. I then went to Tiananmen Square and walked around. The most exciting part of the Square was a few young ladies practiced speaking English with me. A few times people asked me where I was from and I told people I was from Canada. After leaving Tiananmen Square, I biked to Tiantan Park (Temple of Heaven). It was a nice park without crowds and great temples. At this park a number of times people wanted me in their photos. I guess most of the people that wanted me in their photos had not seen many foreigners in their lives. All day, I was taking photos of people posing for other people's photos. I biked back to the hotel, walked around and then biked back to the Tiananmen Square area and walked the alleys from about 9:30 PM to 11:00 PM. This was probably not a smart thing for a foreigner to do. I ate chicken 2 times and had a beer (2 Chicken sticks for 2 Yuan; Chicken and a beer for 20 Yuan). I then went back to my Hotel and watched Chinese TV. I could not understand the words. I also wrote in my journal. (Day 5/ Biked 35.73 miles/ Walked about 4 miles / Total bike miles 222.24/ Total walking miles about 9/ Thursday, May 3, 2001)

I woke up at about 6:30 AM, but didn't leave the hotel until 8:00 AM. I started the day by biking to Yonghegond Lama Temple (Tibetan temple). This temple housed an 18 Meter high Buddha, the biggest Buddha I have ever seen. I saw these small ceramic frogs like statues on pedestals. I noticed trash in a couple of them and assumed they were fancy trash cans. I put trash in the mouth of one of the ceramics frogs and a couple of people gave me funny looks. One lady gestured that they were not trash cans. I pointed to one with trash and she shook her head no. I then tried making a test bike ride to the airport. I got to the road where it started looking like a freeway headed to the airport. I tried a couple of different routes, but had no luck. I didn't feel like spending all day looking for a biking route to the airport. Therefore, the next day I took a taxi to the airport. I saw a lot of bikes in Beijing, it seems like people carry everything on their bikes. I biked towards the Summer Palace. It was a long ride to the Palace. On the way to the palace I stopped at the Bell Temple. It was a small place with a lot of bells in temples and building. I finished biking to the Summer Palace and paid to enter the grounds. I did a lot of walking around the grounds (the palace have a lot of acreage). It cost extra to go into the large temple on the hill. It looked very crowded, so I decided not to pay the extra money to go into the temple. I easily biked back to the hotel. Then I biked to the Tiananmen Square area for dinner. I stopped at a restraint to eat Beijing duck. The guy (he was also the waited for my table) that recruited people into the restaurant (he was saying something to people that walked by) asked me where I was from. I told him I was from Canada and he wrote on a piece of paper that he liked Canada, but did not like the USA. He seemed very friendly and kept trying to communicate with me, but I did not feel real comfortable talking with him after he mentioned not liking the USA. He seemed nice, I'm not sure if he would have treated me differently if I would have told him I was from the USA. When I went back to where I locked my bike (it was near a crowded area and a rest room), which seemed like a safe place, I found that someone stole my spare bike odometer. The odometer was not working correctly, so it was no great loss. I noticed my bike pump was not on my bike and thought I may have left it at the hotel. I also noticed that the strap to the pump was closed and figured if someone stole my pump they would not have closed the strap. The pump would have been a big loss. I biked back to the motel and found my pump (Yea!!). I was staying in the dorm room and there were no windows in the room. I was staying with a French man and a Canadian (from Toronto) man. Earlier that day I mentioned to the guy from Toronto that I would need to get up early the next day and he offered to set his alarm for me. The alarm was set, but it was going to go off a little later than I was expecting, so I changed it. I then went to sleep. (Day 6/ Biked 41.70 miles/ Walked about 5 miles/ Total bike miles 263.94 / Total walking miles about 14/ Friday, May 4, 2001)

In the morning, I went to the front desk to see if they had reserved me a taxi (I tried telling them to arrange for a taxi for me in the morning the previous day). Apparently, I did not do a good job of explaining that I needed a taxi in the morning, they did not have one ready for me. The bellboy went to the main road with me and helped me flag down a taxi. It ended up costing 200 Yuan to get to the airport. At the airport, I had to find where I stored my bike box (I stored it my first day in Beijing). It was easy to find the box since the international and domestic terminals were in the same building. As I disassembled my bike and put it in my box, several people watched. I sat next to a nice looking lady on the plane. She was returning from a business trip in Europe to her hometown of Shanghai. I found out that the domestic and international airports in Shanghai were several miles apart. It was very rainy when I arrived in Shanghai. I was trying to figure out a plan for my stay in Shanghai. I was asking for maps and directions to Suzhou at the airport. I wasn't having any luck; all I could find were people trying to get me into a motel or a taxi. I then tried finding a cheap motel near the airport and had no luck. I was in the right part of Shanghai to start a good bike loop. A man that ran a van taxi service asked me if I needed a taxi. I said no, and then I asked how much to get a ride to the Pujiang Hotel (a low cost hotel that I found in my Lonely Planet tour book). He said 200 Yuan and I came back with 150 Yuan. He then said 180 Yuan and I shook my head no and started unpacking my bike box. I didn't even get the ropes off and he decided to get me to town for 150 Yuan. I really wanted to stay near this airport, but did not want to get everything wet, so I took the taxi to the Pujiang hotel. I paid the man that recruited me 150 Yuan for the taxi and I hoped in the taxi. The man I gave my money to was not the taxi driver and he quickly disappeared after I gave him my money. While going to town in the taxi I realized he was probably a con. When the man dropped me off at the hotel, I figured I'd have to pay again, well I didn't. I guess the man at the airport was just part of the taxi company. Shew!! The motel was in the main part of downtown (very close to the north end of the Bund) and only cost 55 Yuan per night for a dorm room. I paid for 3 nights. I was able to get my bike into my room, because it was still boxed. I met 2 of my roommates, one was from Japan and the other guy was from England. I ended up going to get a bite to eat with the man from England. I walked along the Bund; Shanghai is a nice, semi-clean, modern city. It's a lot more modern than Beijing. It seemed like a typical city and Beijing seemed like a unique place. I felt Beijing was more interesting, but Shanghai might have been a little safer. I went to sleep at about 11:30 PM. (Day 7 /Biked 0 miles /Walked about 5 miles /Total bike miles 263.94 /Total walking miles about 19/ Saturday, May 5, 2001)

I woke up around 6:00 AM and noticed one of my roommates leaving. I went back to sleep and woke up for the day around 8:00 AM. I walked around town (mostly Najing road) looking for tennis shoes. My biking shoes did not seem comfortable for long walks. In order to keep my biking gear down, I didn't bring tennis shoes to China. I found shoes that were either too small (my feet are big for China) or too expensive. I also went looking for an ATM and found a lot of them out of service. At the Shanghai bank, I was able to withdrawal 900 Yuan from the ATM machine. I went to the Friendship Shop and then back to the motel. I wrote notes in my journal, took my bike out of the box, assembled the bike, took a shower and then took my bike to the ground floor. I was on the roof floor (floor 6); it was one floor over the top floor and was accessed by a set of stairs from the 5th floor. It was a noisy room; you could hear a lot of bumping type noise (I believe it was the elevator). The noises stopped at about 11:00 PM each night and when I entered the hotel after 11:00 PM; I would need to use the stairs to get from ground floor to the 5th floor. I always needed to use the stairs to go from the 5th to 6th floor. I think the 6th floor may have once been an attack for the hotel. I biked to Yuyuan garden/temple. I found a temple and bought ice cream across the road. The guy had prices on his sign and even though I could not read the words I could tell that he charged me more than any of the prices on the sign. I then gave him a funny look and pointed at his sign. He said something and gave me the correct change. The temple was not very exciting. Next I biked to the Jade Buddha. After seeing the sight in Beijing it was not very exciting either. The tourist attractions in Beijing were much larger and more interesting than the ones in Shanghai. I biked back to the hotel and met my roommate Aaron from Perth, Australia. He was teaching English in Beijing and we decided to get a boat cruise on the Huangpu River. We paid for the trip next to what we thought would be our boat. Then the person running the boat trip took us to the main road and had us board a bus. We then went to a nice boat at a different location for our river cruise. Two times on the trip people wanted me to get into their photos. I did and had them get into a photo taken with my camera. One of the people was a man's nice looking wife. We got a complementary beer with our boat trip, Aaron spilled his beer and his glass broke on the boat floor. Then we went to eat at a small restaurant near the hotel, but it was closing. I returned to that restaurant a couple of times while in Shanghai. We went towards the Bund and bought 6 chicken sticks each (they cost 2 Yuan each). Aaron seemed to know his chicken sticks and picked out the guy with the best price per meat. I went back to the same man several more times in the days to come for chicken sticks. (Day 8/ Biked 19.44 miles/ Walked about 3 miles/ Total bike miles 283.38/ Total walking miles about 22/ Sunday, May 6, 2001)

In the morning, I biked to the train station. I biked 8.19 miles before I found the train station. It was probably only about 5 miles from my motel, I often have trouble finding places. I noticed I could pay to park my bike at the train station, but did not want to pay. I ended up locking my bike in front of a building a couple of blocks from the train station for free. Then I walked to the train station and looked at the ticket offices. I finally got the nerves up to buy a train ticket to Suzhou (a place that Annette had recommended). They only sold one-way tickets and it cost 22 Yuan. I needed to figure out how to get a ticket back when I arrived in Sozhou. When in Sozhou, I rented a bike and cycled to the Grand Canal. It was an interesting ride; I started out by biking down alleys that were only wide enough for a couple of bikes. Sozhou is the Venice of China, small canals are found throughout town. I biked the larger road to the Grand Canal and a different route back to the train station. The biking was pretty easy since I bought a good English/ Chinese map at the place where I rented the bike. When I biked back to the train station, I bought a ticket back to Shanghai. The ticket only cost 15 Yuan to get back, that was cheaper than the ticket to Sozhou. I didn't know what type of seat I would have, when leaving Shanghai I bought my ticket in the soft seat section. The trip back to Shanghai was on a less comfortable sleeper used to sit several people. I was sitting with 7 Chinese people that were playing a strange card game. The game consisted of handing out all the cards (13 cards each) to the 4 players, then they ordered the cards by suits and/or numbers, compared the cards and wrote down numbers. They didn't hide their cards and I had no idea how the points were counted. When we arrived in Shanghai, I went to get my bike and found a poor lady that wanted money near my bike, so I gave her 1 Yuan and some crackers. I normally do not give people any handouts, this lady was very thankful. I biked back to the hotel and arrived there around 8:00 PM. I walked to the bund; it seems like an unpleasant place, smelly, people try to sell you everything and kids bumming money. On a bridge that crossed Zhongshan road several small kids circled me and bumped into me as they tried bumming money. I think they were attempting to pick pocket me, so I kept pushing them away. People looked at me as they walked passed. On the way back to the motel, I gave a person that had no legs 1 Yuan. I really feel sorry for someone like that in China. One night I saw the leg less man sleeping on a board on the sidewalk. Shanghai is not that exciting; it seems like a typical large city. I found that Beijing was a much more interesting. (Day 9/ Biked 18.94 miles (13.94 on my bike and about 5 on rental bike)/ Walked about 3 miles/ Total bike miles 302.32/ Total walking miles about 25/ Monday, May 7, 2001)

I was excited about starting another long bike ride. I checked out of the hotel, put all my gear on my bike and tried biking southwest. My compass was giving me all sorts of different readings. I biked for 8.42 miles and found myself back in front of the motel where I started biking. After all the traffic and people, not knowing where I would stay if I ever found my way out of Shanghai, made me deiced to pay for 5 more nights at the hotel (the same one I was staying at the previous night). I put my gear back in the hotel and walked around Nanjing road. When I returned to the hotel, I meet one of my roommates. He was from Melbourne, Australia and told me he was working in Shanghai. He also suggested that I take the ferry to Pudong. I walked down to Nanjing road and did some shopping. I bought some tennis shoes for 118 Yuan and a Polo T-shirt for 40 Yuan (the lady was asking 100 Yuan). Then I took the ferry to Pudong. It only cost 0.5 Yuan for the ferry to Pudong. Near the ferry terminal, I stopped at a roadside food stand and bought something that looked tasty. I took a byte and it looked like deep fried intestines and didn't taste good. I ended up throwing most of it away. A friendly kid showed me his binoculars and I showed him mine. I figured he was just practicing his English. The he tried selling me 10 post cards for $2 (I think he was talking about US dollars). I then offered him 10 Yuan and he sold them to me. Latter I looked at the postcards and noticed that some of the tall buildings in Shanghai were not in the postcards. He then tried selling me his binoculars for 100 Yuan. They were very nice binoculars and would have been a great deal for 100 Yuan. However, I had no desire to buy binoculars. He tried selling me more post cards and I said no. He ended up giving me the postcards for free. I gave him 2.5 Yuan for the cards and he returned that money. The guy kept trying to sell me stuff, so I told him to get lost. It seems like he was hanging around watching me. He finally left the area. I walked my bike down the river and found a place that had signs saying tourist only. Pudong was a nice change from all the people and traffic on Nanjing road across the river in Shanghai. Next stop was the brewpub in Pudong. I was the only customer in the brewpub. There were 2 bar tenders and 3 waitresses with me in the pub. One of the bar tenders spoke English and the other people could only listen. One guy that could not understand English kept smiling and nodding his head. I would smile back and nod my head. The other people would laugh when I imitated the guy nodding his head. At one point, I put my thumbs in my ears and wiggled my finger at the head nodder. He just gave me a blank look; I thought he would imitate me. It was happy hour so they gave me a second beer for free. I tried both types of beer the yellow and the brown beer. That was what the guy who spoke English called the 2 types of beer they made. The beers were large and it seemed expensive for China. It cost 48 Yuan for the 2 beers. I decided to take a different way back to Shanghai. I asked the guy at the bar how to get to the subway and he gave me directions. I could not find the subway and asked directions. The people I asked gave me directions to the tourist tunnel (the expensive way back). I knew it was not the subway and found the subway with help from my map. I took the subway under the river and then walked back to my hotel. One of my roommates looked like a Vietnam vet and I decided to meet him. The guy was from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We talked about places that I had visited in Canada near Calgary; Frank Slide, Radium Hot Springs, Waterloo, Crows nest, etc. I ended up eating at the restaurant Aaron showed me (he was the person I went on the boat ride with 2 days earlier). It was a great meal of rice and shrimp for only 12 Yuan. That night the man from Calgary cussed and watched TV till about 2:00 AM. (Day 10/ Biked 8.41 miles/ Walked about 5 miles/ Total bike miles 310.73/ Total walking miles about 30/ Tuesday, May 8, 2001)

I woke up around 7:00 AM and walked to the subway station. I took the subway to the train station. I went to the foreign ticket line in the soft seat section to buy a ticket to Hangzhou (it cost 57 Yuan for the one-way ticket). I was on a comfortable soft seat train car on the way to Hangzhou. When the train arrived in Hanhzhou, I had to figure out how to get to town. I realized that I did not bring a lot of money and left my plastic money at the hotel in Shanghai. This is the first time I ever did anything like this. I normally carry all my valuables, but I guess this time I was thinking that it was not a good idea to carry all my valuables. Bad choice! At the train station a nice looking lady was trying to give me a taxi ride to town. I probably would have gone for the ride if I had taken my plastic money. I had enough cash, but could not get more without my ATM card. I bought a map and then tried getting a bike to rent. I was not able to find anyone whom could understand what I wanted when I asked about renting a bike. People finally told me which bus to take to get to town and where to rent a bike in town. One of the people that told me to take bus 31 wanted me to wait for the 2-Yuan bus. The other bus 31 was leaving, so I took it for 1 Yuan. I'm not sure why the person kept insisting that I took the more expensive bus. Once in town I looked for a bike to rent and had no luck. Then I walked all the way around the lake. The walk around the lake was very nice with fancy bridges and neat looking boats in the water. Just before I finished walking around the lake it started raining. I kept wishing I had taken my credit cards with me. Hangzhou was the most scenic place I had seen in China. I noticed trails on my map and would have enjoyed spending the night, so I could go for a hike. I even saw reasonably priced hotels. I stopped at a bus stop, looked at my map, noticed there were bus numbers on the map; it looked like I needed to take bus 85. I asked someone which bus I needed to take to get to the train station. Like usual when asking questions, actually I point at my map and the bus sign. The person pointed to bus number 85 on the sign. I waited for bus 85 at the bus stop while it rained. I boarded the bus and ½ way to the train station the bus broke down. I got off the bus and started walking down a road. I found a bus stop and none of the buses went to the train station (according to my map). I was getting soaked; I tried getting the attention of a taxi, but had no luck. I decided to walk; I was able to find a lot of the roads on my map. At one point, I could not find the roads on my map and asked for directions. The person told me where I was and directed me towards the train station. I started walking towards the train station and he was insistent that I went the other direction to cross the road. I went the way he pointed to cross the road and then went back the way I was headed. I headed towards the train station and was able to find a bus stop that had buses going to the train station. I was soaked, so I took the bus number 48 to the train station (it was only 2 stops). I then tried buying a soft seat ticket. The guy selling tickets sounded like he didn't understand me when I asked for a ticket to Shanghai and he definitely did not understand my request for a soft seat. I ended up getting a very cheap seat (it only cost 19 Yuan). The ticket did not have a seat numbers on it and the destination looked like the symbol for Shanghai. When the train arrived everyone ran for a seat, it was the first time I saw people load the train in such a hurry. I pointed to my ticket and the porter pointed to the train. I hopped on the crowded train and had to sit on the corner of a seat. When the train departed it did not go in the direction I expected it to go (it seemed like it was headed away from Shanghai). At that point, I was worried; it was getting late, I was thinking I was on the wrong train and I didn't have enough money to spend the night out. I tried asking if I was on the correct train and lots of people laughed with me, but did not understand my questions. One guy seemed to understand what I was asking and gave me numbers with his hands that told me the time we would arrive. I had no idea what the hands numbers meant. He then drew 8:30 with his fingers on the table. I then assumed that we must have been arriving in Shanghai at 8:30 PM. At about 8:40 PM we arrived at a train station and I recognized that it was the Shanghai train station. Shew I was glade. I then took the subway to Nanjing road and walked back to my motel. I went to buy corn and the lady thought my money was counterfeit (my 5 Yuan bill was wet). The bill was worth almost nothing and it was wet from the rain in Hangzhou. She finally sold me the corn. Back at the hotel, I dried out my passport and talked with the man from Calgary. I told him about the way the guy on the train gave me hand symbols to say 8:30 PM and he showed me in the back of the Lonely planet book the hand symbols required to count all the way to 10 with one hands. Those symbols would have been useful to know. Previously I had people use some of these hand symbols when I asked prices and I had no idea what the hand language meant. (Day 11/ Biked 0 miles/ Walked about 8 miles/Total bike miles 310.73/ Total walking miles about 38/ Wednesday, May 9, 2001)

I woke up at about 6:45 AM and went for a walk on Nanjing road. I met a man that had a bike loaded with camping gear. He stuck out in the crowd by wearing knee high lime green socks with shorts. I ended up talking with him and found that his name was Mike. Mike was from Montreal, Canada and was preparing for a 3-week bike ride in the Shanghai area. He wanted to see the area where his grandfather died. Mike was going on a solo bike ride and had biked all around the world. He may have done more solo biking than I've done. We exchanged bike stories; he told me that he read that foreigners were not allowed to ride bikes in Shanghai (something I never heard and kept wondering if it was true). I went back to my hotel and took my bike box out of the hotel storage. I put the box in storage on May 8th (the day I tried to bike out of Shanghai). It cost me 4 Yuan for 2 days storage for my bike box. I walked to the Bund and Nanjing road to take photos. I stopped at the Friendship Shop and bought several souvenirs. I bought a mask for 85 Yuan, 3 wooden soldiers for 120 Yuan, a bamboo flute for 130 Yuan and a very nice Adidas sports bag for 92 Yuan. The Friendship shop probably cost a little more than the prices you can get on the street side markets. I preferred buying stuff at the Friendship Shop, because there were no high-pressure sales people, you had the price in writing (no bargaining), they had a great selection and most of the prices were lower than the displayed prices on the street markets. However you can get stuff cheaper on the street when bargaining. I went back to the hotel and got ready for a bike ride. I biked to the ferry and took it across the river with my bike. I started biking north to Waigaoqiao harbor area. After visiting the port, I decided to head east before going south. I wanted to see the East China Sea. I biked down this road near the water that went past a well-guarded building. Then I came across about 50 Chinese soldiers marching with machine guns on their shoulders. I had my camera around my neck at the time and did not feel comfortable with the way the soldiers looked at me. They said something to me, it sounded like they said something friendly. I kept biking down the road and did not look back. I biked through some very poor areas and wanted to take photos, but did not feel comfortable taking pictures. I was about to take a picture and a solo soldier biked down the road and gave me a funny look. I decided to leave without taking the picture. It seemed like the safe choice. I could see the Shanghai skyline from near the harbor and that made it easy for me to find my way back. I did most of my navigation in China using my Compass I didn't have good maps. As I got closer to Shanghai, I could no longer see Shanghai's skyline. It took some time to find the ferry back to Shanghai. Before getting to the ferry terminal, I was following this other biker down some very narrow alleys with several very poor people watching me bike behind him. I felt a little nervous in those neighborhoods. I quit following the guy on the bike and tried finding my way out of the maze. I finally made it back to a real road (part of the neighbor hood looked like a bomb had hit it). It cost 1.3 Yuan to cross the river with my bike. This was the price I paid every time I crossed the river with my bike (it was only 0.5 Yuan without the bike). Ever since Mike told me he thought bike riding was not allowed for foreigners in Shanghai, I was worried every time I biked past a police officer. The only time a police officer ever said anything to me was one day I was told to walk my bike when I was about to bike on Zhongshan road, a road that looked like only cars were allowed (I saw no bikes on the road). As I was biking back to my hotel I saw a lot of people gathered around a bike/ motorcycle accident. It was the only accident that I saw while in China. It looked like the people were both very mad, I heard these types of accident often turned into fights, so I decided I should get out of there. I think it was rush hour; the traffic was bumper-to-bumper bikes. It was a very interesting, intense ride. Back at the hotel, I talked with the man from Calgary and watched CNN. The news kept saying how bad the US/Chinese relationship was getting. They mentioned were the spy plane incident and arms sales to Taiwan. Most of my roommates at the time looked like they were Chinese and I told them I was from Canada. I figured it was the safe way to go. I walked to town and ate an expensive meal at a sushi bar. I paid 62 Yuan for 6 very small plates and it was not very filling. I walked along Nanjing road and then started back to the hotel. On the way back, I stopped to get 3 chicken sticks (I bought them from the man that Aaron found. They cost 2 Yuan each). I went back to the hotel and talked with the man from Calgary for a long time. The guy was loudly saying that he was unhappy with being put in a room with a lot of Japanese tourist. I figured he mistook our roommates as Japanese, I thought they were Chinese. He spent about 45 minutes telling me how his bike was set up for touring and how he had been biking in New Zealand. I ended up telling the man from Calgary 2 times that I wanted to hit the sack. He wouldn't shut up. (Day 12/ Biked 19.99 miles/ Walked about 3 miles/ Total bike miles 330.72 / Total walking miles about 41/ Thursday, May 10, 2001)

At about 6:40 AM, I heard the man from Calgary leaving, he was very unhappy in China. I woke up and got ready for my daily bike ride. I took the Dongjin ferry to Pudong and biked south for 33.69 miles. My camera occasional would not take a picture. You could press the button and the shutter would not go off, I always assumed that it was an annoying built in feature that would not let you take a bad photo. On this day's bike ride the camera completely quit taking pictures at my southern most point of this day's ride. While I was trying to figure out my camera a man said something to me. I couldn't understand him. A couple of other people in the area started laughing about what the man said to me. Keep in mind I was not near a town, just in the countryside. You cannot go very many places in eastern China to get away from people. On the way back to Shanghai, I stopped at a small store and bought a coke and malted milk balls for 2.8 Yuan. It's cheap in China if you are not too close to Shanghai. The store probably only had 50 items for sale, typical store size in China's countryside. I wouldn't be surprised if I was the first foreigner to ever buy anything from these people. The child in the store and the people in the next-door store smiled as I drank my coke. I also stopped at a large supper store and bought some groceries. The stores had lots of security, someone on every isle. I biked through some neat canal areas and wish my camera was working. I went near some very nice condos with nice landscaping. I also went past some very poor neighborhoods that looked scary. Normally on a bike trip I get used to the countries I visit. However I never felt comfortable in China. I think China is a very safe place and nothing bad ever happened to me. I biked north for a while before seeing the Shanghai skyline. I biked towards Shanghai and saw a bridge (Nanpu bridge) that looked like a bridge (Yangpu bridge) I saw the previous day north of my ferry terminal. I was south of my ferry stop (I thought I was north of the terminal) and biked west for a distance to another ferry. I felt I was south of Shanghai, but was convinced that the bridge I was near was north of downtown Shanghai. It cost 1.3 Yuan to cross the river with my bike. As I was going across the river I still could not see the skyline, I was lost. I ended up showing people on the ferry the place I was headed to on my map and they pointed north. Then I pointed at the ground and the map. A person on the ferry then pointed to my current location on my map. I thought I was near the Yangpu Bridge, but I was actually near the Nanpu Bridge. Consequently, I ended up on the Zhoujiang ferry and thought I was on the Mindan ferry. A person on the ferry pointed at my beer belly and gave me the beer hand symbol (thumb in mouth and pinkie in the air), then pointed at his friend's beer belly (not many people have beer bellies in China) and said beer in Chinese (I'm pretty sure that's what he said). We all laughed and gave thumbs up to each other. A man on the ferry signaled me to follow him towards downtown Shanghai. I felt comfortable with my location and passed the man a short distance north of the ferry terminal. On the way back to the hotel I found the Yuyuan art market. I had looked for the market the previous day and had no luck then. A place I was planning on checking out again. Back at the motel, I was talking with my roommates that I thought were Chinese and found out that they were Japanese tourist. That made me feel better about the US/ China relations' problems, but worse about talking with the man from Calgary that was complaining about being roomed with Japanese people in front of these people. I made friends with the Japanese people and felt more comfortable in my room that night. I walked down Nanjing road and ate noodle soup in a restaurant that night. (Day 13/ Biked 69.53 miles/ Walked about 1 miles/ Total bike miles 400.25/ Total walking miles about 42/ Friday, May 11, 2001)

I woke up around 6:30 AM with a stomachache and got the shits. Good thing it was not one day latter, my flight would have been a drag that next day. This was the first time; I had such a bad case of the runs while traveling. I decided to take diarrhea pills. I laid in bed feeling lousy till about 9:30 AM. During that time I had to make a couple more runs to the rest room. I then got out of bed and walked end to end on Nanjing road. By that time, I was feeling a lot better. I checked out Jingan temple and paid to go through the small garden at Jingang Park. I then took the Subway to Century Park. I walked all the way around the park and took the Subway to the Tourist tunnel. I decided I wanted to try a different way of crossing the river. The tourist tunnel was the expensive way to get across the river. The tunnel was neat, it goes under the river and there is a lot of neat light on the way through the tunnel. It's like a high tech carnival ride under the river. I walked to Yuyuan art market and looked for souvenirs. I didn't see anything interesting and the prices seemed high. I realized the prices were negotiable, but things seemed to be about 3 times as much as they should have cost. I didn't buy anything; most of the souvenirs that I bought while in China were from the Friendship Shop. I went back to the hotel and took my bike box down to the parking lot. I disabled my bike and placed it in the box. That was probably the only way I could get the bike in the hotel. I then took the boxed bike to my room. The porter gave me a funny look and then a few minutes latter he entered our room, I think he wanted to see what was in the box. I loaded more stuff into the box (sleeping bag and empty panniers). I went to eat at my favorite cafe near the hotel and then back to my hotel room. At the hotel, I had some new roommates. I met them and their significant others. One of the couple was from Holland and another couple from Victoria, BC, Canada. I was staying in a male dorm, so these couples did not get to stay with their significant other. The guys stayed in my room and their female (one was a married couple) had to stay in a female dorm. Seems like an awkward way to travel with a lady. The guy from Victoria asked me if I knew a good place to eat. I told him about the place where I had just finished eating. I wasn't doing anything so I walked the 2 couples to the restaurant and had a beer while they ate dinner. Then we all walked along the Bund and then to Nanjing road. (Day 14/ Biked 0 miles/ Walked about 8 miles/ Total bike miles 400.25/ Total walking miles about 50/ Saturday, May 12, 2001)

That night I had a lot of farts. I assume that most of my roommates could hear the loud farts I was cutting. I woke up round 6:30 AM to take a shower. I wanted to make sure that I took a shower before my flight home and didn't want to compete with my roommates for the shower. I had to take a cold shower; I think the hot water was turned off. I read in a book that motels often turn off the hot water at night to save money. I assume that must have been the case and my guess is that it was not turned on until some time after 6:30 AM. I walked along the Bund and Nanjing road one last time before leaving. In the mornings, people are out exercising in the plazas. I noticed this throughout China and it never seemed to last past 8:00 AM. I took some photos. The river water was stinky and a lot of trash could be found in corners. Shanghai was clean on the Bund and Nanjing road. People clean these areas everyday. I went back to the hotel and the man from Canada (Victoria, BC) was in the hotel. I went with him and his girl friend to eat breakfast. Then I took my stuff out of the hotel and asked the porter about a taxi to the airport. There were several taxis in front of the hotel and a delivery truck. Since I had my boxed biked I had to take the delivery truck to the airport. The truck had a taximeter and took me more than 40 Km to the Pudong airport for 121 Yuan. I gave the delivery truck driver 130 Yuan and told him to keep the change. He seemed very honest. As the man gave me a ride to the airport, I tried talking with him, but the language barrier made it tough. I wasn't positive that he understood that I wanted to go to the Pudong airport, however I knew the direction he was headed was correct and when he pointed to an airport sign I was sure that he was taking me to the correct destination. He offered me a cigarette and when I shook my head no he read the Surgeon General Warning (that's what it looked like he was reading) in Chinese and we booth laughed. I wanted to spend my Chinese money at the airport. I bought 2 pops, 2 vases and exchanged some of the money. After exchanging the majority of my money, I received about $20 USD and some Chinese change. I had to pay 90 Yuan as a departure tax from China. The airlines charge me $89 USD for my bike; I tried telling the guy that it said bikes are free on the Internet. He said he had to charge me for an extra bag, due to the size of my bike. I was allowed 2 bags and I asked him if I could take the stuff out of my small box and put it into the bike box. He asked me if I could and I said probably. I think I could have gotten away with putting everything in the bike box. I already paid to have my boxes strapped shut and I was not positive I could get all my stuff in one box, so I decided to pay the $89 USD. The Pudong airport is a large modern airport with a very small volume of air traffic. I was at the airport for hours and didn't see any planes flying in or out of the airport. I wasn't paying a lot of attention and am sure a few flights came in or out of the airport. The other airport in Shanghai had a lot of air traffic. I stayed awake for most of the flight to Vancouver and watched 2 of the on flight movies. I didn't want to sleep, because I was arriving in Portland in the evening and wanted to go to sleep at a regular time for Portland. When I arrived in Vancouver I told the airline lady that they charged me for my bike in Shanghai and should not have charged. She looked up the rules and found that I should not have paid. Then she looked at my box and said since my sleeping bag was in the box it was not only my bike. She said the people in China categorize my box, as oversized luggage and she could not do anything to help me get a refund. I asked her if she could at least write on my tag that it was a bike in the box. She would not do it because I had my sleeping bag in the box. I was flying on Air Canada, but my frequent flier miles were with United Airlines and the lady told me I would have to deal with United to try to get a refund for being charged for my bike. I then asked the lady if I could get on an earlier flight back to Portland. She told me that there were no earlier flights to Portland. This lady was totally unhelpful. I checked my baggage in for the flight and then looked at the flight departure monitor. I noticed that Air Canada had an earlier flight to Portland. I went to the gate and asked the man at the gate if I could get on the earlier flight. He told me it was full, but I could probably get on if I went stand by. When I told him I checked my luggage for the other flight he told me they would need to get my luggage on that flight. It sounded like it would be tough getting my luggage and I told him I did not mind going without my luggage. I figured if I got back to Portland without my stuff, I could then take the bus and max home. Then I would be able to get my car. The man at the gate said I would need to get my luggage in order to fly on that flight. It had something to do with the international flight rules. We then agreed that it would probably be too much trouble for me to go on that flight. I can't figure out why the mean lady told me there were no earlier flights to Portland. When I arrived in Portland I went to check to see if my bags made it. I then went to see if Paul's flight was in yet. He was returning from San Diego on United Airlines a little after my flight came in from Vancouver. I met Paul at his gate and he went to the same luggage area as my bags. He had to check in his skateboard, they would not let him take it on the flight as carry on luggage. I asked the man at the gate if I could leave my bags while I went to get my car and he said yes. I didn't bring my bike pass for the bus and that's why I wanted to leave my luggage at the airport instead of assembling the bike and taking it on the bus. We went to Paul's place and picked up his truck. Then we picked up my bike at the airport. I took Paul to dinner at Santa Fe restaurant on 23rd street. He then gave me a ride home and I ended up going to sleep around 11:30 PM. (Day 15/ Biked 0 miles/ Walked about 2 miles/ Total bike miles 400.25/ Total walking miles about 52/ Sunday, May 13, 2001)

Monday morning, I woke up at about 2:00 AM and realized that it was about 5:00 PM China time. I went back to sleep and woke up around 7:00 AM. I was at work by 8:00 AM.

All week I was getting to work early and having a tough time staying awake after lunch. I guess I was a little jet lagged. I normally do not get jet lagged. Overall I was back to normal right away.