|BDMC ride from Jim Bryant|
got a decent turnout with 12 bikes and even got a fairly
early start of about 9:15 AM. The weather was a bit cool,
starting out but warmed up plenty by noon.
However it was a day for disasters. Mine was first when at the start of the road up the mountains in Huairou I suddenly had a gearbox full of neutrals. It turns out my home made clutch had sheared. The next disaster came when one of the riders on a "borrowed" bike got pulled over for possession of a stolen motorcycle. What surprised us the most is usually foreigners are HANDS OFF in China, but the owner of the bike in question spotted us and "his" bike in Huairou and followed the group calling the police on his cell phone. The police pulled over the entire group and a discussion ensued over the real owner of the bike in question. But then the "owner" had no proof to back up his ownership claims, but then again the rider had no proof that he was legally lent the bike by his student. So all 11 bikes were held up for about an hour when the others were allowed to leave (and some of these bikes had no plates or registration whatsoever!) and just the rider with the "stolen" bike was detained. It's Monday evening and I still haven't heard how that story turned out.
Finally, because as we all know disasters only happen in threes, one of the riders on a small decrepit bike got a blowout. It took a while to find a tire guy up in the mountains, but it was finally replaced. The fish meal was then forstalled and a lunch in McDonalds in downtown Huairou was all there was time for. So in order to avoid these kinds of issues in the future, you must make sure you have the papers for your bike on your person if you want to ride with us. Everyone could have ended up in trouble with the cops because of what may well have been a stolen bike. So if you haven't got papers, you have at least a week to get them. Most of the dealers that sponsor the rides can help.
Be careful out there.