Riding local, riding abroad. Doesn't matter. "One less car" bike commuting and "Bikes Belong" advocacy, plus "I ride solo" bicycle travel. Racing is fun, but there are so many equally great reasons to ride.
Been teaching English here a month, so now feel confident I can handle the "drive in all directions" characteristics of sharing the road with Chinese motorists, mopeds, motorbikes, trikes, both motorized and not, people riding rust bucket bikes that seem sized for children, stray animals, and even the occasional hand pulled cart. It's a Dahon 8 speed folding bike. I think this model is for the local market only. With an OK helmet, cost me 3000 yuan. All my Chinese teacher colleagues think I'm completely crazy for paying so much. Yes, it's about $500. But this is a pretty well made model, not the 30 or 300 yuan bikes you of course can find here. It rides well and I took "Tongling the Red" out for his first trip today. We went to a quietly scruffy part of Tongling, where there are fish ponds, and a complex of stalled high rise apartments. Definitely a textbook case of old and new China, side by side. I turned back at lunchtime as the heat is back, even though it's fall.