Today, I'll share my final thoughts and photo's from my recent trip to mainland China. In my mind, I saved the best for last. I also plan to keep my words fairly short as I believe the pictures speak so much. Before I get started, I want to say that due to the busy nature of this trip, most of my pictures were taken from the back seat of a van. I had few opportunities to rest and stage photo's. It just wasn't that kind of trip.
China was busy. Lots of building construction going on as well as road construction. I think on the morning of the first day, Rich told me that he counted 14 or 17 large cranes used for building large structures from the window of his hotel room. In some cases the buildings were huge and under utilized. Check out the inside of one frame maker. We stopped here not to look at manufacturing but to say hello to an old business partner.
Many of the streets were super busy. Here is a good pic I got while stopped at a stop light. Many of the streets looked like this. There was traffic everywhere. A friend of mine said once about a trip he had taken that the streets and traffic were totally chaotic, but still flowed like water. I think this is pretty accurate. We did not see one accident or incident of road rage. Folks just seemed to know what to do. I would have been paralyzed driving here.
Stuff like this scared the heck out of me. This boy sat freely in a tub strapped to a motorcycle taxi. Maybe it is just the parent coming out in me. Maybe not. Either way, it is an accepted part of the society and the culture.
As we all know, the society is changing so much. Construction. Money. Consumption. All are hitting China now. I don't see it much different than the industrial revolution here in the US. While I'm sure some would argue, please know this is just my belief today. I don't know enough about our own history and I only spent 2 1/2 days in one part of China. Not enough to make any conclusive observations. Here is one photo that I thought represented both old and new China. A woman stopped at the intersection in her BMW while talking on her cell phone, an older woman riding here reliable 3 wheeled bicycle, and a delivery truck full of heavily used steel push carts.
Now...for all those shop rats that read the blog. Remember, I was a shop rat too. This is likely the most dangerous bike shop I have ever seen. I won't even try to add words to this.
Well, that's it for now. We'll get back to real business as we finalize our 2009 plans. Stay tuned.
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Growing up as a Minnesota farm boy, I developed an appreciation and love for land and open space. This appreciation has fostered two passions, cycling and photography. Both of these passions provide freedom, encourage me to explore and foster creativity. More importantly though, my journey with a bike and a camera reminds me that the world is big and I am small.