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Published: September 12th 2009
Alan and Lindsey
Clubbing the night away!
Today, a group of us went bike shopping for three of the new staff members. We headed out to a town in the countryside about forty minutes outside the Wuhan city limits to an area where we knew there were was a good selection of bikes and scooters. It was the first time Nancy and I had ventured outside of the city on our motorcycle, so we didn't know if it was up to the task or not.
After a heavy night of partying last night by some of us at one of the local clubs, it was a miracle that the crew was up and running by 10 this morning. We personally got home after 3am but were ready to rumble by the scheduled time. As we rolled out of town, my machine decided to grind to a halt after about fifteen minutes of riding. Having no idea what the problem was, and knowing the gas tank had plenty in it, I started it up again successfully for another 5 minutes before the same thing happened. Hmmm...maybe its the oil. Yep. After a quick check, I soon discovered that nothing was registering on the dipstick. But after adding a
liter and a half to the steaming engine, everything started functioning fine again. So I guess I'll check the levels more regularly from now on....seems that a 1938 bike needs a little lubrication on a more regular basis than I am used to.
The urban sprawl continued for most of the way but there were moments of countryside in between. The traffic definitely lessened as we move away from the city until finally we had the road mostly to ourselves and a few large trucks. A city the size of Wuhan must eat up a lot of supplies on a daily basis from the surrounding area. As Wuhan faded into the distance in our rearview mirrors, tall buildings turned into one storey residences and shops. After about half an hour we reached our destination.
One of the new teachers is quite fluent and did us proud with his bargaining skills. We ended up with a couple of new bikes by 2 in the afternoon and headed out to the next town, another half hour away. Now we really were in the country. Several water buffalo were seen along the side of the road and workers could be seen
Sanya and Nicole
The happy face of a new owner!
in some of the fields we passed as we rode along. Our crew of "bikers" were definitely a novelty in the next town and we were followed around by a couple of kids on their bicycles. We got lots of stares but realized that there probably hadn't been many foreigners that would have made their way to this small town.
Alan showed us the way to a great little restaurant. We lost Steve, our only fairly bilingual friend, along the way because he had to head back to the city for other business. However, the restaurant owners were great and with my meagre Chinese and lots of pointing to the vegetables in their fridge, we ended up with six great dishes of food to share.
After lunch, we headed out to check out the Yangtze River which flowed through the town just around the corner and then headed back to Wuhan through the countryside. Everyone had a great time and hopefully, this will be the first of many roadtrips for the group. There are still another few teachers that want to get motorcyles or scooters in the coming weeks.
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