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  1. #1 DanK's China Adventure Report 
    C-Moto Senior DanKearney's Avatar
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    Greetings All,

    My wife Yuan and I were in Shanghai up until yesterday afternoon. Winston Sa graciously invited us to come by and visit his shop, so we swung by in the early afternoon.

    What a great shop. The rebuilt and customized Changs he has on sale are beautiful. We spent some time talking bikes and discussing their upcoming ride to Tibet. If only I had the time, I'd love to make that trip.

    We also met Peter (Sorry Peter, I didn't catch your last name) who's a transplant from Germany. He works with Winston at the shop. He'll also be going on the trip to Tibet. Winston told me of Peter's recent solo ride on his CJ from China all the way to Pakistan. There are some great photos of that trip framed and hanging on the shop wall. Peter's rig really looks the part too.

    Nick Barton came by also and treated us with a short CJ ride to lunch. Seems Peter and Winston are not the only globe-trotting riders hanging out in Shanghai these days. Nick's also been in China for years and has lived in the U.S. and of course his native U.K. Like me, Nick has trouble with the local language, so we hit it off well. Thanks Nick for taking the time to ride out and meet us. I felt sorry for you as we battled (Well, the taxi driver battled) the horrendous traffic to get us over to the train station for our short ride to HangZhou. I'd hate to be clutching along a 3mph in traffic on the bike.

    BTW, the train to HangZhou is a very modern high-speed one that reached up to 175kph on the way. A smooth and interesting ride.

    Anyway, no riding photos to share yet, so here are a few shots of Winston's shop in ShangHai. Sorry Winston, when I was taking these parting shops you were too deep in dealing with customers for me to bother you for a pic.

    Cheers,

    Dan K.


    CJ Sidecars - That's Peter's bike on the left, with the dual spare tires








    That's Nick on the left (He owns a few Guzzi's also), and Peter on the right
    Last edited by DanKearney; 06-10-2009 at 09:25 AM.
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  2. #2  
    Good to meet up with you and Yuan........hope the rest of your trip is enjoyable and safe.

    Make the most of the madness.

    Nick.
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  3. #3  
    Administrator-tron CrazyCarl's Avatar
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    Dan,

    Great start to what promises to be an unforgettable holiday! Even the pics are pretty good!

    DOn't be bashful about posting your experience. Certainly a visit to the bike shop is part of the journey and, shall we say, a preamble to your ride report so it all counts!!!

    Based on the pics, your right those bikes do look beautiful and it would be a real first class adventure to take one of those to Tibet. Maybe next year yeah?

    So what's the next step?

    Yi Lu Ping An
    CC

    P.S. I changed the title of the thread to something I think more fitting of your plans over there. If you want it changed back, let me know.
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    Help support MCM!! Buy "The Return - Riding Western China" DVD! -

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    Personal China travel info, photo and video site:

    http://www.carlparker.com

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  4. #4  
    Mythbuster
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    Damn ...I tried to find that shop in the day and a half I had in Shanghai ..

    There is a similar shop in Beijing (didn't find it either)..

    Often thought one of those outfits would be ideal to travel china...in 2006 I was in Zhenghou and saw them out the back of a Police Station sitting in a group looking abandoned.. my Wife (ex Chinese Police Officer) asked and was told they were selling them off as they don't use them much anymore..
    They had a high roll bar behind the chair and still had the Police lights on them ..lol !
    At least you would get through the traffic unhindered lol !
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  5. #5  
    C-Moto Senior DanKearney's Avatar
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    Well, I've been traipsing around China for the past nine days and have only been "looking" at motorbikes so far. We're resting up in the hotel room this evening in Nanjing after another exhausting day of walking around and soaking up culture. Today we visited the old Presidential Palace from the first Replublic's days and Sun Yat Sen's grand mausoleum/park.

    The real fun starts soon however as we arrive in Beijing tomorrow late in the afternoon. Andy reports that the GS is sitting outside idling and waiting for me to arrive. His new job won't start for another week or so, so it looks like he and Sidecar Jimbo will we shepherding me around for a few days. Woo Hoo!

    In the mean time, I hate to post my pathetic, un-cropped, non-color corrected, ham-fisted, tourist snapshots on this forum after I've seen so many excellent photographs. Regardless, here are a few non-ride related snaps from our trip so far. We've covered Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wuzhen, Suzhou, and now Nanjing.

    We only spent one evening in Shanghai, so of course we visited the Xin Tian Di shopping/restaurant area that day. (Fairly disappointing IMHO, just another consumption opportunity). It was raining a bit that evening, but we went for a river boat ride anyway.

    Anyone who's seen any photos of Shanghai have seen this:



    Then it was on to Hangzhou where we visited the Lin Ying Temple and of course, West Lake:





    Introducing my lovely wife, Yuan:









    Afterwards, we moved on to Wuzhen. I really liked this place, but the interesting part was fairly small and it took a bit of stretch to spend two days there without seeing everything twice.

    It started off badly when we made the mistake of joining a tour group to start this visit. The bus ride from Hangzhou to Wuzhen was pleasant enough except for the forced "rest" stop at what turned out to be a captive sales pitch for tea company's roadside factory outlet store.

    We arrived in Wuzhen at about the same time as 72 or 73 other tour buses and proceeded to get herded like cattle through the labyrinthine, narrow passages of the eastern-side of the old town. It was stifling hot and impossible to hear one loudspeaker shouting tour guide's spiel over the others as they tried to speed their charges through everything as quickly as possible. My wife and I could stand this for only about 15 minutes and decided to ditch the group and gain some respite with a few beers and some food at a side-street restaurant.

    Luckily, the west side of Wuzhen, although still fairly crowded with tour-ons like us, was exponentially more interesting. This might be because one has to pay RMB120 to gain entry by traveling about 50 meters across what would otherwise be an easily circumvented pond, via boat.























    After Wuzhen, we returned to Hangzhou to retreive out left-luggage and took a bus to Suzhou. I was looking forward to Suzhou, as I had seen a television program about it on CCTV9 a few months ago and it looked to be much bigger and nicer, but the same character as Wuzhen.

    It was nice, but Yuan decided she'd seen enough canals and boats for a while, so we visited two other local landmarks while we were there. An exquisite formal garden known as the "Humble Administrator's Garden. It was huge, beautiful, but hardly humble. We also visited the park and tower at Tiger Hill.











    That was our last stop before heading to Nanjing, our present location. I think that of all the cities I've visited over my 5 trips to China, Nanjing is the nicest so far. Unbelievably, the traffic is actually bearable here! We actually saw streets, both avenues and residential, with little traffic on them. Sure, there are some congested areas, and we didn't really travel at rush hour, but it was actually nice to see some space between moving vehicles for a change. This could be attributable to the fact that Nanjing "only" has about 5 million inhabitants. Also, the skies here, although still hazy, manage to allow a level of blueness that hitherto has escaped my gaze.

    I did however have my first near-death experience here. It occurred when leaving our hotel this morning. I'm so fixated on looking all around when I am about to cross a road I was nearly creamed by a speeding bicycle that was riding on the sidewalk (That's "pavement" for my Brit friends :) ). I swear that I was only a centimeter away from him when he sped right past my face.

    Anyway, here a a few pics from our first day in Nanjing yesterday. I haven't downloaded today's pics from the cameras yet, so you're spared any further boredom.





    Lastly, just a little bit about how it's like to get a reminder that I live in a country with a history as short as a second-grader's attention span. I already knew that my wife can trace her family line back an amazing 74 generations, and I remember that she'd told me about her grandfather, who was a General in the Gou Min Dong Army.

    Today, we visited the old Republic's Presidential Palace, which is built upon the ground that held the short-lived palace of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. It lasted from 1850 and the last remnants were finally cleared out about 1871 when the Qing imperials finally overcame them.

    Well, it seems that my wife's great, great, great, great, great. . . grandfather is the general that led the Qing army that captured Nanjing (Then called Tianjing) and burned the palace to the ground:



    That was a cool history lesson for me.

    Well, that's all for now. Perhaps I'll have some actual ride photos the next time I update the thread.

    Cheers,

    Dan K
    Last edited by DanKearney; 06-10-2009 at 09:32 AM.
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  6. #6  
    Senior C-Moto Guru bigdamo's Avatar
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    Nice report .

    If you enjoy open spaces and no traffic on roads come to Xinjiang.Give Urumqi a miss though.

    Enjoy your trip.
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  7. #7  
    Administrator-tron CrazyCarl's Avatar
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    Dan,

    Looks like you're having a fun time and Yuan is lovely! You photographs are great as well! Are you using a tripod for the night shots?

    CC
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    Help support MCM!! Buy "The Return - Riding Western China" DVD! -

    http://www.motocyclops.com/buydvd/

    Personal China travel info, photo and video site:

    http://www.carlparker.com

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  8. #8  
    C-Moto Senior DanKearney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mythbuster View Post
    Damn ...I tried to find that shop in the day and a half I had in Shanghai ..

    There is a similar shop in Beijing (didn't find it either)..

    Often thought one of those outfits would be ideal to travel china...
    Mythbuster,

    I agree, a refurbished CJ would be a great all-around touring machine for China (IMHO). I own a Ural Patrol sidecar and am always amazed at how much crap I can stuff into it for a long distance trip.

    Folks back in the States tell me I am crazy for using the Ural for anything more than day trips because it is so (relatively) slow, but I firmly believe that I see a lot more of what's around me when I am not going faster than 90kph.

    Cheers,

    Dan K.
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  9. #9  
    C-Moto Senior DanKearney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdamo View Post
    Nice report .

    If you enjoy open spaces and no traffic on roads come to Xinjiang.Give Urumqi a miss though.

    Enjoy your trip.
    I'd love to visit that area also. I have CC's dvd from his trip in that direction and it's really interesting.

    Another time, another trip. . .

    Cheers,

    Dan K.
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  10. #10  
    C-Moto Senior DanKearney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyCarl View Post
    Dan,

    Looks like you're having a fun time and Yuan is lovely! You photographs are great as well! Are you using a tripod for the night shots?

    CC
    Carl,

    Yes, we're having a good time, but the constant touring can wear one down a bit. I agree, my wife is lovely. I'm a lucky guy.

    I was either using a tripod or a little clamp-on device that I have to take those night shots. Trouble is that on most of them I forgot to change the camera's ISO setting from AUTO and of course it chose to use 800. So a bunch of them are really noisy. Oh, well.

    Cheers,

    Dan K.
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