Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WE GOT BIKES!!

We finally got ourselves some bicyles.  We caught  the local shuttle  to a metro stop.  Metro to the Brilliance West mall where we scoped out the scene at the local sproting goods store (A french shop called Decathelon) and then headed over to the Giant and Trek dealers.  Bridget scored big time with a classic HUGE candy apple red beach cruiser with no hand brakes - gotta pedal backwards to stop this baby.  Guy at the store claimed it was the only one in Shanghai, we'll see about that.  None the less, she is styling  around on this sweet ride..

  Jo and Quinn each got these little kid mnt bikes.  Quinn was easy to find a good bike for, Josephine had more discrimintating tastes but found a sky blue 24" giant.  The shop owner was trying to get me into a mountain bike right away showing me how nice the latest in disc break and front suspension technology was.   I'm thinking, "I've mountained biked all over Colorado, I know when I need a mountain bike."  I found a "city bike" that I liked - like a hybrid with 700 wheels but a mnt frame - no suspension.   So all is happy and we were too tired to ride them home so the salesman called a "truck" and I sent the girls home in a cab.  The truck is like a cab but his meter is just more expensive.  We carefully loaded the four bikes in his truck and he drove me home as he smoked chinese cigs.

Once home, Bridget and I went for a quick ride around the neighborhood while the girls crashed - dead tired...too much shopping.  The whole bike deal probably took a good 4 hours.  So B and I are riding and she's just cruising along on these tires of hers that are 26 inch diameter but like 3 inches thick so she's not feeling any of the bumps our cobble-stone neighborhood streets are throwing at us.  Meanwhile I'm getting all jostled around, feeling every bump and soon realize that although Shanghai is flat, it is bumpy as all get out.  Plus the traffic is insane so the start and stop ease of a mnt bike is what I want!!  Woops.  So we get back and I call Tim, the Chinese Trek dealer and explain my situation.  He says that tomorrow is the big full moon holiday and as long as I can get the bike to him by 5:30 CLEAN he'll swap it out for a mnt bike.  SO, I take one of these Truck Cabs BACK to his shop and find a mnt bike.  "I told you 'Mountain bike'" he says to me.  "yes, yes"  I say....in Chinese.


This time I ride home.  18 km through Western Shanghai - Puxi.  What a great way to see the city.  Negotiating traffic is a bit hairy but doable and tons of fun.  I get back to Zhudi where I'm supposed to meet the girls at a market where they're buying costumes for the Founders Festival at school - we're supposed to dress up like 1912.   Soon I'm in so deep with pedestrians, other cyclists, motorcyclists, bike taxis, cars trucks, food, animals, kids all over the place and what not.  Cant move at all - just a mass in the street.  Glad I have a mnt bike. I spot Josephine over by the live fish (ewwww! she says, but they do look cool) and we have a nice ride home once we get out of the crowd.  The pic above shows the local market and then our nice bike ride home.  In the pic below, you can see the bike taxi ahead of bridget - it's like a scooter/bike and can fit two adults or 4 kids in the bake.  This has been our main transportation around Zhudo....UNTIL NOW!!!

Josephine now rides her bike to school.  It is so nice to see them because we really can explore around us  so much more and boy there sure is alot quite around us.  It is a big city.  My neighbor, Eric, says that you can be out in the country in rice paddies and what not within a 10 minute bike ride - I'm anxious to see that.

No comments: