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Dispatch from the Silk Road 3.0


Pro tip ( from two of the best bicycle mechanics I've ever known ).....higher bars + lower gears = 👍✌️

Back in China just in time for QingMing Festival, April 5-7.  I brought along my old All C#@& single speed Cyclocross bike which is now a shadow of it's original self.  I added a 8 speed internal Shimano Alfine hub, high rise stem, Sim Works Get Around handlebars, Clement X'Plor 40c tires, Crank Works Stamp flat pedals, and all my favorite Road Runner Bags ❤️.  Comfort is key ✌️.  Looking to set your ride up like this?  Stop on in the shop 🛠 !

For the holiday, four New Yorkers and an Alaskan ventured by public bus from Shanghai to Shaoxing.  Our two day bicycle tour was to take us from Shaoxing to Yiwu, a hub of the modern day Silk Road.

Shaoxing is famous for three things, their canals, the famous Chinese writer Lu Xun, and Shaoxing wine.

Shaoxing wine.jpg

We sampled.........


The first day was epic to say the least.  We were met with heavy rains and a hike, though the mountains, in the dark. Luckily we had high powered lights and scooter ponchos are available in most stores.


Photo : Ammon Lewis


Day 2, we awoke to a beautiful view from our guest house and the sight of rain clouds moving away from the mountains.


Infrastructure construction is something I've encountured on every ride I've done in China.

It's important to have cushy tires.




We arrived in Yiwu..................

Yiwu is one of the first places I traveled to when I first arrived in China, and it is still one of my favorite.  It is a major hub of the modern Silk Road or what is now called the "Belt and Road". 

What I love about it is that by bicycle you can explore the city that is not only a hub for the modern Silk Road, but it is also one of the largest, if not the largest small commodities markets in the world!  You can ride though neighborhoods and see stores where their only product may be wholesale Christmas ornaments, fake trees, beads, bongs, plates, iPhone chargers, drones, plastic bags.......

Because of the large amount of wholesale commodity goods and other factors there is a large population of people from the Middle East who are in Yiwu for business or who have settled here.   This expat population mixed with China's Hui Muslims and other local populations have created a city were the culture and food are extraordinary! 


Take aways from our two day tour : 


Ponchos are one of humans greatest creations. 

Yiwu is rad!  I highly recommend.