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the bike race

2007.09.15
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Apparently there is a Safari World near the Great Wall at Ba Da Ling. Unfortunately, we eventually managed to find the bike race venue, scrapping my plans to just play here instead.
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We bought water on the side of the road. It's good to see that China now has water enriched with vitamins, minerals... alcohol.
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This scrapper had just collapsed out of the race and came down the side of the foothill instead of continuing the course. Mind you, I'm not judging. I would have fallen down at the first uphill climb.
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Eventually that man to the far right there gave me his phone number. I did not call. But he's so Buddha-tastic, I wonder if I should.
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I usually don't post photos of friends on here but since this girl is all over the Internets in champion-biker photos, I don't think I'm doing much damage here.
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They made them bike up stairs!
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The Hebei ice swimmers team inspects the champion's bike.
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Still not entirely sure what was going on here.
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That's a very famous Chinese opera costume. And you can't see it too well, but he had a fantastic Curious George bike jersey.
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Most of the competitors seemed to have come from one university team or another.
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One of many "Can I take my picture with you?" moments.
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This guy must have placed in the top five to have won this bike frame, so I guess we shouldn't judge his athletic ability by that dangling cigarette.
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This photo needs no caption.
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My very dear friend in Beijing is something of a badass cyclist. I accompanied her to a race near the Great Wall at Ba Da Ling. She came in first place, by a long shot.

While she was racing, I stood around holding her bike. As the only two foreigners at this event, and both women, we gathered a bit of attention, although none of mine was merited.

Hence, I became just the best of buds with an entire team of dudes whose chosen athletic activity was to break open the ice on lakes in their home province, Hebei, in order to go swimming. On this particular day, they were milling around in matching spandex biking outfits, even though their race was over and they were not, technically, obligated to continue wearing these outfits.
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