D3: 干窑→南浔 - Oh Hai - CycleBlaze

October 3, 2019

D3: 干窑→南浔

A surprisingly pretty cooling tower
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I have a new camera this trip. It's a Sony full frame mirrorless that I had Replacement purchase for me secondhand off of Taobao. I spent a lot of time trying to decide which version of the camera to get but eventually settled on the second gen prosumer release as it was in my price range. Particularly coming off of the Olympus camera that I forced myself to use for one whole year (actually ended up being more than two) as a punishment for not doing proper research before buying something, it's an absolute delight to use. Still doesn't have quite the dynamic range I was used to with either my stolen Nikon D610 or its predecessor the D80, but otherwise, nearly everything about it is amazing.

There's one not amazing thing.

One thing that I'm sure Sony must have had a very good reason for doing but which I'm completely boggled by.

You can take pictures without a memory card inserted.

It won't keep more than a single photo in that buffer but you can take pictures without a memory card inserted.

I strongly suspect that one of the reasons the big roads around this area are generally in such great condition is because of the amount of shipping done on barges. I'll grant you that the barges I've seen mostly seem to be carrying sand or gravel rather than containers but they sure are keeping a lot of weight off the roads.
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There's a subtle warning but it is subtle and understated and merely a warning that does not prevent you from taking pictures without a memory card inserted.

As a result, you get to relive the joys of the days of film when you went out on holiday and carefully rationed your 36 snaps over two or even three days only to go to remove the roll of film and find that you never put it in in the first place. (For those of you who remember that happening, which was worse - the times that you forgot to put film in or the times that the developer ruined your pictures?)

Big brother is watching
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The morning's ride was much prettier than the afternoon's. I probably took at least 20 photos. Granted I feel like a 'good day' on tour should average about 100 pics but that feeling is based on stopping somewhere and seeing things not just ride ride ride riding, and it's also based on carrying the camera over my shoulder which—since this camera is brand spanking new to me—I'm not quite completely ready to do just yet. (Also, I want to be fixing my posture or restrengthening my core muscles before I start regularly carrying a weight on my back.)

My laptop screen continues to dry out. At the rate it's going, by the time I get to Hangzhou and a Lenovo authorized repair center, it might merely look gnarly. If I didn't have a lovely shiny international extended warranty that covers drops and spills, I could see myself grudgingly becoming used to the bright spots. 

Beautiful piney country roads.
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Having read and re-read through my warranty in advance of hoping that they don't give me the runaround (with my Asus, a few years ago, every time I took it in for repair, they told me it had water damage. Every time I demanded to see the water damage and every time they decided "well, not that much water damage" and that they could repair it anyways), I'm amazed at what the warranty does cover. Like who exactly drops a laptop from 15 feet? 

My first task of the day is to get some money transferred to a friend of mine who is buying dollars in return for renminbi. This will be the last time I do this for a very very very long time as the official agency that helped me change my municipally registered "Haikou" company to a provincially registered "Hainan" company had told me in writing that I could use my renminbi to increase the investment and that it would "sound better" if, instead of increasing my registered capital from CNY 100,000 to CNY 1,000,000, I increase it to CNY 2,000,000. The banks all disagree. I've got a decade in which to do it (and the possibility of an extension) but I've got to come up with the equivalent of CNY 1,900,000 in USD (about $200,000) in the US to transfer in in a very official, very paperwork laden, and very annoying process.

Once that's done, I have a leisurely breakfast combined with a bunch of map peeping, decide on Nanxun Ancient Town (or at least the areas nearby to it) as my destination dujour versus a faster trip to Hangzhou, and start riding.

Taiping Bridge 1972
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There's a truly lovely bit of Ganyao that's all proper ancient water town without the touristy bull crap and I took a bunch of lovely photos of dark waters and drooping willows and stone bridges each and every one of which immediately deleted themselves in favor of the next lovely photo because my camera didn't stop me from taking pictures without a memory card inserted

Not that I'm bitter or annoyed about this or anything like that.

Ganyao to Tianning [天凝] was mostly wonderful tiny little concrete roads and occasional blacktop bits interspersed with wider things that were going places but which often had bike paths (and quite reasonable ones at that if you aren't playing speed racer and like to look at flowers) in the bits between. The only real frustration I had with the narrow roads was the sheer number of speed bumps which is as much a frustration with human nature as it is with the roads.

Compared to 700c wheels, I feel like the 26" thumps more going over a speed bump.

A mural I rather liked about not littering and being a civilized person.
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Lunch in a village a bit after Tianning. I was glumly focusing on not leaving half of my overserved bowl of food behind (because even if it was a fast food place, it was a village fast food place, and not only is wasting food around poor people rude, it was really yummy stewed turnips and pork belly with ginger) when the boss lady grabbed my bowl, took it back into the kitchen, and dished me up another serving. Then, they refused to take my money. I gave them one of my souvenir drilled pennies but it didn't really feel like enough.

Lunch
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Other than the bit about my camera and all those photos that were never saved, this would hardly be the last time today when the Road was on my side. In the last 10km before Nanxun, while stopping to pick up a 100 renminbi note that someone else had lost, a recumbent riding Aussie named Danny caught up with me, rode with me to Nanxun, and split a hotel room.

However, with the exception of these events, the majority of the day was a mix of rather heavily developed exurbia with factory after factory after factory but nothing interesting to look at or bits of city where a glance at the maps wouldn't seem to think a city should be.

Today's ride: 60 km (37 miles)
Total: 268 km (166 miles)

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