D5: 双林 → 杭州 - Oh Hai - CycleBlaze

October 5, 2019

D5: 双林 → 杭州

The rice worked hard to get in your bowl. Don't waste a single grain.
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I'm initially writing this from my phone because I can't be bothered to unpack my laptop. Also, although I got a few pictures today, I didn't really get very many and I sort of want to see how much I hate using this itty bitty keyboard to type (or Swype as the case may be).

From Shuanglin to someplace that looked like it might be interesting but which wasn't guaranteed to actually be interesting was around 56km. To Hangzhou, friends, an opportunity to start warranty service on my laptop, and coffee was theoretically 63km (I wouldn't have thought my limited detours, missed turns and recalculating would add up to 4km but apparently it did).

If I went to the potentially interesting place, I would still need to do the grind through factory districts and outskirts and exurbia mixing into sprawl and towns that had become part of the city and, yeah, it wasn't really too hard to choose Hangzhou.

Even without the cough or the sore bottom, I'm pretty sure I still would have chosen Hangzhou.

It was not a lovely ride. 

Dyed cotton fluff that was flying off of some of the trucks near some cloth making plants. They must come along and clean it up every so often because there was only a little bit of fluff.
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Overloading Vehicles is Dangerous
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Certainly, I've had worse.
But I have also had better. 

The weather was gray. The little tiny wounds that often show up in the first few days of a tour or if I suddenly do an exceptionally long day had healed shut overnight but the skin down there was still tender and abused. And the never especially magnificent scenery of the flatlands between Hangzhou and Shanghai was looking particularly bleak and distant as I took the fastest, shortest roads the GPS pointed me on.

On this stretch that was narrowed down because of road works, there was a car behind me that wouldn't pass when I pulled to the side and waved him over and then rode up close to me and wouldn't pass and then rode up close to me and then, when there was finally a place where both of us felt confident he could pass, rolled down his window and enthusiastically called out "Thank You!" to me. I immediately went from being grumpy at him for being an annoying driver to feeling like I was the bad guy.
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A pleasantly traffic free stretch
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My speaker is being fussy about charging off of anything (powerbank or wall). My power banks only intermittently think they are getting a charge from the dynamo to USB adaptor; my phone merely drains more slowly when plugged in to it. I've got a repeatable malfunction in the 10th gear on the Alfine hub. And no matter how long it feels like I'm already in the city, I'm still not there yet.

But for all my frustration and annoyance, it's not actually a draining draggy tired day. It's just a gray uneventful forgettable one which, with all the other things that are bound to happen this tour, will have completely faded from memory by this time next year.

My colleague Sully who is somewhat technically considered on paper to be my employee but who is actually more successful than I am (probably cause he works harder) meets me at what is on paper "our office" except for my never having been there before.

Playful goats
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I slam back the cold salty lemonade he hands me even before attempting to remind LittleDaughter of who I am. Neither she nor BigDaughter particularly recall me though it's been two years and when you aren't yet 10, that's a really really long time.

When I am rested enough to be considered human, we go over to my hotel to get me checked in so I can shower and change into less fragrant clothing before dinner. Our arrival inconveniently coincides with a huge group of not especially well behaved women that have to be yelled at by the Chinese staff to stop mobbing the front desk.

He had to pick LittleDaughter up and put her on his shoulders because they were crowding so close that they were failing to notice the child they were stepping on
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Then we go across the street to the mall and have pizza for dinner. Dominoes China. Better than Pizza Hut China. Still not quite right though.

Eventually, after much talking and gossiping, tall tale weaving and recollections, and the inevitable rehashing of last year's Incident that happens with all my friends as I continue to try to find some sense from an absolutely senseless event (Horrible prank? Retaliation for imagined slights?) and its still ongoing ripples, it's time to call it a night as children are getting sleepy and adults should be too.

Passing through one of the towns that has been swallowed by Hangzhou, I noticed this old hotel/bathhouse/nightclub that still had its neon sign.
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Today's ride: 68 km (42 miles)
Total: 368 km (229 miles)

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