D9: 横溪→永昌 - Oh Hai - CycleBlaze

October 14, 2019

D9: 横溪→永昌

Just a wee bit of a traffic jam
Heart 0 Comment 0

I wake up tired and achy. I didn't get enough to eat yesterday and, per my Rule on painkillers, I didn't take anything before going to bed so that I would be able to take something when I woke up. Also, if I'm going to be totally honest, I didn't take anything before going to bed because the painkillers—all the painkillers—were still with the bike and while the idea of walking back downstairs again didn't bother me too much, the idea of walking back upstairs again did.

My road research indicates that my choices are either to stick with the Road I'm on that's recently stopped being the S314 Provincial Road and become a National Road instead (and which has trucks and other muckiness) but which is flattish trending towards downhill or to take a newer road that doesn't have too much in the way of climbing, regrettably comes with a short tunnel, and probably has a lot more scenery.

Gramps here has decided to just get out and sit in the comfy chair and have a smoke
Heart 0 Comment 0

Despite the tunnel, I'm pretty devoted to the idea of this road and, when I get out to the Road and cross it to make my way to an open breakfast place, am fairly cemented in my desire.

But first, a detour.

Like all the best detours, this is a completely unscheduled one. Directly across the Road from the alley where I came out of the town, there's a police car and a road closure sign and an awful lot of people going in on motorcycles and coming out on every kind of conveyance imaginable. "Exit Only" the sign says "take the other road by way of the other other road if you are going to the bull fighting".

I'm trying to figure out 1) how to get down there and 2) whether or not I'll be able to see anything if I do
Heart 0 Comment 0
I'm not the only person who is trying to watch from up high
Heart 0 Comment 0

It's safe to say that I'm definitely going to the bull fighting but I'm also going to have breakfast first cause I'm not only feeling that I went to bed hungry, I know that if I take a Naproxen on an empty stomach, I'll have heartburn later on in the day.

Even if I hadn't had fluency and literacy on my side to point my way towards the village where the bullfighting was going on, the constant streams of people—both leaving and heading there—would have given me a clue as to which way to go. There must be some other local festivities going on in some of the other villages in the general vicinity as even where there aren't fender benders blocking the way, the whole area is trying for gridlock. When in doubt as to which way to go, I look for the traffic police in dayglo green attempting to unsnarl things.

Do you think you guys would mind taking some photos and then taking your argument regarding who was responsible to someplace other than the middle of the road?
Heart 0 Comment 0

I never actually make it all the way to the bullfighting ring cause I can't find a good place to leave my bike and while I'm talking with people about how to get down the hill (which obviously has roads other than the footpath people are using), it starts to aggressively mizzle and a decision is made to continue after lunch.

So far as I can tell from my distant vantage and from talking to people, this bullfighting is bull versus bull. I'm not sure what happens to the loser but the winners will be used as breed stock.

I feel like it would be a bad idea to try to take my bike down this path
Heart 0 Comment 0
Though perhaps not quite as bad an idea as the guy with the stroller trying to shortcut across fields and hummocks because the crowd is too difficult
Heart 0 Comment 0

When the wet stops, I find my way out of the villages on a different road than the one I came in on. Back on the Road, I go perhaps a kilometer before I reach what should have been my turnoff into the foothills. It's a lovely looking piece of concrete road that you can just tell from the way it undulates up into the distance that it's going to be absolutely beautiful. It's also accompanied by a sign that there's construction on the Road and that all trucks should detour here.

I guess it will be the flat route for me after all.

Things aren't especially interesting during my sojourn on the Road. It was flattish. I moved fast. And until I got past the piece of construction related to the new expressway, the traffic was basically nonexistent. Then, with each intersection and interchange, it got heavier and heavier and heavier.

If I'd stuck around, there probably would have been Opera as well
Heart 0 Comment 0
On the Road again....
Heart 0 Comment 0

At some point, I turned off to take a look at a temple that—while technically open—was more or less inaccessible due to something involving an earth mover and what looked like electrical conduit. I was able to find a way that involved my not getting back onto the Road until shortly before the city of Lanxi [兰溪] and decided to stick with that. By and large, it wasn't that much more interesting than the Road had been. A few more turns, a lot more houses, but no particularly exciting views or things of note.

When I got back to the Road, it had become a proper trucking route and was properly unpleasant. Fortunately, it wasn't long before I was in the city and all the trucks disappeared to bypasses that I never noticed.

I was quite pleased with myself for managing to get around this mess
Heart 0 Comment 0
I'd marked this pagoda off as someplace worth visiting but the scaffolding and a lack of an obvious way to get to it made me decide to give a hard pass
Heart 0 Comment 0

Rode through Lanxi to the old town on the banks of the Lanjiang River. It wasn't quite as 'ye olde'ified as others but it wasn't much to look at either. Given the size of the remaining section of city walls where they are now incorporated into the floodworks, it must have been something quite impressive back in the day.

Crossed the Lanjiang and rode til just before dark on a main road that sometimes had trucks and sometimes didn't but never really got interesting. While technically still on the outskirts of Lanxi, I was now in the regions with a larger than usual number of cheap motels, inexplicably without parking or a nearby bus station but always full of travelers. Since I checked in just after dark, there were still a few rooms left and I got one with a soft bed for 50元.

Propaganda of the Day: Speak Civilized Words, Do Civilized Matters, Be a Civilized Person, Travel a Civilized Road
Heart 0 Comment 0
Old City Walls
Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's ride: 62 km (39 miles)
Total: 635 km (394 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 4
Comment on this entry Comment 0