D5: 兴隆 → 密云 - A China Coddiwomple - CycleBlaze

June 3, 2022

D5: 兴隆 → 密云

My friends are allowed to request certain categories of pictures from me. Jake wants construction equipment.
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The almost over the top amount of praise, approval and approbation I got from the Front Desk of the hotel (two women who were not, to my awareness, there last night) as I checked out was almost surreal. Both before and after the police arrived, there was a good hour of screaming sweaty foreigner yelling about civilized manners and respecting the law; so, even discounting that yesterday's hot video¹ was me excitedly reciting quotes from Chairman Mao I stumbled across in the wild, these people should not like me.

Stealing telecommunications cable will be punished in full accordance with the law
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From two years ago in Guangxi, a sign that clearly had the same source material. Other than layout and color, the biggest difference is that one officer is badge number 8880000 and the other is badge number 000033.
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Having previously said in this trip journal that I rarely end up back at the exact same hotel, and never before one where hostilities had previously commenced, I realized I was wrong. In 2020, I went back to the hotel in Anpu on the Leiqiong Peninsula that was one of my first instances of assigning myself a room². Upon seeing the then not-at-all famous me the Front Desk's comment before checking me in was merely "you've gained weight³".

I don't get it. I really really don't.

Skipping over the added complications of police involvement, I straight up don't get the frequency with which I'm required to be nasty because of someone (whom I'd happily teach the procedures to) deciding to straight up say "fuck off, you can't stay here" rather than admit that procedures (which aren't difficult and which can be taught) exist and they are unfamiliar with how to do them; and I really don't get how so many of these people visibly turn sweetness and light on me once I've browbeaten them into  acquiescence.

I was quite impressed by these trash sorting stations
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Especially the pulley operated handle so you don't have to touch the gross lids
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I already had oatmeal in the room so I won't stop for a meal until I'm well on my way. Fried sliced cucumber like vegetable that may have actually been cucumber with pork, it seemed horribly overpriced until it arrived at the table. On a non-biking day, I'm pretty sure two dishes that size could easily fill three people. As it was, I finished it.

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Good that I did too as the majority of the not very many rural restaurants on this side of the border with Beijing were closed due to a lack of traffic while the majority on the other side still had "temporarily closed for Covid" or "take out only" signs up.

I'm to understand that today is the day that the whole of the Municipality reopened indoor dining but I'm not super in tune with the Beijing news.

Great Wall
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More Great Wall
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Seen through post pandemic eyes, the dual "you are now leaving/arriving" checkpoints for both Hebei and Beijing kind of bother me. These are not new since 3 years ago. And even if only major-ish roads get them, it's ridiculously silly that the provinces don't sufficiently trust each other's enforcement or information sharing that they both need to check the trucks and cars and passengers coming through.

At least, seeing them check the trunk of a car for any obvious contraband, I assume that's whats going on. 

Hebei Border Control
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A truck waiting to be checked
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In terms of having my documents checked and my bonas fided, the hassle of both checkpoints combined was less than many hotel check-ins⁴. This is because, unlike hotel staff (including at places that cost actual money), the police manning the checkpoints appear to have actually received some training. The entering Beijing officer relies less on my Form than the leaving Hebei officers but both sets comment appreciatevely on it taking all the information that they would need to get from various locations and neatly putting it in one spot.

Isolation booth for Pharmacy Customers who are found to have a fever
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These are a particularly pointless measure as I can't imagine anyone sick in a bad way has thusly been isolated. Usually made of less sturdy materials, this one has been turned into a greenhouse
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Apparently, no one can get permission to unlock the gate but no one on the other side is willing to continue dealing with being gated
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Beijing also photocopies the relevant passport pages and offers to make me a photocopy of my increasingly battered sheet of paper but I have decided to keep this until I get a fresh one printed as the very travelworn nature of it is one more clue (as if the bike weren't) that I've been on the road for a while and I know what I'm doing.

I stick to the old Miyun Road pretty much the whole way and, as a result, not only get to avoid a tunnel, I also get scenery and a total lack of trucks. It's not stunning scenery; there aren't any significantly interesting or old or weird buildings; but, it is relatively scenic and has shade and places where I might be able to stop for a pee if I weren't severely dehydrated⁵.

90s sign outside the Xinglong Central Post Office listing the services they provide including mail throughout the country, package storage and delivery, ID card applications, mobile phone payments, outdoor advertising, mailers, drivers license applications and renewals, and license plate applications
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As household electronics become more common, remember safety first
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Wishing that Chairman Mao shall live forever!
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Arrive in Miyun city. Head to the closest police station to attempt to find out about any potential issues. Discover that even though AliPay has automatically signed me up for the Beijing Health Code, there's a separate version for foreigners and I can't login. Get snippy at the police for refusing to so much as let me enter their parking lot while they claim to be figuring out what I ought to do or how to do it, and successfully get help from a WeChat group instead.

In order to protect the bridge, trucks are asked to take the long way
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Despite what my GPS tells me, this is not the Great Wall
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Then I make a reservation at the closest hotel where, despite a poster on the wall about the many various documents which can be used for checking a foreigner in, they decide to lie to me about needing a special non-existent license to take me. I only have to yell just the littlest bit though before they accept that I'm not leaving.

Outside the police station
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The paintings are glued to the wall
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Dust free TV for Sarah
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Condoms - 10y
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¹ 21,000 views, 840 likes and 83 comments as of this writing

² I also may have, by the most technical definition available, assaulted a police officer

³ It being the end of a month plus Tour rather than the beginning, she was quite right

⁴ A judgement which is neither reserved for hostile episodes nor bike trips

⁵ I mean, I've drank 6 liters today, but it all came out as sweat

Today's ride: 72 km (45 miles)
Total: 383 km (238 miles)

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