D7: 怀柔 → 昌平 - A China Coddiwomple - CycleBlaze

June 5, 2022

D7: 怀柔 → 昌平

The HDR on this phone is a bit extreme
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When I arrive—in earnest—at today's mountains, my body tells me that 2 hours of massage really wasn't enough and have I considered trying to not put 10kg on between Tours?

Personally, I think my having been able to stop for an actual lunch (even if I did get a nice long sit, a beer by a stream isn't the same as a real lunch near a stream) would have made a substantial contribution to my not being wiped out but this could be wishful thinking on my part.

Lunch
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This is specifically why I told the cobbler to sew the lift on and not just glue it
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In any case, I will come crawling into downtown Changping along with the sunset because the last time anything lodging related was open for business was on the Huairou side of the Huairou border and at least the city will have something. Without getting into the inevitable drama that happens when I want a hotel room that I've already booked and paid for online, it's particularly frustrating to have lost a couple hundred meters of elevation and, despite having really wanted to go to Yanqing, I decide that I won't turn back north.

At least this next time I cross back into Hebei, I won't have mountains for a good long while.

Really cool antenna array
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Standing in the shade mucking with a video, I thought these guys had pulled up to talk to me, but they were actually there because of the two rural worker looking types who had apparently called them on account of the nearby village checkpoint refusing to let them enter and do you have any idea how fucking cool it is to see people who are basically the lowest tier of society calling the cops on someone with Petty Authority?
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The most interesting group of people I meet today are all on high speed capable electric monowheels. They're taking a break by the side of a road I try to go down in search of "not the main road". Having just followed the same GPS directions, they inform me that there's a metal gate at the end and I have no choice.

They also know the route over the mountain that the GPS tried to send me on to avoid the tunnel (which is subsequently avoided via a different method) as they had met and been refused by the same Village Checkpoint Aunties who had refused to let me by.

The least interesting group of people I meet has to be a pair of European descent female roadies who don't even bother to wave or say "hi" to me as I'm walking my bike up to the final pass of the day. Usually, in China, my experience is that the fast moving people on sexy expensive race bikes are more "hello fellow tribe member" friendly than anyone else¹ but I may as well have been a stationary object for the amount of regard I got from them.

Very impressive looking beasty
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The monowheels
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I particularly liked the inflatable sofa
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It's a beautiful day full of people out from the City on every imaginable form of transportation from RV to muscle car. If only I had had better food and drink options, or been able to conveniently find places to pee, it might very well have been a perfect day. As it is, it's an okay day. 

It's a day where every potential jaunt on to the old main road through the little towns is prevented by Covid checkpoints. 

It's a day where most of the places I stop to try to get drinking water either don't have it or won't share it.

Any idea what kind of cocoon this is or why so many of them were attached to roadside trees WITH METAL TACKS
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Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like a giant silkworm cocoon... Possibly eaten by humans and tacked to trees as some kind of insecticide holder?
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4 weeks ago
Marian RosenbergTo Bill ShaneyfeltThat makes sense. I was also thinking possibly some sort of natural pesticide (the kind where you introduce the right sort of bug to eat the wrong sort)
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4 weeks ago
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Funerary services, gravestone carving, photocopies
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It's a day where the roadside vendor who sells me some fruit responds to "I'd like a kilo of plums" with putting a kilo and a half on the scale (to which I said "only a kilo, please") and then, instead of taking the excess off, added more (to bring it up to a round number) and got stroppy with me when I insisted I was only buying a kilo. 

In the next act, entitled "how much is a single hard boiled salt egg", he tried to sell me a kilo of them.

About the only thing I liked with this guy was watching him open a coconut for another customer using a power drill
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It's a day where, assuming that any part of the Ming Tombs was open, I don't pass by them until after they would ordinarily be closed.

It's also a day where the Public Security Bureau officer who—after much hassle and fuss—ends up being the one to let me behind the hotel's front desk so I can register myself adds me on WeChat. 

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¹ Large groups of motorcycle tourists in strange places also tend to be really excited to see me.

Today's ride: 58 km (36 miles)
Total: 475 km (295 miles)

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