Shakedown in Shekou - Have Vaccine, Will Travel -- The Pre-Recovery - CycleBlaze

February 1, 2021

Shakedown in Shekou

The Montague has been through a lot.  Climbed 5000+ meter mountain passes, rode through restive military zones in the deep south of Thailand, survived an attempted theft in Cambodia, rescued from a lockdown last year, and just now abandoned at the top of a mountain due to a tire issue.  What I didn't expect for its potential downfall would be bicycle parking issues in Shenzhen.  The bike was purchased across the border in HK in 2012 and the first test rides were in Shenzhen, but for very limited runs.  This city didn't strike me as bike friendly then and now.  Parking it seems is a big issue.

So I headed out to Shekou for the virus test and there was a gated compound that didn't appear to let bikes in, so I parked it outside on the street and locked it to a pole.  As I walked in I did see a lot of electric bikes parked inside the compound, so it was apparent that you could bring them in, but I said why bother and just left it outside.

After the test, which was quick and painless, I saw a cop lurking around the area and he sprung up quickly and started approaching me as I was making my way to the bike.  Time to think on my feet, literally.  I just kept walking and didn't make any indications that it was my bike.  Then I stood off at a far distance and watched the cop to see what he would do.  He sat back on his motorcycle, most likely waiting to see if me (if that was his suspicion) or someone else would come for the bike and unlock it.

And then what?   Who knows.  What is even the issue anyway?  Not entirely sure, but my guess is that you can't park bikes on the street unless in designated areas and this city enforces it strictly.  If I went for the bike, they would probably fine me.   That was my operating assumption and I was probably right.  So it was a waiting game.  As this game went on, I saw a few police cruisers pass by and people watching me watching the bike.  Other security guards were beginning to gather also in that area, including the compound staff. 

This wasn't looking good at all.  If I kept waiting too long, they might call for backup and send someone to cut the lock and impound the bike.  If I went back too quickly right way, they would know it was me, and they would realize that I knew that they knew what was up the first time.  But it also now wasn't a good idea to just stand there and watch, because of potential suspicions being aroused.

So the strategy was go back inside the compound by another entrance, walk around the building, change my appearance by taking off the jacket and putting on a hat, fake making a phone call, go out by the same main gate I used earlier, and unlock the bike as quickly as possible with the phone pressed up against my ear.  The strategy worked perfectly.  I could see the security guards off to the side, and the police motorcycle no longer there.  An officer was there, however, with his back towards my bike.  As I quickly unlocked it and took off, I could hear him shout 'Hello' but with my fake phone call being made, I just ignored him and took off.

Developments toward Sea World. You can't get directly to the ocean because there is a special border area, actually is leased land on the mainland and technically part of Hong Kong
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Actual Sea World
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That was too close for comfort.  I then managed to chill out in the Sea World area and have a massage after that scare.  Not long after it was time for a social meetup at the Blue Frog with two-for-one happy hour deals on both burgers and drinks, and then a bike ride back to the Futian area where I was staying.

Amazing deals at this place. They are super popular in Shanghai and now expanding here also it appears
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Today's ride: 50 km (31 miles)
Total: 582 km (361 miles)

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Rachael AndersonYou are so devious!
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonWonderful story. Rachael has been chortling for about five minutes.
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1 month ago
Bruce LellmanWell done, Steve. Sometimes you just have to try to outwit these guys at their own game. Such a controlling government!
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1 month ago