Why I love riding my bike in Beijing

It’s October in Beijing. It’s by far the nicest time to be in this crazy city. We have totally blue, sunny skies on a regular basis and the polluted, grey sky days only visit on the odd occasion.

And, oh boy, it makes you just want to be outside!! Many people ask how I can stand to live here, coming from Australia, and always having had a love for the environment and untouched wilderness. But you appreciate things so much more when confronted with this comparison. Sometimes a pollution cloud descends over Beijing and it just won’t shove on for a few days, but when it finally does the city feels alive. Everyone rushes to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.

Now I’m not preggers, I’m riding to work again. Now, before you think, ‘Oh wow! She’s working hard to lose that pregnancy weight. What a good girl!’ I’m not. I’m cheating. I ride an electric bike. Nonetheless, I still get to see early morning Beijing at it’s best.

Nice, huh? I love the panniers which I scored off taobao for 70kuai. Much safer than overloading my front basket.

The highlights seem to always be middle-aged Chinese men. My top five recent sightings were:

1. A clever old guy had adapted his wheelchair so that he could run it off an electric bike battery and drive it with electric bike controls – smart!

2. The many men who dress up in their silky pjs to go for an early morning stroll.

3. A man practising his balancing skills by jogging with basketball on his head.

4. A dog practising his balancing skills with 2 feet on each shoulder of his master, whilst his master rides a scooter.

5. A man who decided his outfit for the day would be a cowboy hat, denim shorts and a sleeveless shirt. Gold.

My only regret is that I don’t have photos… anyone have a helmet with a camera attached?