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I’ve done several road trips in China on the back of Buck’s bike in these last two years. Many were simply weekend or day trips around the outskirts of Beijing, but I’ve also done two weeklong trips, one to Qingdao and one to Beidaihe. This October holiday Buck and I decided to ride all the way to Shanghai, around 1200km, and then Buck would ride back at the end of the holiday whilst I would hop on the fast train back to Beijing in order to return in a timely fashion.

Because I’ve written about several of these types of trips in detail before – by now you get the picture pretty much of what it’s like to ride as two foreigners on the back roads of China – I thought I’d regale you with this most recent adventure using a slightly different format.

Day 1 – Beijing to Zibo

  • Clear, sunny Saturday, gonna get a good start before the maddening exodus on Sunday – Shanghai, here we come!
  • So… with my nonexistent navigational skills I managed to get us lost pretty much instantly and we’ve been going the wrong way trying to get out of the city for about the last half hour – what a noob.
  • Gaosu Lu (highway), all the way baby! Whoohoo! Ok, NOW Shanghai here we come!!
  • Think I actually fell asleep a few times there, highways are soooo boooring.
  • Ok, getting battered by the wind is not so fun when you’re going 120km/hr… but better make the most of this fast pace before the highway police kick us off.
  • Gas station, gas station, ga- oh look, crossing the Yellow river! Gas station…
  • Uh oh, I think we should have taken that turn the- yep! We’re going the wrong way, again, um…
  • Highway police give us a stern talking to and then kick us off (whatever, we wanted to get off here anyways).
  • Entering Zibo *cough, cough*, apparently this is where the factories make up for lost time while Beijing shuts down for their Golden Week, nice.
  •  Authentic Zibo dinner and beer, good way to end the first day.