Sunday Maggie had to work so I drove to Suzhou to meet a group from Shanghai. I had found their club info on the net. They have a Specialized store in Shanghai and run their own club.

Anyways I showed up and they arrived shortly later at the meeting spot. Quite an odd group, 11 foreigners and one Chinese. Had a good mix with people from UK, Austrailia, France, Belgium, US (me), Malaysia, and the Chinese guy. 

They were all very fun people and we had a good ride. It was refreshing to have so many people to speak English to for a change. I get a chance to brush up my vocab you know. There was even one guy that is a product engineer for the brand of fabric softener I use in China. The reason that is cool because I got the chance to complain how their softener thickens in the winter and won't go into the washer. Funny thing is that was the whole reason he was here, to work on the new formula that is good for -10 C. Nice to be able to complain that direct for a change.

 
 
Here some pictures from the last two weekends. The weather has been warm here in YZ, this past being t-short and shorts.

I'm looking for new terrain to ride this year. Ideally I'd like to participate in a 1500 mile ride this fall if work would allow it. Not too confident that will happen but anyways I want to improve my distance riding so first step will be 125-150 in two days. Thinking about using a train and cycling combination to avoid the long boring roads near YZ. Possibly take the train to the mountains to start off.


 
 
 
 
Picture
Here is what you can find street side on your way home from work in China. I do love all the small fruit stands here. Something you rarely find back in the US. As you can see I put them to good use once I got home.


Then the other picture are Maggie's lovely spicy Chongqing Wontons and Fried Greens. You had better try them someday if you can handle the spice!

 
 
Well after a week of cold rain and snow yesterday I woke up to sunshine this morning. A big surprise to me, so I thought I had better not miss out. I decided to head out on the bike, I wanted to go north outside of town to the farms, then head east to the river. I would be riding through all small rodes between the farms, then follow the river north to some big lake I see on Google Maps. Now it looks easy on there but you'd have to see it up close and personal. 


Well anyways I left the house and got two blocks before I realized I needed warmer gloves and another coat. It was apparently much colder than it looked at 9am. After that it was ok and I was on my way. Everything was smooth until I made it out to the river. It was all off road from there and I guess I didn't think about it raining the whole week. So I got hung up in lots of mud and my tires began loading up to the point of at least tripling the weight of my bike. Also my shoes had a couple inches on them. That's when I figured I be smart and call it quits. It was really nice there but I could see it was only going to be miserable from there forward. So I decided to turn around to head home for lunch, bike wash, and new shoes. Then I'd ride around the scenic west part of town in the afternoon. So after getting back I had the local car wash pressure wash my bike for 5 RMB, they even tried to wash my shoes, then went home for lunch. 


After lunch I rode around the Slim West Lake area. It's a real nice place with great scenery. Then I kept headed west and met up with my boss on his daily walk. We walked back to his house and chatted for awhile before I decided to go. Then I headed back to the east side of town to the supermarket before calling it a day. Needed cheese making supplies for my trial ricotta. I'm having with drawls for some lasagna...



 
 
Well since I got back from CQ Yangzhou has been very warm and sunny. I'm sure it won't last but I've been wanting to buy a new mountain bike and with the weather I couldn't wait. It was so great to just hop on and cruise the city for a while. You can really see so much more when you get out of the car. It was actually my first time to do something like this in Yangzhou and I really did get a whole different view. So now I am even more anxious for spring to really roll in and keep exploring around. Yangzhou is well known around China for the spring time view.
 
 
Well now that we have bought a car, I have my Chinese driver's license, and took a job in Yangzhou, China with a US company, Sensus Precision Die Casting, we made the drive here from CQ last October. It was quite the journey but we had a chance to stop and see a couple really nice places on the way. The highlights were the Xi'an Terracotta Warriors http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terracotta_Army and Shao Lin Temple http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaolin_Temple. Both were very cool places to see.

I'm also putting up a few pics of Zhenjiang a neighbor city and our road trip to the wind farms on the Yellow Sea.
 
 

Well I haven't posted anything in a while as you can see. I've been busy with my new goal of being fit which was mostly inspired by our wedding coming up. Also I've actually had a couple projects at work so I haven't been playing all day. Oh, and I was trying to study Chinese instead of posting pictures and videos all day too. So with all of that stuff going on I've fallen behind.

 

 
 

Just putting a few pics of our weekend trips here. Two weekends ago we went out to one of our old camping spots called Shen Tian Lake. The roads on the way there are really nice. They just weave through the farms the whole way there. It's common to see the farmers plowing the fields with their bulls on the way. It's really quite the different lifestyle than in the city. In a half hour drive time you go from seeing 30 story buildings everywhere to brick or even wood houses.

This weekend we went to Zouma, it means walking horse in Chinese. Anyways the peach flowers are blossoming there and they have a festival. So we went to get out and enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. It seems like it's been months since I've seen some sunshine around here so it was quite enjoyable. It's also always nice for me to escape this concrete jungle of a city.

Tao Ran Hot Pot, CQ>Liang Lu>Pian Yan>Shen Tian Lake> Jin Dao Gorge

A Temple in CQ & Zouma Peach Flower Festival

 
 

 Hey everyone,

Went to Chengdu Friday. After finishing Maggie's cousins' wedding lunch party we hopped on the bus and 4 hours later we arrived Chengdu. We stayed at her friend Shirley's apt. since she was back in Chongqing visiting family for the holiday anyways. After we got there we dropped our bags and headed to Hooters for some wings. Maggie also enjoys the food there. It's one place I can go and feel a little American for a while.

The next day we met our travel group at 7:30 and headed out to Xiling Mountain, a few hours away. After arriving we took the cable car up the mountain checked into our hotel and then took another cable car up higher to view the mountain. It was nice but there wasn't much snow but it was cool for Maggie since she had never seen the snow. Then in the afternoon we went skiing for an hour and tried to teach Maggie the basics on skiing.

The next day we went skiing in the AM for a couple more hours. Maggie was able to get on the lift and make it down the hill after I helped her out for a while. She only had one hard crash because she got going a little fast and couldn't slow down. So she now has a nice bruise on the hip to show for it. After that she kept trying and finally figured out the trick to snow plow hard enough to stop properly. Unfortunately that was about the time we had to go. Hopefully we'll have another chance to practice more at a better ski hill. This was a good place to start off for her though. So anyways it turned out to be a fun trip.

At noon time we had to head back to Chengdu. Then the next morning we headed out to the amusement park in town. Check out the pics below and go to http://www.youtube.com/user/troymohrland to see all of my videos!