Either my phone has given up trying to understand Shenzhen weather or someone is playing a bad prank on me. If you are, stop it. Stop it right now.
Pouring rain outside. Grilled BBQ chicken and English tea inside. Laptop open to the front. Jazz/funk band practicing behind.
Not a bad place to be.
Kowloon, Hong Kong
It's been pouring rain the last 30 minutes. You wouldn't know it from looking at Yahoo's weather app. Beautiful weather app though.
Golden Port Circuit, Beijing.
It rained in Shenzhen for three days straight prior to my departure from the city on Wednesday. This is the result:
A massive sinkhole apparently brought on by heavy rain opened up in Shezhen, China, swallowing a security guard alive and causing nearby residents to evacuate. Yang Jiabin, 25, was walking in the Futian district near new construction yesterday afternoon when the ground gave way beneath him, opening into a 26 foot-wide, 52 foot-deep crater; despite the quick arrival of rescue workers, he reportedly died on-scene.
Futian is the district I live in. Scary.
By the way, why does it seem so difficult for foreign journalists to correct spell 'Shenzhen?' Roughly half of the news articles I read about my city misspell its name.
June 2, 2006. Badaling, Beijing.
Contaminated baby formula, South Chinese Sea island disputes, and Beijing flooding.
A month after large batches of Chinese baby formula were found to contain dangerous levels of mercury, state media outlets reported Monday that the authorities have discovered more shipments of contaminated formula, this time poisoned with a cancer-causing toxin.
Chinese babies can't seem to catch a break.
China will establish a military garrison on a disputed island in the South China Sea, part of an increased assertiveness in the resource-rich waters that’s straining ties with nations in the region and the U.S.
A severe rainstorm pounded Beijing on Saturday, flooding roads and low-lying buildings, knocking out power in several neighborhoods and killing 37 people, according to state-media reports. More than 500 flights were canceled or delayed at the Beijing airport, stranding tens of thousands after the heaviest rain in 61 years fell on the Chinese capital. By Sunday the waters had largely subsided, the rainfall having scoured the city streets and temporarily clearing out Beijing’s notorious air pollution.
How bad was it? There's this from Natalie, a web editor at City Weekend Magazine:
Cut to Saturday morning, when upon waking up I threw open my curtains and was met with some of the worst pollution I’ve seen in months. Because those gross particles are rather heavy, I knew it was only a matter of time before the sky opened up. I got pretty soaked in a brief lunchtime downpour, which led me to stock up on food and retreat to my apartment to wait for the main event.
Starting around 3pm, my neighborhood was absolutely slammed with sheets of rain, howling wind, thunder and lightning. I went into my kitchen to cook dinner around 7:30, and decided to take a peek out the window to see how the street was faring. Answer: not very well. The photo at left (very poor quality, with apologies) is of a car floating by.
Wow. I lived in Beijing for one year and experienced rain so bad that certain streets started to flood but I don't remember cars floating by.
Was raining last night, so the little BBQ guy by my apartment and his diners moved under the highway overpass.
Hope I make it home. It's poring rain.
Would have liked to push on further but there was only one hour left of light and the streets were starting to flood due to the pouring rain. So found a nice hotel.
Besides the rain and a few directional miscues, was a good day. I gave pieces of salt-water taffy (from Bodega Bay, California) to an old homeless woman in Futian, two children at a convenience store where I bought water, and three more children at the restaurant where I ate lunch. I didn't get as far as I wanted to, mostly because of my late start and the terrible weather.
Stats for the day:
Ride Time: 4:17:14
Stopped Time: 37:59 (for lunch)
Distance: 33.87 miles
Average: 7.90 mph (I stopped pretty often today to check my location, lowering the average)
Fastest Speed: 35.32 mph
Ascent: 3357 feet
Descent: 3548 feet
Map of today's ride: Can be view at http://j.mp/ysgRbR
Today's problems: The first was soon after mile 5. I was halfway up the mountain pass when I made a bad exit off the highway that took me all the way back down. I finally decided to circle back and got back on the same mountain pass. Probably cost me 15 minutes. Right after the 10 mile marker, I saw a sign for Guangzhou and followed it. It took me to the main Shenzhen-Guangzhou highway where a very nervous toll attendant ran out in front of me and forced me to turn around. Guess bikes are not allowed on that road.
The rain really picked up around mile 15. At mile 30 I decided to turn around as I was entering a very industrial area and only had an hour of sunlight left. Found a nice hotel for 138元. I am currently blow-drying my shoes in the hope I can go out later to see some of the surrounding area.
Some photos from today:
I had to cross the highway, but there was no official crossing.
Taking a break.
I saw this guy riding in front of me. 20 minutes later and we were still riding in the same direction. Told him I was riding to Guangzhou and he gave some advice about the route.
Thought I included this photo in my earlier posting about lunch but it never uploaded. Tofo and a type of glass noodle.
One of these children came over to wish me a happy new years. I gave all three of them taffy.
View from my hotel room. In the distance seems to be a really nice park. Will stop by tomorrow morning before I leave.
Before turning back, I was on a road called Sili road. This road seems to follow Zhusanjiao Ring Highway and passes by several reservoirs before arriving in Dongguan, which is about 35 miles away. It may be a stretch to get to Guangzhou by tomorrow night, especially if the weather doesn't cooperate.