I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted anything. I actually have a massive backlog of things to post. Things are just getting busier and busier. A trip to western Sichuan, music in the park, the dogs of Chengdu, the bank account chronicles … they’re all coming, but here’s a quick post to keep things moving till I can get the rest ready.
With great difficulty we finally managed to get me a functioning bank account and to get both my and my wife’s account active online. This is extremely important here in China, because there are lots of items you can buy online that you can’t get in ordinary stores and lots of other items you can buy online that are just a lot cheaper than they would be in the stores.
What does this have to do with bicycling? Well, I wanted to take my daughter to and from school on my bike, but I didn’t trust the little bicycle seats most people use here. They look reasonably sturdy, but they’re tiny and wouldn’t give any support or protection to a child over three riding in them. So where was I to get a more robust child bicycle seat? Online!
Unlike most things ordered online in China, this proved very slow, but I did eventually get a good seat for my daughter and attach it to my bike. We both love it! It’s faster than a bus–or even a taxi–and more fun for her and me both. I remember years ago wondering if I would ever be carrying a child of my own behind me on a Chinese bike and now I have my answer.
The rush hour traffic is a bit crazier than the normal traffic, and seems to have gained in intensity as Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day approach. Dodging cars, motor scooters, bicycles, and pedestrians coming from every direction requires a bit more concentration than U.S. cyclists are used to (except maybe in places like NYC), and you have to accept that you’re never going to really cruise for more than a few blocks (if you’re lucky), but it’s still by far my favorite way to get around Chengdu–and now I’ve got a partner!