I'd never been to China before so I spent some time in Beijing before meeting up there with Paolo and his group and flying to Yinchuan, the staging point for our ride.
What intrigued me about Yinchuan is that it is a city of 1.65 million population (by the numbers it would be the 5th biggest U.S. city after Houston) but few people in the U.S. or the West would have reason to have ever heard of it. It feels like a wholly Chinese city. I didn't see a single other Westerner outside our own group, from the time I boarded the plane to Yinchuan, until I returned to Beijing.
Paolo's garage in Yinchuan:
The bikes. The silk flags are so the riders can see the other bikes at distance in the desert:
Unlike some other big cities in China, a lot people here still get around by bicycle:
This guy with the corner tire repair service had customers waiting in line:
Orientation ride on the bikes: this is Paolo's son Marco, a medical doctor:
Jens and his gf Diana:
Me on the wide streets. The Chinese certainly think big.