Lately, because the weather has been steadily becoming cooler and cooler, myself and my boyfriend decided that we should start cycling to work. During the summer it is just impossible because of the heat!
In my previous campus where I worked, I used to cycle. It was only 10 minutes down the road so it was handy to get to.
But now I’ve purchased a new fancy folding bike! These are becoming more common in Chengdu, as they are known as being a ‘city bike’. If you live in a small apartment, you can easily fold it up and store it somewhere.
The old bike that I had was bought at Walmart, and although I’ve had it for over 2 years, It was just a bit too heavy for me and had no gears. Because I had a basket at the front of it, it was great for going shopping with, but for cycling longer distances, it didn’t do the job. My new bike has 6 gears and it’s much lighter, making it much easier to cycle about.
Before biking, I would either go with my boyfriend on his e-bike, or either take the bus. I didn’t really mind taking the bus, once I got a seat that was fine for me! But I was always worrying about traffic and if I would be late. Plus I had to walk 10 minutes to the bus stop from my apartment, then another 5/10 minutes to my work. So sometimes it took 30 minutes or sometimes 1 hour travelling! It all depended on the traffic.
Now with my bike, It takes me 30 minutes cycling to work! I don’t have to worry about heavy traffic and I always know roughly the time I will arrive. Less stress now!
Plus, because Chengdu is a very flat city.. hills are virtually non-existent.. so that also makes it much easier!
Although I do enjoying cycling, I am always on my guard. Always. Constantly looking behind me, to my left, right. People and drivers are very unpredictable here. No one here uses their indicators or mirrors. When I actually see somebody indicating I’m shocked!
Also, you rarely see anybody with helmets on… well actually you will.. when the weather gets cold in the winter and everyone has them on to keep their heads warm. That’s the only time you’ll see people wearing them! But we bought cycling helmets and a light that connects to the back, so people will see us in the dark. I feel a bit safer knowing that!
Some of my friends have asked me if I be worried while cycling… of course I do. I’m always afraid if someone will open their car door without looking and I’m coming from behind. (I actually get quite worried over this).
I’m afraid that a car will clip me, an e-bike will run through a run light and crash straight into me.. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to cross the road because no cars will let me out. I’m constantly worried.
That’s why I cycle slow and take my time, looking around to make sure nothing or nobody will suddenly appear in front of me.
My route to work isn’t the most scenic; there’s not much to look at… but I enjoy knowing that fact that I won’t be late for work… plus I’m also doing a bit of exercise!