I am on a business trip to Suzhou 126Kms off Shanghai and after two days approving all the items that I wish to buy and leaving them with my price proposition to think I thought of taking a break for a day and do some mountain biking.
Since I left Saturday midnight Pune weather 34 degrees to catch 8 'O' clock flight Sunday morning only with a tee and track pants and landed like a brave alien in Shanghai 8.00pm 1 degrees temperature.
Monday & Tuesday was very cold, raining and snowing. As I had not carried much winter clothes 'meri toh phat gaiee' . Cannot trust internet for weather reporting. Though I was working on this travel plan since last 10days, the meeting place was not getting finalized which had to be either in Chengdu or in Suzhou. If it was Chengdu than I had to fly via Bangkok with some cycling break there. In fact I disappointed couple of guys in Bangkok & Chengdu. Try and imagine all of this lining up with my usual 10hrs work, 2 sons aged 10 & 12 & daughter in the middle of 12th Boards demanding my time.
But what a surprise Wednesday morning I woke up with sunshine through my hotel window. In fact local biking guide Li had called me on the Tuesday evening saying that if it is sunny than the trip is on or stands cancelled.
But I must say I am damn lucky. There we are at the foot of the mountain getting ready to do biking
As you can see road is 'kuccha' most the time. On the climbs it was 75% upslope and the rest in between down slope giving some relief.
As we climbed higher there were patches of snow.
Half the way & yet destination Globe (Blue color in the background) still far away.
My wife & children were jealous seeing me play in the snow while they had to put up with Pune heat.
A different kind of track reminded me of our 'Taljai Hill' Pune
At last at the top. (On the top of the hill Chinese army airport is there and I did not wanted to hang around much)
Easy & Flat road down but......
......way down for a luch break
at the memorial of Old Chinese minister
Fortunatly not so sacred stone. I could pose for a Picture
Braving Cold just for a while.
Finally down hill
Some site seeing - 1000 year old part of Suzhou.
Some site seeing - going around on the bridge on 'Third largest lake of China in Suzhou'.
Indeed for a cyclist it was satisfying day.
BTW way evening before the ride, I freaked out shopping sports & adventure goods & apaarel at http://www.decathlon.com.cn/EN. They were almost 35% less than our New Store at Tilak road.