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Journey of a lifetime

By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2020-07-29 07:56

Zhou (first from left) meets two other travelers near a scenic spot in Yunnan province in August, before the duo head for Tibet autonomous region on motorcycle.[Photo provided to CHina Daily]

He's preparing for his next adventure in August, to visit other regions of the country on the vehicle. He's also interested in foreign destinations and wants to travel along the Silk Road when the global pandemic wanes.

Zhou runs an advertising studio with a friend in Shanghai, and it just so happened that the business was quite slack last year, so he started to plan a tour.

"Suddenly, the idea of biking around China struck me," he says.

"It's a dream that can be traced back to a decade ago, but I never had time for it."

Before he changed to a career in advertising, he was designing decorative patterns for bicycles. He always liked cycling and used to cycle around Shanghai with friends.

He decided the open road, not an office, was the place to be. He was brimming with confidence after reading online about others embarking on similar travel adventures.

His choice of vehicle was a practical decision. Riding an actual bike for a whole day would be tiring, and it was also hard to get a motorcycle license plate in Shanghai. So he chose an electric motorcycle.

However, charging the batteries can be a huge problem. He had two extra ones and every day he had to chart the distance to be traveled to make sure he had enough stored energy to get there.

"The faster the speed, the sooner the battery would run out. I had to anticipate the speed I should use so that I could arrive at a place to charge the battery," he says.

He rode about 140 km on average every day. In the afternoon, he recharged his vehicle in a restaurant or store, while he went on an excursion nearby. At night, he recharged it at a hotel.

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