Hu Bingrong in Yangjiang City, Guangdong Province. The 66-year-old Hangzhou native spent three months to bicycle from Hangzhou to Hainan Island and back. The three-month trip only cost about 4,000 yuan.
HU Bingrong bicycled from Hangzhou to Hainan Island and back. The 66-year-old Hangzhou native’s three-month trip covered more than 5,000 kilometers in seven provinces and, astonishingly, only cost about 4,000 yuan (US$645).
Hu started pedaling south on his 400-yuan bike on November 20, carrying only a bag of bike repair tools, a sleeping bag and a tent.
He slept in a motel only one night while in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. The rest of the nights he pitched his tent in parks. He sometimes bathed in roadside creeks. To save as much money as possible, Hu mostly ate cheap steamed buns known as mantou.
He made both his tent and sleeping bag. He said he used his wife’s and daughter’s old down coats to stitch together the sleeping bag.
“Since I can’t afford professional camping equipment, I decided to make my own,” Hu said.
Along the way, he overcame loneliness and some bouts of diarrhea.
“I missed my wife and daughter so much at Chinese New Year,” he said. “I didn’t want them to worry so I told them I had bought a chicken to celebrate. But I wanted to save money so I actually just ate a couple of mantou.”
For the journey south, Hu stuck to the coast, passing through Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong provinces before reaching Hainan. After circling the island, Hu took an inland route through the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Hunan, Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces.
“I rode according to my stamina and the weather,” he said. “I never set a specific distance each day. When I finished my ride around Hainan Island, I still felt strong and energetic, so I took a longer way home.”
Hu said it was fun and interesting to encounter other riders on similar trips around the country.
In Wenzhou, Zhejiang, he met a guy who had cycled from Liaoning Province in the country’s northeast. They rode together until reaching Hainan. Hu also met a college student rider and helped him repair his bike in Guangxi.
When Hu returned home on February 24, his family was relieved while his neighbors were impressed with his “indomitable spirit.”
Hu’s wife, Ping Miaohua, was initially opposed to the idea.
“Hainan Island is terribly far from Hangzhou,” she said. “I was really worried about his physical condition. Nonetheless, he strongly insisted on doing it. I finally agreed because he promised to call home every day.”
Ping’s concern was justified. Twelve years ago, Hu was badly injured in an industrial accident when he was a mechanic at a state-owned enterprise. It took seven years to recuperate.
Doctors told him he needed to exercise in order to recuperate fully. Thereafter, Hu began walking one to two hours every day.
Later he started bicycling. He first started with short trips to nearby cities like Shaoxing, Anji and Tonglu in Zhejiang. After building up strength and endurance, Hu rode to cities further away like Nanjing in Jiangsu Province.
Hu said in May 2015 he will begin his next cycling adventure, a trip to Beijing.
His wife said he has her blessing.
“As long as he is safe and happy riding, my daughter and I will support him,” said Ping.
Source: Shanghai Daily