Now China is almost overwhelming. History, culture, revolution, smells - all continually coming at you from all directions. Why yesterday I smelled some very different culture in an old pot of Kimchi. This morning’s breakfast of steamed chicken feet almost sparked a revolution... But I’m slowly coming to terms with the onslaught of this country.

People everywhere, smoke everywhere, noise everywhere, odor everywhere. My -not quite indigenous- Japanese 3-speed though, stands out in these streets. The “6.5 Samurai” moves down the road with a bit of a limp, no doubt an old battle scar, from an epic ride to the local movie house. Its right pedal also possesses an affected wobble, suggesting a touch of craziness, which makes nearby bikes skittish, and they all seem to give the Samurai an extra-wide berth. On its seat tube, straight up from its Campy rifle-bored bottom bracket cups, is a set of serially inscribed notches which can only be interpreted, I’m afraid, with one, single, dark, answer... This bike has been in a shop stand without proper clamp protection.

Now a cyclist can find just about anything on these foreign streets. Why only just moments ago I happened to score an ancient flask of highly coveted Jade East cologne, which is fabled to have vexed more wanton women in débutante discothèques than all of the Long Island Ice Tea in China... Oh Tullio... Not another goat! SMACK!! Someone call an ambulance!!!                                                                       

                                                     -TO BE CONTINUED-

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Criterium Corner with Euro Freddie