Bike trip on 双清路

Last Saturday I did a little bike trip along Shuangqing Lu (双清路) , a street close to my place. Actually I started at the subway station Wudaokou (五道口), west of this station are some bars, pubs and consequently a large amount of foreigners…
The subway is above the ground and the station is build in a futuristic architectural style. Right next to the subway tracks pass all northbound trains that leave at Beijing north train station. If you are having bad luck, the officers will lower the barriers just in front of you. In that case you will have to endure the noise that the alert system is making until the train finally arrives. The street is usually blocked for at least two or three minutes so everybody is trying to slip on the other side quickly once the alert starts before the street is blocked.

A train is passing at Wudaokou
Waiting for the train to pass.

There is another railway crossing a little north of Wudaokou which usually is a little more chaotic. Once I passed the two modern multi-story houses east of the railway, the architecture drastically changes: The houses are only one story high and the side streets are much narrower. On my cycle trip I have not seen a foreigner north on these building, they obviously stick to the area around Wudaokou.

I followed the street in north-east direction, and soon arrived at the bike shops that I had seen earlier. The larger ones are on the right hand side of the street, but minor repairs are done on the left side of the street, as well. Men are simply using the space between the wall and the street to set up temporary shops.

Bike shops
Bike shops on 双清路

After a little while I got to a street crossing. On the left were small Hutongs, all kinds of goods were sold here. On the right are a lot of small stands selling vegetables and fruit. Some of the goods were sold right from the floor. Especially during the time when the Chinese are getting home this area gets really busy. The street is then filled with bikes, honking taxis and people who try to sell food.

Vegetables stand
Vegetables stands along the road.

A little further I saw a backyard that was used as a garbage dump. Garbage was separated by hand in piles for paper, plastic bottles, Styrofoam and other materials. The garbage was brought there by bicycles, as well.

Garbage dump
Garbage is sorted by hand.

So far I followed the street but then the street bended to the right towards a huge street crossing with Beijing’s “fifth ring street”. I just went on, and got to some smaller streets. Under the bridge some young Chinese were playing pool, their pool table was outside, probably because it was to big to get it into the small house where it stand in front of.

Outdoor pool table
Outdoor pool table.

I finally reached a channel, on its banks were small paths were people were biking of taking a walk. Because it was sunny and a little bit of wind (that way the channel did not smell…) there were quite a lot of people.

The bike really seems to be the best way to discover Beijing!

A channel in Beijing
The channel was the end point of my little bike trip.

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