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Inter-city rolling to Suzhou

Posted on April 12 2013

Between Shanghai and Suzhou stretches 100km of industry, urban sprawl and construction. One city has barely ended before the next begins – the peripheries of each merge in a mash-up of big empty roads and too-fresh tarmac.

It is here where China’s greatest infrastructural achievements interlock in a cloud of sparks and steam. When Mission Workshop asked for an introduction to China we knew riding to Suzhou needed to be on the list.

After a couple days of acclimatising with us in Shanghai, we threw our heavy kit in a van, donned face-masks and set out west through Putuo, Anting, Kunshan and finally the lofty glass offices of downtown Suzhou. Six hours after leaving we arrived to Old Suzhou’s placid cobbles.

One puncture, two track bikes and three cross riders buzzing on having scaled the belly and slipped down the back of the world’s largest city. This was not an achievement of altitude (90m over 110km) or speed (25km/h average) but of taking a ride through a culture shock country

We’d rolled past neon rivers, motorway-side apiaries, fist sized strawberries, luxury car lots, playing card factories and busy humans from horizon to horizon.

Sat with a bottle of Snow Beer on the walls of the old-town and we chuckled. These guys were in for a wild ride. Here’s a couple shots from the journey – and the rest on our flickr stream.

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