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Tour de China – Day 9

Location: Dengfeng, Henan, China (34.46308°N, 113.04591°E)

Mile: 398 (at bicycle club meeting)

This morning we actually had a meeting at the annual China bicycle club meeting. It was to decide where next years meeting would be. Here’s the process. We all sat down in the town lecture hall in front of eight town officials. A couple of the officials gave speeched welcoming us to Dengfeng. Then thee representatives in turn got up and gave presentations as to why their cities should be selected as next years meeting place. The three cities were: Yichang, Suizhou (in Jiangsu province I believe) and Harbin (in Heilongjiang province). Unfortunately the guy speaking for Yichang had a bad mic and a case of stage fright, so his presentation was a bit lackluster. The tow other gave pretty good 15 minute presentations. At the end, a ballot box was brought out and ceremoniously locked and taped shut in front of everyone. Then the eight official plus members from each of the cities present at this years meeting voted. Harbin won by a landslide. Harbin for those of you not in the know, is the Chinese equivalent to the States’ state of Maine: about as far up in the northeast as you get. If I end up going next year, what I’ll more than likely do is train to somewhere closer, like Beijing, and start riding from there. Otherwise it would take three solid weeks of riding to get there…I probably wouldn’t have that much time to spare from the semester.
This evening the town held another performance for us. This time it was different groups from around the city. It started with a group of girls performing a cotton-bamboo and panda dance. Cute! Then there were a group of older women wear what looked like Mexican (or Latin American) patterned dresses. They danced to some sort of techno-mariachi music. At one time they were dancing the can-can.I thought it was pretty humorous, but I didn’t laugh too hard out loud. By far the most hilarious part of the whole performance was the fashion show. For some reason, "walking the catwalk" is just a popular item of many performances in China nowadays. This show was done by elderly men and ladies, aged 60 on up. They were dressed in dress outfits appropriate for their age (their best suits and dresses). But they were having a blast strutting down the stage and showing they stuff to some high volume, bass thumping techno. They crowd (including myself) just bust at the seams. It was fantastic! Go grandma!

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