A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Street Sweeper Preservation

Bike Gear

On a typical ride in China, I generally have to gear up more than I would in the States.


It’s hot and sticky humid.

It’s also polluted most days.

Here’s the gear:

Helmet: A “Trek” brand helmet bought at bike friend’s shop in Yichang. This is the replacement helmet for the one I was wearing when I crashed into the street sweeper. The inside fitting band has broken and been super-glued in place.  I’m determined to get another couple years of use out of it.

Sweatband: One of the greatest inventions of the century. Right alongside the electric mosquito zapper. It’s called a SweatGutr. It does just what it says. Sweat runs into a small gutter and finally back around your ears. This is much better than having pints of sunscreen-laden sweat in your eyes…possibly resulting in you wiping your eyes and running into a street sweeper.

Sunglasses: I don’t believe in expensive sunglasses. They get scratched. So I bought these lenses on sale. Essential for keeping the dust out of the eyes. And I encounter plenty of dust.

Pollution mask: One day I came back from riding and started hacking. Turns out, I developed bronchitis in June. The hacking cough stayed with me for several months. Pollution. Sigh. So, on days that I can’t see the other side of the street, I wear this pollution mask to live longer. It’s called a Techno Anti-pollution Mask. They are a little better designed and better for training than the ones worn by the Olympic cyclists a couple years ago. They do restrict the breathing a bit, so I only wear these on really bad pollution days.

Quickdry shirt: These are my staple shirt most days. It’s just humid here. I wouldn’t survive riding without these. One drawback is that they are not meant for riding and thus the back isn’t long enough when I’m leaning forward. However, they are much more affordable than the average $70 bicycle jersey, so I don’t mind putting a little sunscreen on my lower back.

Needless to say, when my 6’4″ frame comes racing down a street wearing all this gear, people tend to give me plenty of room. Even Schäfer wasn’t too sure when he saw me with the mask on for the first time.

Despite the looks I get, I feel better knowing that I’m able to breathe and see while riding.

Call it street sweeper preservation.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>