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The Cycling Way of Life骑行的生活方式

Cycling to China across the Euro-Asian landmass. A few weeks prior to departure, life is all about preparations. The big practical turn (from words to action) has already begun. Nevertheless, people ask me, why on a bicycle?

骑自行车横穿欧亚大陆到中国。离出发只有几周时间,生活正充满各种准备。从理论到实践的大转变已经开始。然而,有人问我,为什么选择骑自行车?


I fell in love with cycling at a young age. Will never forget my first bike; blue and boyish. Made me fast and made me free. Later, when I discovered race bikes, I was struck by the beauty of brands: Gazelle, RIH, Presto. With money earned as newspaper delivery guy, I eventually could buy a Zieleman, once a respected choice of connoisseurs. Especially, with a Campagnolo group on it, bought in Ventimiglia after a summer of dish washing at the Cote d’Azur. Didn’t realize then, that longevity would one day make all this a stuff called “vintage”.

年幼时我就深深爱上了骑自行车。永远难忘我的第一辆自行车,那辆蓝色的少年单车。它让我变得快速而自由。后来,发现公路自行车时,各大品牌的美丽设计深深吸引着我:Gazelle、RIH、Presto。通过做报童挣来的钱,我终于能买下一辆Zieleman自行车,曾经是行家们推崇的选择。尤其是它上面装有Campagnolo的组件,是我在法国蔚蓝海岸洗碗一个夏天后在文堤米利亚(Ventimiglia)购买的。那时我并未意识到,时光的推移将这一切变成了被称为“复古”的珍品。


Witnessing the opening of Amsterdam Sloten cycling track in 1972, by the communist elderman Harry Verheijk

见证1972年由共产党成员哈里·费尔海伊(Harry Verheij)市长主持的阿姆斯特丹斯洛滕自行车道的开幕


Regardless the passion for the bike, it paled in comparison to what I came to understand as cycling culture. The way it can represent basically anything from the rest of life in the most condensed, seminal or crystallized way. Human behaviors, political constellations, social arrangements, diversity of environments, climate conditions, intensity of perceptions, it’s all there once you step on a bike and start to pedal, especially with others. And even more especially when a tour becomes a race. Most people can smile at the start, some can smile in the middle, only a few keep smiling, either because they win, or they found themselves somewhere behind.

虽然我对自行车充满热爱,但相较于我理解的骑行文化,这种热爱变得相形见绌。骑行文化以最浓缩、原始、或者说凝练的方式,代表了生活的方方面面。人类行为、政治格局、社会安排、多样的环境、气候条件、感知的强烈度,只要你跨上自行车开始踏行,尤其是与他人一同踏行时,这一切都会展现出来。尤其是当旅行变成一场比赛时。大多数人可能在开始时微笑,有些人可能在中途微笑,只有极少数人能一直微笑,要么是因为他们获胜了,要么是发现自己落后了。


If a bike is a symbol of life, riding a bike is life itself. The remaining question is what it means to continue riding for 15,000 km.

如果自行车象征着生命,那么骑行自行车就是生命本身。剩下的问题是,继续骑行15,000公里意味着什么。

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