I have been dreaming of my summer holidays. A fortnight in the hot sun, perhaps I am relaxing on soft white sand, trying exotic food among colorful company. A dozen delightful destinations within a short flight from Tianjin spring to mind. But while the mental picture most of us imagine is strolling along the pristine beaches of South East Asia. Wang Hui, is thinking of a holiday cycling through Iran with in safety vest to keep safe.
Wang Hui isn’t a crazy, thrill seeking, adrenalin junky, or an Indiana Jones type adventurer, but a normal, middle aged manager, a happily married family man living in the suburb of Dagang in the Binhai New Area. Other than his annual cycling holiday, he lives a perfectly normal life.
In his cycling, Hui is more worried about the traffic and the terrain. Some of the passes are narrow, the roads uneven, steep and dark; it’s easy to fall off a bike. When I ride, he says, “I am very careful, I wear a reflective vest and maintain the bike so it’s in good condition. I also take some medicines in case I’m sick or injured and have international travel insurance, so I can obtain professional rescue.”
I ask him about his plans for the future and he tells me he hasn’t decided where to go this year yet. He has a book being published of his travels soon and a popular website full of his impressive photographs and videos. They show a dramatic and colorful world, full of happy ordinary, friendly people. It’s a wonderful contrast to the images and stories on the news and a reminder that the world is more remarkable and more welcoming than we imagine. As Hui says “riding a bicycle makes you change the way of looking at the world and lets the world embrace the rider”. Of course, a safety vest or reflective tape is necessary to enhance visiblity and keep safe on the road at night.