Chop Suey Roads

There are quite a number of expressways in China which as their name suggests allow the traffic to move at a more rapid pace- they are the motorways in this part of the world. However they are strictly no-go areas as far as motorbikes are concerned, as almost all of the bikes here are 125cc models and they’re considered too slow and too much of a hazard to be allowed onto high speed roads. To be honest they’re pretty much a hazard wherever they go. Several of us (probably all of us) had tried to get onto the expressways as we made our way northwards, it’s the equivalent of going through a toll barrier and as always bikes can generally squeeze by. Almost all of us were turned away with some angry words, I did manage to sneak on once when I really couldn’t find any other route out of the city of Lanzhou. It was a fantastic feeling to be able to ride fast again, making good time and getting the benefit of a cooling breeze. However, mindful of my role as guide, I was soon back on the normal road when I’d worked out where I was. The so-called normal roads were so clogged up with traffic that it’s hard work riding along them.

There can be no relaxing on the roads out here as the Chinese are probably the most bizarre and unpredictable drivers I have seen anywhere in the world. Yes, worse than Cairo&rsquo