The following is Jacky Huang’s report after a month of bicycle riding in China, participating in the Summer Universiade event.
Ten routes of bicycle riding through China
The 26th summer Universiade in Shenzhen has already ended. This game showed the whole world a different excitement of a thrilling international Olympic game. Low carbon dioxide, green, environment protection and creativity are the main themes. Even in the opening ceremony, almost all the performances were done by university students. And one of the great performances was a bicycle show.
Actually, another group of university students have explained their understanding of a Low carbon dioxide Universiade by riding bicycles in ten parts of China. It’s a group named “Going Global”.
The founder of this organization, Wang Wei, was the first university student who bicycled around China in 2008 and won the Chinese record for this. In 2009 and 2010, he led a team to ride bicycles around 6 countries in Southeast Asia and the whole China again to support the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. This year, one team becomes ten teams and nearly 100 university students participated in this grand bicycle tour.
The ten teams include a disabled team riding along the southeast coast, a team from Guangzhou to hometown of Lao-tzu, Confucius and Mencius, a team riding on the long march of the Red Army of China, a team going to the eight ancient capitals of China, a team visiting the minorities along the Northeast Frontier, a team riding on the Silk Road, a team to Lhasa and so on.
With the support of Xinhua News agency, each team carried a Universiade torch to share with the people in their journey and sent invitations of the Universiade to them, showing the images of healthy and distinctive modern Chinese university student. Each bicycle team had no money support from the Universiade committee, so they had to rely on themselves to manage their accommodations.
Northeast frontier team was made up of 9 students from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and Sun Yat-sen University. They started riding from Dalian on July 9. At first, their right hand view was the Bohai Bay, then it became North Korea Mountains and rivers, and Russian houses and landscape was the last view of their journey. The whole journey was about 1500km and lasts for one month.
They arrived at Dandong on July 15. This city is the place that Chinese liberty army went through to North Korea and fought the Korean War in 1950. The Yalu River is the most famous river in China about the war to support North Korea and fight against the US because a famous song’s lyric was saying that Chinese army gallantly across this river to help Korean people.
But according to the local citizens, the North Korea people do not think so. Many of them smuggled here and steal food and clothes, some even beat Chinese people. It was said that they were not grateful to Chinese, but a little resentful because Chinese fought in their land, making them hardly to recover their strength.
All the team members were shocked. In the textbooks, they learned how North Korean people loved Chinese and how friendly these two countries can be. But actually, in the local people’s minds, it is not the truth. To university students, it was really a wonderful journey that made them stronger and more knowledgeable. And that’s the meaning of going global.
Team member promoting Universiade Shenzhen to foreigners
July 21, they reached Yanji, a city in the border of North Korea. To their surprises, every sign in the city has two languages – Chinese and Korean. And about 60% of the population is in the group of Korean Minority. As the representatives of the team, Wang Kai and Huang Zhe received the interview from the Yanbian Radio, which called on citizens to welcome the team and participate in their activities.
The Yanbian Radio host and the team representatives
The next morning, hundreds of bicycle riders gathered to have a bicycle torch relay. The local municipal government gave these young men many supports. Some leaders from Sports bureau addressed the torch relay ceremony and welcomed them. Although the torch cannot be lit because that was only a non-government activity, all the bicycle riders felt excited to really touch the torch and ride with it. To them, it was a memorable experience.
Team member receiving torch from municipal government leader
The torch relay videos are on Youku: