An American Abroad

The Mikey Bike

Thanks to the generosity of my soon-to-be ex-colleague Mikey, I now have a free pair of beater wheels.

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I rode home from work today–a lot faster than walking. The bike just fit into the elevator with me and now it’s parked in my living room. As you can probably tell from this photo, it needs a few things: a new headset and brakes, primarily. I should be able to score the parts I need from Taobao, a Chinese online retail platform similar to eBay. Once it’s in slightly better shape, I hope to use the Mikey Bike to explore some of the more far-flung regions of Yuxi and the surrounding area. In the meantime, it will be a great way to commute.

The unwritten rules of the road are different here than in the States. Another colleague described Yuxi traffic as slow-motion chaos. It is indeed slow; I have yet to see a driver speeding. The concept of right-of-way is not at all what I am used to. Drivers think nothing of pulling out in front of other vehicles–and the drivers of those other vehicles calmly accept it. Situations that would cause severe road rage in the mildest-tempered person in the US don’t seem to cause even the slightest frustration here. Thus while riding home, I was far more worried about running into someone who might pull into the lane ahead of me than I was about being hit by a car from behind or when making a turn. And though no bicyclist wants to get into any kind of accident with a car, the slow speed of traffic here reduces the chances that such a collision would be catastrophic.

Stay tuned for Mikey Bike restoration reports.


  1. Who doesn’t likey a MIkey Bikey?

  2. Beater is a little harsh, don’t you think.? That looks like a decent bike, Jim. And, by the way, I’m impressed at the lack of dust bunnies–looks like you could eat dinner off that floor.

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