Day 4: Beijing, Biking Beijing

A slit in a gate reveals a pile of old bicycles.
Where old bikes go to die.

I head back to the Luggage and Parcel Consignment Hall.

There are some other bike tourists waiting there. They’re French, disabled and riding recumbents. Their gear looks new and expensive. They complain that if they knew this would take so long, they wouldn’t have come via Beijing. Or something to that effect.

I wander around looking lost and the man at the first window waves me over. I show him my ticket and the handwritten note. He gives me a form and points out the parts to fill in. I do this and wonder if I have the right information in the right boxes. Then I’m sent over to the other window, to pay the weight surcharge.

They ask if the bags are mine too. I say yes, and so I must go to the man at the door and pay him 30 Yuan for a box. Then we squeeze everything that will fit into it. I’ll carry the rest with me on the train.

Then it’s back to the weighing window. Bike and box weigh a combined 55kg, with a total charge of CNY 323.40 (NZD 80.83). This is over half of the cost of my USD 89 train ticket.

The railway official slaps CRE (China Railway Express) stickers on my shiny new frame. Then the baggage handlers take my bike into the storeroom. I have a receipt but I’m not sure when the bike is being transported. I only hope that I see it again!

They tell me that the bike will arrive in 3-5 days. I kick myself for not coming to the station earlier and hope that Manzhouli is amazing. I’m impatient to get into Russia and start riding.