Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Game of two halves

Impasse. As if to emphasise it, a police officer had been summoned. He was adamant. The bike would not be allowed to even enter Dunhuang’s station. Let alone board a train. I’d shown my ticket. Thought at first the problem was that my trusty steed needed to go through their security scanner. It was my attempts at doing just that which had probably led to the officer being beckoned over to intervene.

It was quickly becoming apparent my usual bluffing – lots of "Wo bu mingbai" – "I don’t understand" – wasn’t going to work. Not least because I really didn’t understand what the issue was. No idea what I needed to placate the station staff about. Until, from amidst the growing crowd, someone stepped forward who spoke a little English. The bike was too big.

Glimmer of hope. Explained I could split the bike into two. Some concealed connectors enabling the frame to be separated into halves. It’d need to dig my tools out, but it was possible. Question was, would it be enough? Yes, it seemed. Twenty minutes later I’d bicycle in two sections and a collection of panniers. And admittance. Onto the concourse.

But I’d go no further without reassembling the bike, refitting the panniers. No other way to move all the kit. Unfortunately this just caused consternation amongst the station staff. The practicalities not appreciated, my efforts to explain failing entirely. The glimmer was fading. Rapidly.

[The mysterious connectors joining the frame – normally concealed by sections of inner tube – are US manufactured S&S Machine Bicycle Torque Couplings]

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