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Jason Reid
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Lessons learned: “the free right turn”

So there I was in the middle of the craziest intersection I’ve ever seen and I’m looking down the barrel of a huge bus full of people. The free right turn. In China, cars have always have a free right turn. They don’t even have to slow down…and as far as pedestrians go, you need to be ready and alert at all times because cars will just materialize out of nowhere. Lesson learned from our “fixer”…stay behind the Chinese people while crossing the street.

The ride up to now has been amazing. The mountains are amazingly steep and beautiful. Some of the toughest cycling I’ve done. The shooting has been great as I feel as though I can point the camera anywhere and create really great images. The people have been kind and welcoming. They notice us as a passing oddity and then seem to go right back to their work. This is great for getting the more candid shots I need. So far, I usually work a small section of town at lunch and get some nice b-roll of the small villages at work. Today, I saw this guy just squatting (as they do) and smoking on the side of the road. He watched me for a little while, but really just let me be. I think in the long run…people are people, wherever you go. Another lesson learned.

On a bike note, I may not have been as prepared as I should have been. The second day in the mountains was really hard and bit of a blow to the ego. I’m happy to say that today was way better and my legs are starting to get the idea that I will be doing this for awhile. On a not so good note…I’m the dude that has had two flats already. Huge chunks of glass in the rear tire. Not so good, and then a split tube. I have never had 2 flat in 2 weeks…let alone 2 days. But I have found that in the long run I may just have to give myself to this ride and this country, because they are going to win every time.

Lesson learned….

The top of the world or at least the top of the mountain we rode up

The top of the world...or at least the top of the mountain we rode up

My first flat....

My first flat....

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Man Zou is a common phrase in Mandarin. It is more of a philosophy than anything. Man Zou literally translates to "Walk Slow."

"Slow and steady wins the race," they say. This is at the heart of the meaning of Man Zou. Walk slowly and you won't fall. Act carefully and you won't go wrong. A slow walker is faster than someone who walks fast but always has to stop and rest. Persistence is important in learning or doing anything.

To explain a little more in depth, read this quote from The Challenge of Trekking in China by Kyle Acierno:

"I recently underwent the most thorny, intricate, and demanding trek of my life. China is no walk in the park. The county is extremely diverse, and with diversity comes complexity. There is no smooth road laid for backpackers and attempting to do anything or get anywhere can be incredibly arduous...I really needed a break and I didn't know where I would be next. I sat down to a plate of rice noodles and peanuts. A hardy meal for a hardy man. A giant of a woman served me, but with her giant body came a giant heart. With a quick phrase that I have become accustomed to, she filled me with self-assurance that I needed for the rest of my trip. ?Man Zou!? she shouted with a big smile on her face. This literally translates to ?Walk Slow?. To me this means more then just ?be careful.? To me this means take the time to see the wonders of life. The power it gave me changed the rest of my trip. From then on everything went smoothly...I learned a lot from this Trek. I learned the beauty that exists just off the beaten track. I learned that anything amazing takes time. I learned just how much you could learn from people without even using language...By taking the time to notice all the small things in life you can really appreciate who, where, and what you are. Patience, persistence, and practice makes perfect."