Directed by
Jason Reid
Produced by

1 in 1.3 Billion!

The welder cuts the baseplate for the mount as Doven and Reidster watch.

The welder cuts the base plate for the mount as Doven and Reidster watch.

It was a good day for the camera department. After a pretty major setback, compliments of China Post, I found myself looking at a broken camera mount on the bicycle. It must have taken a major hit in transit from Qinghuangdao to Yantai because the piece that broke was almost an inch thick. So since then I had been struggling with rigging the bike camera with the remaining pieces of the mount for a couple of days. Needless to say, I was pissed.

Then after another broken spoke stop on our way down to Jimon, we happened upon a little welding shop. The man agreed to try and weld the broken pieces back together.

The weathered face of a master craftsman.

The weathered face of a master craftsman.

His face had so much character and this gave me a great opportunity to get some shots of him welding. At first he tried to just fuse the broken piece together, but it caught fire and he said it wasn’t possible. He then started rummaging through his piles of stuff, pulling out random pieces like valves and tractor parts to try and fashion something that would work.

Ian documents the experience.

Ian documents the experience.

We were just about to give up when he found this rod of steel with a metal ball welded to the top. The ball was a perfect fit for the mount. What were the odds? He then went on to make a bottom bracket that would attach to the bike. This only took about 20 minutes and cost 20 yuan, which is approximately 3 dollars.

I thanked him repeatedly and his wife looked at it and commented that it was very strong, but not very beautiful. I told them that to me it was very beautiful…

So we’re back in business…What were the chances…About 1 in 1.3 billion!

Another satisfied customer!

Another satisfied customer!

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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."