Business and BikesThe temperature in northern China in May is a wonderful 26°C! There’s nothing like a couple of warm spring days after the -32°C of mid-winter to help the growth spurts of green on trees and bushes that have, to date, looked like black and brown sticks poking out of the ground.  There has been a marked increase in the resident dancers in the town square and, of course, the daylight is still hanging around at 6.30pm. Mind you the morning sun is peeping through your bedroom window at about 4.35am so it’s time to alfoil the windows again this summer.

With this warmer weather thoughts also turn to romance and…and…motor cycles. So a few of us guys got together and went to a city called Anda. This town is the business enterprise area of the Province and many small companies have been set up there with the assistance of the government. Small business gets a helping hand if they register and establish themselves in the area.

If you want to buy a motor scooter/bike, then it’s best to toddle along to Anda and work your way through the many cycle shops. When you buy in Anda, you don’t need a licence of ANY kind to drive and you can opt for a ‘with registration plate’ or a ‘without’?!! It’s a strange local Chinese rule that is impossible for a foreigner to explain. Anyway, I have never seen a policeman stop a car for breaking a road law.

Having said that I have found out since that if you are a foreigner and they spot you on a motorbike and you don’t have the appropriate licence they simply confiscate the bike and that’ s the end of the matter. Nobody can tell us exactly what licence that is by the way. My answer to the problem? Buy a full face helmet then there is no way the police can tell whether you are a local or a foreigner, right?

Wrong! Why? You will be the only person in all of northern China wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle and if that doesn’t arouse the suspicions of the local gendarmerie I don’t know what will. By the way, no cycle shops sell helmets of any description, shape or size which only reinforces the statement about how many riders wear them. To buy a motorcycle helmet, you need to go online here http://www.motorcyclistlife.com/best-bluetooth-motorcycle-helmets/ . Helmets with chat capabilities when riding with friends in a foreign country are a sheer joy and necessity.

The good news? The cost of a motorcycle in Anda is so cheap you wonder how it’s possible. And no mucking about with 50CC stuff you buy at home for about £1000 to £2000. The engine size is 125CC and the bike or scooter is fitted out with everything you need. The one I looked at had the platform you put your feet on, a rear brake pedal, a front and rear security case, and it looked super cool. How much? The equivalent of £400, around 4000RMB!! And that’s before you start bargaining! I’m going to love summer in China this year I think!