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Peking in kolo

julij 30th, 2015 Comments off

MatevzH_kolo-4592Beijing and China used to be a synonym for cycling – but whats the reality today?

Bicycles are still here. There are some designated cycling paths (physically separated from the road), however, cyclist can really feel as a secondary and non-important participant on the road. Yes, it is an alternative mean of transports, however, there are some even more strict rules than for the cars. Parking for example – don’t expect to park anywhere, especially around large international hotels – cycling is inferior to driving and also an indicator of your “low” status. So… how is to cycle in Beijing?

First… gear… Helmet almost doesn’t exist. It is almost exclusevely used only by foreigners, or somebody who is serious sport cyclist. I would say, that the helmet is used by 1-2 per 100 cyclists. What you also need on your bicycle (beside good handling skills) is a bell. Without it you are invisible. As as plenty of chinese cyclists and motorist, as they don’t use lights at night. Yes, see and be seen its important, especially as drivers don’t give a shit about your safety or give you way. Brakes? Of course. During the bad pollution days its almost obligatory to wear an anti-pollution mask. What i lack (and admit it) is patience – i had it at the beginning, but now… if somebody cuts my way, i’ll shout, kick or bang the car. Don’t care anymore.

MatevzH_kolo-4572Good Chinese “driving” practice:
– even though pedestrians and cyclist have a green light, a car or motorbike will always have a right of way, and they will try to the best to run you over
– if there is green light, it doesn’t mean that it is safe to cross the road (unfortunately it is just “less” dangerous)
– cycling paths are often used as parkings and abruptly stopping points
– when overtaking a parked car, beware of the drivers opening their doors
– cars, motorbikes or other cyclist almost never signal lane changes. If the car is behind you, it will show its presence with a honk – they will try to overtake you, even if they will stop and cut your lane 10 meters later
– it is usual that a car, parked on cycling path will start as you try to maneuver around him
– riding in the opposite direction is nothing unusual

Actually, there are some rules enforced for car drivers (like speed cameras or stop light at the crossroads). Bicyclist, motorists or tricycle drivers don’t like those rules:
– as soon they are on road, they forget the rules
– crossroad signals are only indicative – who cares if the light is red and a lot of traffic
– nobody uses the lights, it also isn’t important in which way to drive
– the use of mobile devices is something completely normal for any driver
– helmets? what are those?
– etc…

Despite all that… cycling can be fun and sometimes also quite mentally difficult. Certainly the most efficient and usually the fastest mean of transport on short distance.

Categories: 2015-2017 Kitajska, Azija, Kitajska, kolo Tags:

Ferata Češka koča

julij 3rd, 2015 Comments off

MatevzH_feratacs-0094
V Sloveniji z jeklenico varovanih plezalnih poti ni prav veliko. Ena izmed novejših je ferata do Češke koče nad Jezerskim. Poteka med že obstoječimi potmi in pod jeklenicami tovorne žičnice, ker ohranjamo pristnost in doživljajsko bogastvo doline Ravenske Kočne. Je zahtevna (kratek odsek doseže oceno D/E), uporaba čelade in varovalnega kompleta pa sta nujni, pravtako uporaba rokavic. Dolga je okoli 300 višinskih metrov, vzpon pa traja približno uro in pol.

Izhodišče je Zgornje jezersko. Z večjega parkirišča nadaljujemo po makadamski cesti in sledimo oznakam Češka koča. Kmalu pridemo do spodnje postaje tovorne žičnice do Češke koče in razpotju gremo mimo požganih ostankom stare spodnje postaje in sledimo oznakam Češka koča (umik žrela). Kmalu pot pride na iz gozda ven na teren, ki je poraščen z ruševjem, kjer se odprejo tudi lepi razgledi na bližnje stene. Na melišču je tudi znak na skali, kjer piše »Ferata Češka koča«, ki mu je treba slediti, in kmalu si na izhodišču. Pri vstopu v plezalno pot se levo odcepi tudi lažja pot, ki obide začetni najtežji del plezalne poti. Ta pot je označena z napisom »umik«.

MatevzH_feratacs-0070Opisu poti, ki je iz spletne strani “hribi.net” sem dodal še nekaj svojih komentarjev.

Prvi del:
V začetku se plezalna pot zelo strmo vzpne ob jeklenici (težavnost C/D) in ker je stopov malo, je potrebno kar nekaj moči v rokah. Sledi kratko manj zahtevno prečenje po pobočju, ki je poraščeno s travo in ruševjem (A/B). Pot nato ponovno postane zahtevnejša in se prečno vzpne po strmi steni (C/D). V steni pot zavije levo navzgor in nas preko kratkega vendar kljub temu precej zahtevnega previsa (E) pripelje na nekoliko manj zahteven teren. Tu se vzpenjamo ob jeklenici po pobočju, ki je delno poraščeno s travo in ruševjem (B/C). Pot nas nato pripelje na lažji teren kjer se prvi del plezalne poti konča.

Drugi del:
Nekaj časa se nato vzpenjamo po nezahtevnem pobočju skozi ruševje, nato pa pridemo ponovno do jeklenic kjer se prične še drugi del zavarovane poti. Tu se nam z leve priključi tudi pot, ki se umakne začetnemu najtežjemu delu. Nekaj časa se nato MatevzH_feratacs-0072vzpenjamo ob jeklenici po ne pretirano zahtevnem pobočju (A/B), nato pa pot zavije v levo in sledi kratek navpičen vzpon (D). V nadaljevanju se nato kar nekaj časa strmo vzpenjamo ob jeklenici (C in C/D). Takšna pot nas nato pripelje do vpisne skrinjice kjer za kratek čas postane pot za odtenek manj zahtevna (B/C). Pot se nato še enkrat strmeje vzpne (C/D), nato pa strmina prične popuščati. Jeklenice se nato končajo in kmalu se priključimo poti »umik Žrela«. Tu nadaljujemo desno in do koče, ki jo že vidimo pred seboj je le še nekaj minut hoje.
Na tem delu je bolj zahtevene predvsem začetek, oz. vstop v steno, ki pa zgleda težje kot je v resnici. Po jeklenici je vzpon relativno enostaven, malo težje je iskanje ustreznih oprimkov. Kasneje vlečenje po jeklenici ni več potrebno, treba pa je biti previden zaradi razmajanih skal, ki hitro končajo v rokah.

Moje mnenje je, da je pot (ferata) fajna popestritev oz. alternativa vzpona do češke koče. Dobiš pa pri vzponu včasih pomislike kaj so si mislili kreatorji te poti, saj je mestoma kar posiljena in je edina rešitev pač vlečenje po jeklenici. Poleg tega zna biti vsaj prvi del zelo drseč če je malo vlažno. Vzpon traja cirka 90 minut in je mestoma prav zahteven. Sicer je možnost umika pred prvim delom, ampak vseeno zahtevnost previsa ni prehuda. Poleg tega je previs še na začetku, ko plezalec ni utrujen. Ker se po previsu pot položi ni velike bojazni, da bi plezalec do konca prvega dela omagal in se moral čez previs spuščati. Je pa pot mestoma kar lepo zračna.