Biking In China

Telling the story of the Cuckoo Birds recalls another biking story (and we have a few). This one took place in China. This was a grueling trip where the ten bikers were all serious bikers, and 100 miles plus a day was not uncommon. That I kept up with them each day speaks to my competitive character and nature. “Anything you can do, I can do better!”

A young attorney from Houston was also a competitive biker wearing all the paraphernalia a serious biker wears: shorts, shirt, glasses, helmet, gloves, and shoes. He also rode an 18-gear mountain bike. As far as biking goes, that’s as good as it gets. We became buddies during long stretches of countryside whenever Lenette rode in the shag wagon for a while.

This trip took place soon after Tiananmen Square, so the Trip stayed mainly in the countryside and avoided the major cities. 

Bikes in China are like feet in the States. We all have feet, but in China, everyone has feet and bikes, and masses riding bikes flow everywhere. Needless to say, our bikes had to be touched and examined by everyone we encountered. I often gave my bike to the young and not-so-young to ride, and they did it with oohs and ahhs.

One evening, we biked out of a small village at about dinner time when many people were with us on the road heading home. A young man riding a single-gear bike rode up to my friend and motioned that he wanted to race up a long hill we were approaching.

My friend got the message, and the two of them began to accelerate, and away they went!

The hill was steep, but that was no problem for either of them. On his single-gear bike, the young man led at first but was soon caught by the young American. Neck and neck, they flew up the hill, neither giving an inch to the other. Hundreds of bikers, maybe thousands, became aware of what was happening and cheered their countryman up the hill. 

Left gasping for air, the young attorney lost by a few feet. They hugged each other, and the American gave his young Chinese competitor his colorful hat, which produced cheers from the crowd of onlookers and another hug from the Chinese competitor.  The competition was how the world ought to be. Honest competition and appreciation for those we compete with.

I try my very best—Sometimes I win, sometimes lose—Life is that way, too


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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