This weekend Gary and I started our outside mountain bike training for Tibet. After we had bought some great bikes two weeks ago we had been too busy to go for a ride, but Saturday afternoon we gave it a try. We drove for about 3.5 hours, starting in Xujiahui, all through Puxi, crossing the river by ferry and then a loop through Pudong and back to Hongkou and Puxi by another small ferry. We did not drive fast, so it was not very tiring, but it was a nice distance for a first time. I feel that riding on the road is much easier than riding on my home spinning bike (I already do regularly to get in shape for Tibet), probably because at home I ride in much higher gear and ride more quickly.
After riding back to Puxi we ended our bike trip in the Tudou office where we played Wii for while. We started with a game of tennis, followed by baseball, bowling, boxing and golf. I like tennis and bowling best. Baseball is too difficult for me, I missed almost every pitch that Gary made! And golf is fun until you get on the green, because I was not able to get the putting right. It’s a matter of technique I suppose, and I probably need to get a bit more practice.
At night we had a party at Chris Pan’s place, which turned out to be more like a network event. Almost every conversation I had was about work… But there was one notable exception, and that was with Thor from ENO. His wife (who works at Electronic Arts / Pogo) had told me once that he had also done the Lhasa – Kathmandu bike ride, so we had a nice talk with him about that (until Chris interrupted by introducing us to another person we should really meet for our business). Thor’s comments made me a bit worried though: they had lots of trouble with their bikes because of the bad roads, and he was telling they sometimes woke up grasping for air in the middle of the night. According to him the trip is more a mental challenge than a physical one.
Although Chris’ party was more about networking (I ran out of business cards, I normally don’t bring a pack to a party) it was still fun. Chris even organized a girl who gave free massages in his bed room (no kidding)! And it was amazing who all turned up: lots of media people, VC’s, and many beautiful and well-dressed women! I wonder where they all came from – I did not talk to most of them 🙂 Sam Flemming and Sage Brennan were also there, and we even met Tudou-competitor Mofile (the founder told me he is not a competitor, and agreed that they are really more of a file-sharing company). Some pictures of the party taken by Chris can be found here and a list of all participants backgrounds I found here.
Sunday I woke up with muscle ache from playing the Wii games. No problems because of the bike ride, but my arms felt sore from the boxing and especially tennis. It seems Wii is really a good way to get in shape! When I went to the gym on Sunday night I therefore decided to skip the weights, and only do a run. I did a one-hour 11.6 km run, with a great 1980’s playlist on my iPod (think Spandau Ballet, Billy Ocean and Culture Club). A good end of a sportive weekend!