I have been here in China for the last 10 days on one of my regular Powerslide business trips in order to take care of several current and future skate projects. Our China distributor informed us a few weeks ago that a team of 4 retired Chinese plan the challenge of their life. They wanted to cross China from the south to the north – on skates.
I was lucky to hear at my final day here in Xiamen that the “Powerslide XXL Senior China Team” has arrived in Xiamen and that our distributor is going to have dinner together with them tonight. A mix of surprise and excitement can explain my feelings well to meet those crazy guys.
Who ever was in China knows that you have to be kind of crazy to do this. It’s the mix of bad road conditions, heavy and dangerous traffic in the cities, air pollution that makes the trip to the thrill of your life – no matter which age you are. But for sure this is just one side of China. You have beautiful landscapes, quietness and overall great hospitality all over the country which gives you a lot more back than you spend.
The evening arrived and we went to a nice Taiwanese restaurant. The four skaters arrived a short time later fully dressed in Powerslide skating gear proudly wearing the colors of their Sponsor. They did not know that someone from Powerslide was there and were surprised to see a western person at the dinner.
We had a great chat during a delicious dinner and I learned that all of them come from the north of China. They have been ice skaters since their early childhood, but only the 60 year old Zhigang Cui took it a bit more serious and was the champion of his province. They started inline speed skating just four years ago after they went into retirement. The crew in the age of 60 to 65 years enjoy their life now and started to plan this trip back in October 2011. They keep fit by doing sport exercises every day since they finished to work and even stopped smoking to get ready for this journey.
The 4 athletes take it easy. They don’t want to break records or try to be fast – they want to enjoy the trip and set the target to skate the round about 7000km across China in around 100 days. They want to see the country and take their time for sightseeing. One member of the crew rides a bike and carries all the belongings of the team for this trip. Each member of the expedition only carries max. 3kg of clothings or other daily needed items.
Here in Xiamen they finished about 20% of their trip already. They have started Sanya City in the Hainan province on March 8th. Sanya is in the absolute South of China, located on a small island. They plan to arrive in Mohe City (means North Pole) in the Heilongjiang province on the border to Russia.
The evening passed by much too fast and it was a great pleasure and honor for me to meet and chat with these chinese embassadors of our sport.
They love to skate!
Juergen Pfitzner, Powerslide productmanager
Map of china showing you the start and final destination of the expedition
pictures of the 4 seniors
Mr Fushun Duan, age 64 from Beijing
Mr Jijin Wu, age 65 from Hebei – he rides the bike to carry all gear
Mr Kesheng Wu, age 60 from Heilongjiang – the organizer of the tour
Mr Zhingang Cui, age 60 from Hebei
Meet and greet in Xiamen together with Mrs Alice Pan (Taiwan) – the Powerslide distributor for China and good friend of the company
chatting with the guys taiwanese cuisine dinner