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Dragons in full throttle

[ 2009-09-22 11:50]     字号 [] [] []  
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It's 9:30 am on a Sunday and American Jim Bryant, clad in oil-stained blue jeans and a black shirt, leans against his Chang Jiang 750 motorcycle, waiting for the Beijing Dragons.

One by one, motorcycles file into the Pinnacle Plaza parking lot in Shunyi district, the meeting point for the motorcycle enthusiasts. Today, the group includes two-wheeled Hondas, a Yamaha and the sleeker Chang Jiang 750 (CJ750), the favored ride.

"Usually we have anywhere between seven to 20 riders," said Bryant. "They come from everywhere."

The Beijing Dragons have been riding every Sunday since 1997, when it was formed as a recreational motorcycle group.

Bryant has lived in China for 28 years and led the Dragons since 2001, when former leader Rick Dunnagan returned to the US.

After riding around the US for three months in 2005, Bryant then shipped the bike to Europe and rode more than 8,000 km to Beijing over the course of one year.

"What's special about riding China is the reaction you get from people when they see you pull up on a bike. You could be from Mars and get a similar reaction.

"It's like riding in the wild west."

In over eight hours the group covers more than 350 km, rumbling along highways and back roads, skirting through small towns lined with rolling mountains on the outer limits of Beijing, and spiraling to the top of a mountain on a dusty, forgotten two-track road.

In the more populated cities the group is met with the curious glances but as they move farther away from town they are treated as a spectacle.

Children run to say "hello", locals grin and wave, people stop what they are doing and stare as the group cruises by.


1. What kind of motorcycle does Jim Bryant ride?

2. For how long have the Beijing Dragons been riding together?

3. How many km did Bryant ride to Beijing in the course of a year?


1. Chang Jiang 750.

2. Since 1997.

3. 8,000 km.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Dragons in full throttle

About the broadcaster:

Dragons in full throttle

Chantal Anderson is a multimedia journalist at the China Daily Web site. Originally from Seattle, Washington she has found her way around the world doing photo essays in Greece, Mexico and Thailand. She is currently completing a double degree in Journalism and International Studies from the University of Washington.