The 19th Asian Games Hangzhou is a huge success.
Let us follow the journey of Tomas, a young man from the Netherlands, to cycle around all the venues of Hangzhou Asian Games across Zhejiang, and immerse oursevles in the virant and picturesque province.
"We started from Hangzhou and cycled to visit all the Asian Games venues in Zhejiang. Do you know how many Asian Games sports stadiums there are in total in Zhejiang?"
This is a recently famous video in the cycling community, featuring two confident Dutch bloggers gearing up to "visit" at all the Asian Games venues in Zhejiang. Tomas is one of them.
"I have always wanted to explore and document the beauty of Zhejiang through cycling. But, you know, sometimes such long-distance rides need a specific purpose and motivation. Fortunately, Hangzhou is hosting the Asian Games."
After the idea was shared on social media, it immediately attracted numerous netizens. This cycling plan, covering over 1,200 km, includes visits to 56 Asian Games competition venues.
"We will embark from Hangzhou. Our overall cycling plan includes exploring Huzhou, Qiandao Lake, Jinhua, Wenzhou, and Ningbo, with the final stop back at Shaoxing Keqiao Yangshan Sport Climbing Centre. Through cycling, we aim to discover the beauty and stories between cities, as well as the charm shared between urban and rural landscapes—a meaningful journey, in my opinion."
For Tomas, these venues have different beauties. Hangzhou E-sports Centre, resembling a starship, seamlessly blending e-sports chic with the millennia-old Grand Canal culture, showcasing the beauty of rhythm and order. Shaoxing Keqiao Yangshan Sport Climbing Centre, resembling a hollow silkworm cocoon, presenting the beauty of nature and humanity. However, what truly captivates him is the Fuyang Yinhu Sports Centre, where vibrant glimpses of the Jiangnan landscape flow through the interplay of light and shadow.
"It evokes an unforgettable feeling with just a glance. It's hard to imagine a sports venue can perfectly integrate with nature and the mountains and rivers, exuding the charm of Jiangnan's water towns."
Tomas has a special fondness for Chun'an Jieshou Sports Centre Velodrome, hosting various cycling competitions. The venue unfolds a vibrant tapestry of pastoral beauty—a diverse, scenic, and challenging track. The Ningbo Xiangshan Sailing Centre, serving as the competition venue for sailing, also left a lasting impression on him.
"It's the only venue in the sea, actually, half on land and half in the sea. There's a vast 20,000 square meters (competition) platform, impressively long, capable of accommodating numerous boats."
Tomas and his companion have successfully completed the Asian Games venue cycling plan in over two weeks and have shared their videos on social media platforms. In addition to the Asian Games venues, they also cycled to visit various locations, including Hangzhou Xiaoshan Louta Ancient Town, Fuyang Longmen Ancient Town, Zhuji Xiangfei Forest Park, Jinhua Zhuge Bagua Village, and Lanxi Youbu Ancient Town. Tomas expresses great enjoyment in the sensation of cycling amidst the scenic landscapes of Jiangnan.
"The scenery I never tired of seeing is the beautiful green fields and colorful mountains of Zhejiang's rural areas. Riding through the countryside in Jiangnan, I deeply feel that China's rural areas are genuinely beautiful and green, with people leading comfortable lives. The quality of life here, I believe, is even better than in cities. Here, you can witness beautiful villages, adorable animals like bleating lambs and tail-swishing cows grazing, along with clear streams and extensive tea plantations. And being able to witness these landscapes through cycling is truly a moment of happiness!"
Tomas's home country, the Netherlands, is dubbed as the country of bicyles, with approximately 17.8 million people owning around 23.4 million bicycles. Despite spending only five years in China, Tomas has connected with numerous cycling enthusiasts in China through the internet. The cycling videos he and his partner have released garnered affection from many fans. Tomas expresses his eagerness to share the joy of cycling with more people and hopes to find his future in China.