Saturday, August 09, 2008

The cycling -how close can the people get to the Olympics?

After an hour of indecision of where to watch the cycling -downtown might be crowded, foot bridges with good views might be closed, could i use the subway to watch in 2 places etc, i finally headed out into the suburbs. At the station exit, the volunteers did not know where the cyclists would pass exactly, even though i found the route 20m away. Most of the volunteers really only know such general information as to be rather useless it seems. My friend could not get answer to when the trains from nearby Tianjin would end as he has tickets to some football there and they did not know if they would be extended to help people get back to Beijing.

Apart from the rather useless volunteers wasting their time all over the city either having no-one to help or not being able to help, but satisfied with the addition to their CV; the other interesting group are the security.

I found some white barriers, all 4 different kinds of volunteers mingling nearby and 5 different types of security too. There was the regular police, the regular 'public security', special Olympic security, special Beijing city security and the cycling security as well as some other marshals or something. None of us watching (me being the only foreigner in a group of 300 or so at our spot) seemed to know who was in charge. Neither did the security, but they knew we had to be behind the tape. 1 of the security people realised we were supposed to be 6 metres from the the tape was moved back.

Despite several loud protests (the Chinese love a good loud argument) we scuffled back and wondered when the cyclists would turn up. Until 15 min before they arrived the road was still open with plenty of regular traffic and the odd cyclist practicing for their later events to keep us on our toes and confuse us.

Fear not, when the lead 2 came through it was after at least 12 other cars (mostly typical black Audis with tinted windows and occasionally the odd flashing light) had actually stopped to inspect us and another 8 vehicles in the lead cavalcade including police coaches, police vans and other weird contraptions.

We got all excited for the 10 seconds from when we saw them till they had past and then looked for the 'pack'. 16 minutes later they turned up incredibly close together and then they were gone. It was all rather quick. Could only do 1 of a) watch, b) take photo, c) take video. I sort of managed b) and c) and ended up not really doing a)!!

Memories of 1st ever live Olympics event? Well it was a shame we could not just watch wherever we wanted to and string out along the road; it was cool to sort of feel in the spirit and since the race was not on tv, there's not much else to do!

Looking forward to the women's basketball Monday night though- It should last a bit longer than the cycling :) ....and the good news is that there has been a bit of wind and the pollution has cleared. woo hoo


At 11:52 pm, Blogger Joey said...

"Could only do 1 of a) watch, b) take photo, c) take video. I sort of managed b) and c) and ended up not really doing a)!!"

it is funny! should go there and help you do a). sorry for my absent that day.


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