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MEI Chong the “Knight”: A 100-day Cycling across America

Written by: Casy CHEN
Photo by:The interviewee
Edited by:James Campion, WANG Mengyu |  Date:2018/03/1756 Hits

MEI Chong, postgraduate of Japanese Language and Literature at GDUFS, possesses a passion for cycling. This is driven by the fact that he’s finished cycling throughout the US, after having cycled along the coast line of Japan, rode through every MV set of Jay CHOU’s songs in Taiwan and dashed into Tibet twice.


The Encounter with Cycling


“For some reason I can’t explain, and it’s all straight out love.”


The young “knight”


MEI’s very first cycling experience from Lijiang to Lhasa occurred in the summer vacation in his sophomore year – invited by his aunt. Being a complete amateur, MEI accepted the invitation with great interest, spending a whole afternoon cycling in the park. “And it hurt my butt real bad,” MEI grinned with embarrassment.


After a tiring journey on the train roaming to Yunnan, MEI started his first ever cycling towards Tibet with constant encouragement and support from his aunt and friends as well as his strong faith in himself, despite all the troubles.


“For some reason I can’t explain, it’s all straight out love,” said MEI. And it was not until MEI set foot in cycling that he finally encountered the “love” of his life, making it the most distinctive tag of himself.


Troubles aren’t Evil but Special Deeds


“All of a sudden a strong wind occurred, constantly blowing fragments of stones and tree branches towards me. What’s worse, rain began to pour down with a sharp fall of temperature, crushing through the whole Gobi within 10 minutes.”


He came, he conquered


Troubles kept emerging during the journey across the US, irrespective of which MEI just calmly told us that troubles aren’t evil but special deeds.


He has already finished the 100-day cycling across America early in March this year, naming his journey “CROSS COUNTRY”. Starting off at the west coast, MEI cycled up to the east coast. Having suffered queries from his family for the first time, MEI insisted that he had well-scheduled his plan for the junior year and that nothing would hold him back from chasing his own passion.


Having grown into a mature and careful boy during all the journeys, MEI proudly shared his little tricks in packing and intrigued stories between him and his greatest worry – raccoons. “Once I got up and found this little fellow stealing my bread outside my camp,” said MEI, “I took a glimpse and ran away at once.”


Although MEI has always been smart on expenses, the weather, the most variable thing on the Gobi, had forced him to book a room once after his narrow escape from a sudden rainstorm. Not only did the weather change a lot, but it would also greatly influence the situations of the roads. And talking about his experience of carrying his bike on the shoulders stepping on those muddy narrow paths and climbing over high wire nettings when the situations of the roads were unavailable, shades of thrill appeared in MEI’s eyes as if he had encountered his “old pal”, storms and hail, once again.


Kindness during the Journey


“Here’s this! Hope you travel safe.”


A beautiful morning with beautiful people


In spite of severe weather conditions and countless troubles on the road, kindness was offered to MEI by strangers, which greatly encouraged him.


An unexpected surprise


On his way to the Grand Canyon, MEI found a note under packs of snacks and an apple from an American couple who were also crossing the US by car, who subsequently made their second acquaintance with MEI on their way back home. And apart from this warm little surprise, MEI had accepted kindness from up to 42 American families and innumerable kind-hearted people.


Return of the “Knight”


“Insist on a so-called boring thing and it’ll become an invaluable fortune of yours.”


The best gift on the Mother’s Day ever


Not only has cycling strengthened MEI’s confidence, but it has also taught him to be grateful. Steamed bread offered when MEI was starving, a downhill awaiting when he was tired and a calming breeze blowing when he was sweating like a dog – all these little fortunes were a great comfort as well as encouragement to MEI.


When it came to family, MEI was specifically appreciative of his beloved supporting mother. Although boys are said to be careless, MEI possesses an exquisite and caring heart which completely understands the worries from his parents, for the reason why he would always remember to send messages to assure his parents.


MEI has conquered a lot of things that seem to be extremely knotty to us by achieving his goals step by step. And just as he said, the key to obtaining great achievement is whether one would take the first step or not.