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Weihai Weir

A huge proportion of China’s population lives by the seaside, and fish farming goes back at least a thousand years in the Middle Kingdom.

What you usually see these days, though, are endless acres of gaudy 10 meter plastic floating rings with nets that hang down into the sea and prevent the food from swimming away.

But all around the Weihai peninsula you can still find a lot of old stone weirs: thick water retaining walls that mediate the flow of tide in and out. I have no idea what they grow in these things, but… well, details. Just details.

At hand we have one of the weirs I passed daily on my morning rides. And usually the eastern horizon was cloudy, or it was windy and the water was choppy, and if clear either I didn’t have my camera or I didn’t bring a tripod… or I was sleeping.

But here you can see that my dedication to early morning riding finally paid off.

Also cool is off camera: back on the beach over my right shoulder there were old men swimming in the frigid morning water and freezing_their_balls_off. For years I’d seen them up before sunrise to meet for a “life extending” swim (and I quote them directly). They would keep it up straight through autumn and into the winter stopping only when the snow was blowing and wind howling (and I know they weren’t swimming in the winter because I was STILL riding—thank you Giant ATX with Nokian studded tires—nod to Shimano XT product group and Thudbuster seatposts).

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