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A Cycle of Cathay
Freewheeling in China 1982 – 1983

Anthony Fagin a civil servant, left his desk in Whitehall in December 1982 and went off on a month’s annual leave. But this was annual leave with a difference. He flew to China equipped with some unusual hand luggage. Folded up in its blue bag was a portable bicycle on which he spent four weeks pedalling around the People’s Republic at a time when China had only recently decided to open its doors a crack and to allow independent foreign travellers into the country.

Freewheeling wherever his fancy took him in both town and countryside, he was able to observe ordinary Chinese people going about their daily lives in a way that would have been impossible had he been a member of an organised tour group. Despite, or perhaps because of his oddness - here was a large, strange-looking man with a beard riding around on an outlandish aluminium contraption with tiny wheels - the genial Chinese accepted him with genuine warmth everywhere he went and invariably treated him as an object of curiosity and mirth.

The photographs in this beautiful book, together with the diary entries, paint a vivid picture - highly selective and impressionistic - of Chinese society seen through one pair of eyes as it stood on the threshold of momentous economic and social change.

 

Book specifications:

Publisher: Worldaway 2018

ISBN: 978-1-9164172-0-5

Dimensions: 210mm high x 267 wide

Pages: 140

Photographs: 78

Word count: 31,106

The Book

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