US photographer captures changes during 3,000-km tour after 27 years
Cycling China
Published: Oct 07, 2021 06:13 PM
Peter Crosby on the bike tour
Photos: Courtesy of Yunji Media

Peter Crosby on the bike tour Photo: Courtesy of Yunji Media

Peter Crosby on the bike tour
Photos: Courtesy of Yunji Media

Peter Crosby on the bike tour Photo: Courtesy of Yunji Media

Seeing is believing. US photographer and traveler Peter Crosby knows better than anyone, starting his second bike journey of over 3,000 kilometers across China 27 years after his first expedition in 1994. 

An eight-episode documentary series Peter Crosby's Biketour to China, which has been aired on streaming platform Xigua Video premiering on September 29, follows his tour witnessing and capturing the tremendous changes and development taken place in China in the last nearly three decades. 

In 1994, he took an over 3,000-kilometer bike ride from Beijing to Hong Kong, through provinces including Shanxi, Hubei, Hunan and Guangdong, during which he took 19,400 photos and 80-hour-long video. 

According to a Xinhua report, Crosby recalled that the Chinese people who appeared before the lens of his camera in 1994 were the most vivid memories of the experience. "It's amazing to see all those people who let us film and photograph them so up-close and very personally."

It had been a dream for him to be back to China for a second trip, which he was waiting for until 2021. Crosby spent two months on the trip crossing the country in the series produced by Xigua Video, Yunji Media and China Intercontinental Communication Center. 

Due to the changes to China's network of roads, the route follows 80 percent of the old route and 20 percent of the new that "Peter Crosby is interested in," according to the documentary series' director Li Jiameng, adding that Crosby kept daily over 10-kilometer riding exercise for the bike tour in the US. 

From Beijing Film Academy to Shaolin Temple in Central China's Henan Province, he re-visited these sites and reunited with some old friends. "In order to meet the tight schedule, he had to ride at least four hours every day, which was a challenge," Li told the media. 

The documentary series also includes the old videos that Crosby took in 1990s allowing more people to see the changes taken place. Zhang Xin from Xigua Video said that the series not only presents the dream of Peter Crosby, but also brings international audiences a chance to truly know China and the great changes. 

The series has been well-received among Chinese audiences, who posted positive reviews on social media platforms with many hoping that international audiences can also get to know China through Peter Crosby's story. 

In order to offer a full view of China, the series visits not only cities but also the rural areas from traditional mines and clean energy to infrastructures like highways and bridges, Zhang explained. 

"Coming back to China for me was mostly like kind of opening an old box. It's completely different," he said, according to a report by Chinese media 

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