Have you ever seen chair skating before?
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
35Trip End Mar 28, 2010
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I don't know who invented it or what the history was but it's brilliant. Basically, when the lakes are cold enough to be frozen, they are deemed safe for skating. School-style chairs were re-engineered with blades and screw-drivers were welded to a longer piece of metal to create poles. The result was, chair-skating. It's more obvious when you look at the picture but it's tons of fun. You can actually go pretty fast on it and pull off turns and spins easily.
Another equally enjoyable activity was riding the ice bikes. Bikes were also re-engineered with blades and the back wheel works as the thrust while the front was replaced with a small steering blade
If you are fortunate, you may get the chance to see a man (keyword: Speedo) dive into the freezing water. Apparently, it's healthy if you train and work up to withstand the icy water. I am not convinced... it seems like everything that is crazy is "healthy" for rationalization purposes. Anyway, I did see a man do this and his dive was somewhat off in form and he ended up belly-flopping. He surfaced with a reddish tint, but that could have been a deliberate strategy to stay warm... who knows.
So... if anyone comes in to China in the winter and is bummed about the cold weather... go chair-skating! I have not seen this anywhere else in the world and even my Canadian friends admit they would love to see it in their home country. That's how good it is.