A Chinese man who is aiming to ride his rickshaw from London to Rio de Janeiro to “promote the Olympic spirit” ahead of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games was advised by police in Cambridgeshire to get off the A14 dual carriageway, which has a 70mph speed limit, after traffic built up behind him, reports the BBC.
Chen Guan Ming, a 58-year-old farmer from Xuzhou, first decided to get pedalling to promote the Olympic spirit” – as a flag on his rickshaw exclaims – while sitting inside the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing during the closing ceremony of the 2008 Games and saw Mayor of London Boris Johnson waving the Olympic flag as it passed to the British capital.
He rode his rickshaw from Beijing to London ahead of last year’s Olympics, and with the help of a free flight donated by a UK-based airline – BA, we’re guessing – flew into London to begin his trip to the next host city.
He will be financing the trip through giving rickshaw rides – it also doubles as his bed for the night – and performing odd jobs.
The BBC points out that Mr Chen was not breaking any laws, but adds that police advice when they caught up with him on Wednesday was to find an alternative route, with a spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police saying: "We offered him a map, but he didn't seem to want it.
"We were called at 13:29 BST to reports of a man riding a rickshaw along the A14, causing traffic problems.
"He was stopped and given words of advice not to travel on the A14, but he was committing no offences and went on his way."
The spokesman added: "I understand he's eventually heading to Liverpool."
However, it is not known how much of the police’s well-meant advice got through to the rickshaw pedaller – according to the BBC, Mr Chen is believed to know just four words in English.
Luckily, then, he'll be unlikely have come across this story from the London Evening Standard last year in which Mr Johnson, the man who inspired his transcontinental pedalling, branded rickshaws a "menace" and promised to ban them from the capital's streets.
It’s not the only unusual traffic hold-up the BBC has reported on this week; yesterday, there were tailbacks on the A3 close to Guildford due to 50 ducks waddling along the hard shoulder – complete with a police motorcycle escort. There's a video report here.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.