2002 年，艾伦·雷从英国来到武汉教书，在武外英中学校一驻就是十六年。他像一个引路人，给数不清的学生拨开了物理世界的迷雾。在学生眼里，他博学多识，因杰出的教育贡献而荣获武汉市“黄鹤友谊奖”。谁能想到，瘦瘦高高、 热爱学术的他，还有着这样与众不同的爱好和令人惊叹的经历。
对于骑行者来说，梦想和路是没有尽头的。艾伦对骑行的热爱到中国后并未改变。定居武汉后，他把目光投向武汉周边境域。 2014年夏天，他开始了一段 15天的湖北骑行之旅。从武汉到孝感，再到随州、襄阳和十堰六里坪，穿房县和神农架木鱼镇，过宜昌、荆州 ,最后抵达仙桃，全程 1350 公里，骑五天歇一天。
passion for cycling. After settling in Wuhan, he took more interest in cycling the areas and cities nearby. In the summer of 2014, he indulged himself in a 15-day journey around Hubei Province. Starting in Wuhan, he rode 1350 kilometers in total before reaching his destination Xiantao. Along the way, he stopped at a number of places like Xiaogan, Suizhou, Xiangyang, Shiyan, Liuliping Town, Fang County, Shen Nongjia, Muyu Town, Yichang, and Jingzhou, where he rested for one day every five days.
Each land nurtures its own culture and fantastic landscape in Alan’s eyes. In Anlu County of Xiaogan, he witnessed that locals put up rows of bamboo shelves and hang up noodles as thin as hair, which glittered in the sun. In Xiangyang, he read the story of Three Visits to the Thatched Cottage in Gulongzhong and spent some time envisioning Zhuge Liang’s legendary life. Arriving at Muyu Town after zigzagging mountain roads in Shennongjia, he looked back and was astounded to find his trail was partly hidden and partly visible among the curving slope of the mountains. Stopping at Jingzhou, he put his hands on the age- old city walls that had been destroyed and rebuilt again and again in more turbulent times and imagined the raging wars hundreds or thousands of years ago. It seemed to him that he was not only cycling through different places, but also through time and Chinese culture.
“Sometimes it was scorching hot, and sometimes it rained cats and dogs. Usually things just don’t go smoothly all the way,” Alan said. However, for him, the significance of cycling comes from more than the cycling itself. It’s what he hears, sees, feels, and experiences that makes the journey worthwhile.
It’s safe to cycle around in China. Sometimes Alan travels alone, and sometimes he travels with a friend or two; sometimes he goes on an expedition, and sometimes he takes a short trip around. In 2012, He rode 1100 kilometers on the route from Kashi, Xinjiang to Xining, Qinghai, and last year, he rode 800 kilometers from Wuhan to Zhang jiajie and the Ancient City of Phoenix in Hunan Province.
“I haven’t decided where my next stop is or where I will head for next time,” Alan said briskly with a smile on his face.“There are so many places in the vast land of China that are waiting out there for me to explore. The road ahead is endless. And that applies to both the path of education as well as the journey of cycling.”