'Atomic Town' now heaven for cyclists
Updated: 2013-07-13 16:14
The pack of riders cycles on its way during the sixth stage of Tour de Qinghai Lake cycling race from Xihai county to Qilian in Northwest China's Qinghai province, July 12, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
Most of the architecture of the factory has been kept as before. But the amount of radiation emitted by minor radioactive contaminants in Xihai is far below the level deemed safe by the Chinese government, after years of work to clear the radiation pollution.
Zhao Feng said he was proud of being a resident of Xihai, as the number of cyclists participating in the race grows every year.
A total of 154 cyclists from 16 countries and regions are competing for prizes worth $700,000 this year.
With the growing influence of the race, amateur cyclists and tourists have swarmed into the town.
More than 300,000 people have cycled in the town in the past 11 years, said Feng Jianping, head of the provincial sports administration.
"Cycling here gives me a sense of traveling through space and time," said Li Xibei, who travels from neighboring Gansu province to enjoy riding in Xihai.
China's largest cycling service base has been established in the town, which can serve 1,000 tourists with bicycle rentals and tutoring, maintenance, accommodation, dining and entertainment.
"In terms of scenery and facilities, Xihai is truly a heaven for cyclists," said Li.