HOHHOT, China, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- "The early bird catches the worm," said Sui Yongxian after a 1000-kilometer bicycle ride to suburban Hohhot, the capital of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Sui started his ride at 6:00 am on Wednesday before the sun rose. After his 1.5-hour cycling exercises, he went off to work.
"I get up early and cycle before work three times a week," Sui said. "Cycling is the best way to refresh my energy and enjoy the scenery," he added.
Sui is not a professional cyclist, but he is one of the motivating figures for local riders.
"Every year I cycle more than 6,000 km, the distance between my hometown and (China's southernmost) Hainan Province," Sui said.
Sui now averages 20 km per hour, but when he began to ride as a sport eight years ago, he was able to finish less than 10 km per hour at his best.
His leg muscles usually hurt for three or four days after riding after he picked up the hobby. Sometimes he was eager to give up.
"My blood pressure and blood sugar were higher than normal," he said. "It's the reason why I had decided to cycle, and I must persist," he added.
Sui then participated in a cycling enthusiast club, which had just six members in 2012.
Sui and other riders in the club have visited many tourist attractions like the Great Wall, the Yellow River and the Kubuqi Desert when cycling at weekends.
Sui's daughter bought him a smartphone so that he could take photos on each tour.
More and more local office workers have since joined the riding club, which boasts more than 1000 members now.
"At first, I would like to visit different places with others," said He Yuandong, one of the members in Sui's club. "To my surprise, I began to lose weight after three months," he added.
The health benefits of cycling are also rewarding to others. "My blood pressure and blood sugar remained normal most of the time," Sui said.
Five months ago, Sui and his friends took part in a cycling activity which attracted more than 1,000 riders. He obtained an award during the event.
"I never expected to stand out among so many enthusiasts, " Sui said. "It seems that my choice of cycling was correct and my persistence for so many years has paid off."