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Bikes in China

Miscellaneous 7 226

I just uploaded more pictures of Chinese bikes and trikes to my Flickr account. If you are not interested in weeding through my other photos of China, click on the bikes set to the left. I love seeing utilitarian cargo bikes like these when I visit China. Unfortunately, I realize that everyday many of these bikes and trikes are being replaced (or displaced) by cars and trucks. The growing number of automobiles on the road makes daily life increasingly dangerous for these riders and the situation will only get worse as car ownership increases exponentially. I will refrain from rambling on about my thoughts on the state of cycling in China. Perhaps those ideas are better saved for another post (or maybe not).

While on the subject of China, check out the story of the Bicycling Barber of Beijing. Great story. I found it via the Cycling Dude.


  1. Kiril, The Cycling Dude March 25, 2006 at 3:11 am -  Reply

    Great Pics!

    Thanks for the link. ;-D

    As China’s economy grows, and modernizes, and more people own cars, the Culture of the Bicycle won’t be what it used to be, I imagine.

  2. teague March 27, 2006 at 9:25 pm -  Reply

    Any idea if there are nonprofit orgs (American or Chinese) working to preserve Chinese bicyclist rights and infrastructure in the face of the automotive onslaught?

  3. James March 28, 2006 at 5:07 pm -  Reply

    Good question. I would assume there are such organizations, but I really don’t know. If anyone reading this knows of any, I would like to hear about them. In a few of my photos, you can see bike lanes in Shanghai. I would imagine that most of the bicycle advocacy work in China is focused on the cities. The places where I assume conditions are the worst for transportational cycling are the rapidly growing manufacturing districts around the Pearl River delta. In industrial areas that were primarily agricultural communities not long ago, the people on bikes seem to be at the most risk. As someone who loves bicycles, I hate to see them viewed as a symbol of poverty and an outdated way of life. Unfortunately, I get the impression that many drivers in China view them just that way. Of course, my observations about bicycling in China are those of an outsider to the culture. I would love to hear thoughts from someone who regularly rides a bike in China. Anyone?

  4. Anonymous October 14, 2006 at 10:44 am -  Reply

    I believe the Chinese government is promoting cars now, just like they used to promote bikes.

    I bought a new bike last week. It was a racing bike, but it was uncomfortable and impractical for the way of life here. I took it back and now I have a cheaper bike with a basket in the front and a cargo rack in the back. The utility bike is new and well built, so I find myself going faster than the electric bikes most of the time.

    A racing bike will keep pace with the motor bikes, but city traffic is too crowded to take advantage of the high speed. People frequently go against traffic in the bike lane, and cars occasionally cross ofer the bike lane to get to the main road. Old men are often riding a bike with a cart behind it, and they go very slowly. When you pass you usually pass on the left, but you should not get too close to the traffic. Buses often cross through the bike lane in order to stop at a bus stop.

    Andrew Mahurn

  5. Ruth August 7, 2007 at 4:38 pm -  Reply

    I have a 2 year old Chinese delivery tricycle similar to the ones in your photo. I purchased it in Shanghai. I powder-coated it in red and used it in my import shop. I need to find a new home for it. Do you have any suggestions? These Chinese tricycles are very heavy and have one speed and a hand brake. To use it here, I would suggest putting a small motor on it. I am located in Austin, Texas.

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