Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bicycles

Everybody in China has a bicycle. Mine's a model that was popular about 25 years ago, it's black, built very strongly, and feels like it's made of cast iron.


Ace bike! This one will beat a Volvo


They use to be called "Weight Plus" because they'll take a lot of weight. You'll often see people with two metre stacks of boxes piled onto the backs of their bikes, wobbling through the streets! Most roads have wide cycle lanes, and they need it - it's not unusual to see a queue of forty bikes waiting at the traffic lights. Rules for cyclists are even less obeyed than those for motorists - the only one you should watch out for is to leave space for people turning right. Every bike has a registration number, as well as every moped, and driving without this is an offence. You can remove a strip of plastic from the middle of the registration plate, and most people do, though I've no idea why!

Electric bikes are popular, as are ones with very small petrol engines. The electric ones are usually pretty slow and I like overtaking them. In fact, Chinese cyclists tend to go at around double walking pace, which is really slow! It stops you sweating, and 10 years ago it might've been necessary because of the amount of bike traffic, but nowadays there's no need. Getting places takes a lot of time here, so I'm more than happy to go quickly! None of the bikes have gears, and although most of the world's bikes are made in China and good bikes are cheap, the theft risk is quite high for a nice mountain bike, and besides, I'd go much too fast to have a passable survival rate.

One particular type of bike that's popular with people who carry a lot of stuff around looks like a tricycle, and has a big box on the back. You can get varying sizes of box. I want one! You could get so much more in there than you can in the basket on the front - even a whole passenger - talk about luxury transportation..

Very new looking tricycle, for carrying stuff around.


1 comment:

The Kayes said...

I love the look of the 'SUV version' with the trailer. Available in any colour I assume?