Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Will Shanghai Be Forever Cycle Chic?

Despite all the nurturing and attention American bicycling culture needs, I can't forget that--from an environmental standpoint--cycling culture in places like China and India are hugely important to the world. I remember a bit of an article printed around the time of the Beijing Olympics that stated that particulate matter from Beijing (or it might have been Hong Kong) can be found in the air in Los Angeles. They certainly don't need any more pollutants in LA--and I say that as someone who's lived under the "heat dome [of smog]" over Atlanta. That's why I'm happy to see that cycling is making a comeback in Shanghai.

The iconic Shanghai bicycle manufacturer, Forever, has launch a new brand called Forever C. Apparently, Forever is one of China's oldest bicycle manufacturers producing "old tanks" much like the Flying Pigeon's available stateside. Under the Forever C brand, a bunch of young bike-loving designers have teamed with the company to create slick, modern bikes for their Shanghainese counterparts who have disregarded the bike culture of earlier generations.

The most popular model is based on a Chinese postal worker's bike. It has a simple elegance and is available in black, cream, mint, or red. Other models bring the fun with brightly colored frames or a touch of color from the rims.






Teddy gives his approval = one fun bike!


She Rides a Bike said...

Lovely, elegant bikes. Do you suppose Asia's rise will usher in a period in which American will follow them in some ways and more people will adopt the bikes as an accepted form of transport? Maybe that would be progress.

The Bronze Bombshell said...

Hmmm. I wouldn't say follow exactly. My realistic hope is that as China flaunts its engineering talent through all the cool eco-conscious solutions it invents for transportation and energy that the U.S. will try to outdo China.

Instead of a cold war, it's more like a green war. I don't think this war would be waged just for pride or the environment, but to help maintain this country's moral authority on a global stage. I think that's our trump card in dealing with a lot of other countries and concepts like respect for the land and conservation dovetail nicely with moral principals.

On the other hand, I'm really just sharing my daydreams about a bright, green future with bikes all about because today's been a bit of a bummer (so far).

Copenhagen Bike Rental said...

christania’s “bike rental copenhagen” bikes are rolling across the city. The system, less than a year old, is funded by christania’s municipal government. It is currently only in one of christania’s 22 administrative districts. Although a 2nd generation system, there are 12 “Houses” in this district, each with around 40 bikes. The yearly subscription cost is the equivalent of $2 US, and allows the use of a bike for up to four hours at a time. In less than a year, there have been 6,000 subscriptions sold. There are larger 3rd generation systems in the world, which do not have a subscription to bike ratio as big as that.

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