China must have been built on bikes Pt 2: Shanghai

 China has been called "the kingdom of bicycles", it's not hard to see why - the country was built with them!  In the past a typical roadster bicycle took many months wages for most Chinese to be able to afford.  Private cars were only for the rich in the past and everyone rode around on bike.  Even though utility cycling has decreased in recent years due to increasing uptake of automobiles it still forms an essential part of the country's backbone.  It still amazes me how much stuff you really can pack on a Chinese tricycle, you could really move house with one of these bad boys.

One trend that has taken over in Shanghai is the e-bike.  Most have pedals attached but are only really used to get it going, the electric motor is controlled with a motorcycle twist throttle.  They are dead silent but move almost as fast as motorbikes.  One thing that concerns me is that what happens to all these batteries in a few years time?  Still I find it hilarious that you can get KFC delivered on bike

Peak hour two wheel traffic; the infrastructure generally is good - although the traffic is pretty chaotic.  There is plenty of separated bicycle lanes, always at least 3m wide and one way only the same way as the rest of the traffic.  From what I have read, they banned bicycles on many major roads in the early 2000's but have recently started going back the other way due to congestion problems from increasing private car usage.  Still, in the city centre there is a hell of a lot of people commuting by bike, it's a big part of transportation in the city.  What I found odd is that very very few bikes have any kind of lighting system, this is in contrast to Japan where almost every bike at the very least had a sidewall dynamo with front and rear lights.  You would quite often have bike ninjas swerving all over the road at night, thank god I didn't see anyone get hit but I imagine it might happen a bit.

I always love seeing people ride bikes in suits.

The China post bikes are always coloured green, they are basically the traditional Chinese roadster style - single speed with a big ass bag in the front.

Chinese Arrospok?  If you don't know what Arrospok is look here:

Bike parking in Shanghai is quite plentiful; this is from the French concession area.

Only in China would you find, not only a chicken but also a turkey in a fixie bike shop.

Disc wheel?  Maybe soon there will be super narrow handlebars and spoke cards.

Thanks for reading


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