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  1. #1
    slack jawed
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    China: Bicycle Country

    My wife and I just returned from China. We went there to adopt the cutest baby they had.
    (She's a little pissed that we made her wear the glasses)


    Here's some photos that illustrate how important the bicycle is in China. Mopeds were also abundant, and we discovered that cars are becoming more affordable too. But the main form of transportation, outside of walking, was the bicycle.


    Here's the "parking lot" of the local grocery/department store:







    We would refer to most of the bikes as "beaters." But the bikes were very valuable to their owners, as all the bikes had locks on them:





    I only saw a handful of new-ish bikes - - maybe a dozen. I only saw one bike on the street that I would consider new. But I stumbled across two bike shops selling brand new, high-end bikes, frames, and components. These definitely weren't commuter bikes.











    Here's proof that truing a wheel is the same all over the world:
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  2. #2
    Hairy man
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    Adorable kid. Congrats! Do you have your trailor picked out yet?

    My little brother spent a year in Hangzhou, biking most of the time to get around. His bike (a middle of the pricerange Chinese brand) had mechanical problems all the time. Things simply didn't stay tight because they were poorly manufactured. Because the brakes loosened whenever used, he stopped primarily using his bootheels.
    We all get it in the end.

  3. #3
    Baron of Gray Matter
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    It's cool you've adopted a baby. My sister's best friend adopted two babies from somewhere in central America, I can't remember where exactly. It was a long process, but they were persitent and are very happy parents.

    I wonder if in the U.S. more people would ride bikes if the average income was as low as it is in China?
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  4. #4
    life is a barrel o'fun
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    I was depressed when I heard about affordable cars in China. Well, happy of course that more people CAN own a car, but now it'll become a status symbol, and people will become lazier as a result......don't they know about the car's negative effect on our culture? Obesity, accidents, costs, pollution......

    Anyway, does my heart good that bikes are still so valued there. And what a gorgeous baby by the way!!! Congratulations!
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  5. #5
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    I was in China 10 yrs ago could not believe the #'s of bikes.... some people were ridding with no tires !!! just riding on rims alone !!!!! and not just 1 poor sole .....like 10% of the riders had no tires... PS great trip ! one of the best ever.

  6. #6
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    Congrats!!

    She's a cutie but what's with the Elton John specs? The sad thing is I can allready see in my mind you pulling that picture out for every date she brings home Can you imagine what China would be like if 99% of those bikes were replaced by cars???? Traffic, pollution, fuel requirements.... road rage. I'm sure the Chinese government will do with car ownership what they have allready done with reproduction; limit how many cars can be sold.

  7. #7
    It's the axle
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    Thanks.

    It's posts like this that just bring back my faith in the human race. Thanks so much. To adopt is such a generous act.
    I'm sorry China is on it's way toward modernization. Because I can only dream of how wonderful a society it would be to live in where biking is the mode of transportation. I would be so much happier. And I live 15 miles from the grocery store, way up in the mountains. Big deal. I'd gladly spend a day each week, just to transport the groceries.

    The thought of people riding without tires is almost funny. Weird.

    Great stuff!

  8. #8
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    Cute baby! I was just in China a month ago. There were alot of bikes, but the amount of people driving is beginning to get scary. I did not see one nice bike, but as you said, they value what they have. I sat next to a couple that adopted aby on my return flight. I didn't get much sleep because of her, but I didn't mind.

    Bryan

  9. #9
    PCC
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    The number of cars is increasing and the number of bikes is decreasing on the roads in China. I first went there back in '90, then again in '92. The last time was in '99. On all three trips I only saw one nice bike, ridden by someone in Macau. I was riding in a bus going somewhere and I saw this guy riding the opposite direction.

  10. #10
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    It'll be a shame when China has become overrun with cars. They do have a place but for small errands, and carrying small items a few miles, you cannot beat a bike. I like the bikes in the pictures. for city commuting an upright position is the way. Maybe one day I will visit a foreign country. OK, I been to Canada, pretty foreign, eh?

  11. #11
    Keep The Rubber Side Down
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    Thanks for the cultural insight of another land. great shots!
    Some of my happiest memories in life took place on my bicycles. - Me

  12. #12
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    You should see the statistics for people killed in car accidents in china it is scary.I remeber when i was there a couple of years ago in NW china country road in a bus going out to some mountains road not to bad for a country road some people in cars where doing 40-60mph come round a corner road washed out probally a month ago slow down drop 3 ft 30ft long 3ft up the other side no warning sign or any thing.If i was in a car i would have been doing 50mph and crashed.Cletus how hard was it to adopt a baby in china my wife and are thinking about it.

  13. #13
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    Healthier than the average American?

    I bet that cycling is one reason why you see alot of Chinese people in their 90's and sometimes in their 100's. I wish I could see more people here in the U.S. riding to work, school and to the store.

  14. #14
    PCC
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeatVibe1
    I bet that cycling is one reason why you see alot of Chinese people in their 90's and sometimes in their 100's. I wish I could see more people here in the U.S. riding to work, school and to the store.
    There's a lot less processed food in China. Meat is going to be poultry, pork, fish, etc. No beef, really. Chinese people eat a lot more vegetables. They eat many different types of vegetables. Sugar intake is a lot less than what we have here. It's in the diet.

  15. #15
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    Congratulations!

    I hope that you all will have a beautiful life together!

    I have been to China 8 times since 1988, usually spending a month at a time at different locations photographing. The ratio of cars to bikes has increased greatly since the first trip. Unfortunately in some large cities such as Guangzhou, bicyles are no longer allowed on some major streets(not highways). The automobile industry is increasing greatly as is the building of highways. Expect to see sales of China made cars here in the U.S. in the not too distant future.

    The beer is good in China and I suspect that overindulgence in that beverage led the poster above to believe that he saw 10% of the bikers riding on rims. There is no shortage of bike repair guys, You see them on the sidewalks right off the the curb with their tools laid out right next to the street vendors.

    Anyway, back to the important stuff. Many of the adoption agencies have support groups that help you out with information after you return. You can also meet other parents who have adopted and I'm probably just repeating what you already know.

    Your daughter has been given a great gift of now having a family!

    [QUOTE=Cletus]My wife and I just returned from China. We went there to adopt the cutest baby they had.
    (She's a little pissed that we made her wear the glasses)

  16. #16
    Nat
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    Congratulations on the girl! I've met a couple of families in town who've adopted Chinese baby girls. I think it's sad that Chinese culture devalues daughters and only wants sons (so I'm told). May all the unwanted Chinese daughters find loving homes somewhere.

    I like that bike brand "Gas Station!"

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