Lee’s Lowdown on PEZ: Cycling through the smog in China

The third installment of my weekly Lowdown column on PezCycling News is a brief (kinda) history of the bicycle in China, from its first appearance to the smog-filled present.

Click on the image below to head over to the article.


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Author: Lee Rodgers

Cycling coach, race organiser, former professional cyclist and the original CrankPunk.

2 thoughts

  1. Lee you should check out this video –

    . As far as I understand it was filmed in the 80’s by some of the pioneers of the US cycling advocacy movement. What’s most interesting is how 80’s LA looks like current Beijing (commuters clad in masks) and the images of China (free flowing bikes) look what we might see today in a progressive Western city (e.g. Copenhagen). China is going through the same process as many Western cities did decades ago by prioritising motorised transportation. It won’t be long before they realise its not a healthy or smart solution and embark on the path of many smart cities and start promoting cycling again. I live in Beijing and I hate the smog but I don’t believe its a problem that other cities haven’t seen before nor solved. In actual fact once the Chinese get over their infatuation with the automobile and rediscover the bicycle and re-invent their rich cycling past there will be a lot the rest of the world can learn from them. Here is a very bad talk I did a few years ago on what i think we can learn from Chinese cycling culture – http://www.smarterthancar.com/#/lectures/

    1. Thanks for that Shannon, very interesting! I have been reading on since I posted the article and have come across comparisons with the USA in the 70s and other nations too that are now ‘clean’ (or cleaner). It’s obviously driven in large by industry and the use of coal too right? Interesting to read the mayor of Beijing today saying his city was ‘unliveable’ in The Guardian…

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