Chinese Communists, the SARS epidemic....and Bicycles

Discussion in 'Your Bloody Soap Box' started by Echinacea, Oct 7, 2003.

  1. Echinacea

    Echinacea New Member

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    Earlier this year I had some grave fears about what was really happening with the SARS epidemic that came out of China. If my own government and media has such a lackluster record of telling the truth about what really happens then I just assumed the communist chinese would be lying through their teeth about how widespread SARS had become. On the internet and on the news I heard stories about how overpopulation in China coupled with rampant pollution and a disregard for the value of human life led to atrocious condidtions there i felt empathy for the chinese people. So I asked my sister who had visited China what it was like. I expected to hear about traffic jams and smog and people packed like sardines everywhere. She said she saw a steady stream of bicycles for people commuting. I thought that sounded real cool and wished they would do it here. I lived close enough to commute by bike but the roads and traffic here make that a very dangerous thing.

    anyone else been to china? does everyone bike there? if so....do they own their bikes? hehehe....or do they save up to buy a trek.
     
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  2. pineapple

    pineapple New Member

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    Everyone rides cos its cheap and traffic is rubbish. But the pollution is still terrible because of the dust storms and the fact that china is still a heavy-industry based economy (although that is changing).

    The bikes they ride are practically scrap metal and yes every street look like a large peloton wearing grey scraps of clothing.
     
  3. pineapple

    pineapple New Member

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    btw I'm actually in hong kong which is completely cyclist-free and all you see on the roads are lexus, mercedes and bmw.

    also, no sign of sars this winter yet, fingers crossed
     
  4. scarab

    scarab New Member

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  5. pineapple

    pineapple New Member

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    The fact is that the notion of cycling is completely opposite to how Hong Kongers want to see themselves. They (we) are so obsessed with the 'highlife' kind of lifestyle that just to be seen on a bike would be embarrassing. And I agree totally that this has something to do with the fact that mainlanders use bikes as an affordable mode of transport.

    Luckily I don't ride here. This is due to the unfortunate fact that I only spend a few weeks here every year and it would be fairly stupid to invest in a bike for that length of time.

    The only recreational cyclist I have ever seen on HK island (barring kids on bmx in playgrounds) was a mountain biker climbing the peak - respect to that man!!!!

    You originally from hk? Whereabouts do you live?

    The truth is indeed don't bother riding in hk you will just get carbon monoxide poisoning. Was window shopping and saw a pair of binoculars for $33000 today... got me wondering - what's the point if hk visibility is only a mile or two?
     
  6. scarab

    scarab New Member

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    Agree with most of that Pineapple. No, not orgininally from HK but been here quite a long time. I only ride here because I have a road bike with me that I use for long tours - Europe and Asia, and I like to get some exercise.

    I live in Wan Chai, which means I have to ride the Peak too. Actually there's quite a few of us at it on a Sunday morning - all on road bikes. Don't know any of them but there's definetely some sense of camaraderie in adversity.

    Actually, in a strange way it's quite a nice ride especially in the Spring and summer when you can start at 6 a.m. Plenty of aerobics going up and you fly down with little traffic until you get to Stubbs road. Thereafter it's hell but it sure wakes you up.
     
  7. Patrick SH

    Patrick SH New Member

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    Hi Scarab,
    I leave in Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong. But I work now in Changzhou (Jiangsu province, north west of Shanghai).
    I still comes during the week-end to Shenzhen and I had a very nice ride a few weeks ago with my friends from Shenzhen and Hong kong. The Hong kong group included Flying ball 's Mr Lee.
    You should come and join us some times!

    Changzhou is less fun. I have a short commute (5 Km) by bike. Some time on holiday I ride along the Yangtse river.

    Echinacea,
    There are still many bikes on the road. Even the old Golden Lions and Shanghai forever are not "crap". They last many years and cary sometimes very heavy loads!
    The latest production bikes are less good!

    Polution is a problem, specially in winter because of the industries and coal burning to heat the houses.

    Patrick.
     
  8. scarab

    scarab New Member

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    Patrick, I've ridden a couple of times in China - once from the border at Tashkurgan in Xinjiang Province down to Kashgar- a great ride. And once from Shenzhen airport to the HK border. With this limited experience, I'd say that mainland motorists are more considerate than those in HK. I guess the reason is that they are used to bicycles. In HK they don't know what bikes are or how to drive reasonably when they do.

    I always fancied a Flying Pigeon myself, if only for the name.
    My second choice would be a Light Roadster! And I'd ride it wearing one of those long green PLA winter coats ( had one of those once) and the hats with ear flaps.
     
  9. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

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    Seems that SARS may be back , story told is some lab tech was sloppy while playing god and got contaminated , hope it´s wrong , could be as the tests are comeing back some yes some no .
     
  10. pineapple

    pineapple New Member

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    No I think you're confusing two cases. One Taiwanese lab dude who got sars, and another random punter in Guangzhou whose tests are coming back ambiguous.

    Or maybe I'm getting confused now.

    Anyway I'm leaving Hong Kong in three hours so I'll be safe soon.

    Either that or I'll be contaminating the world.... mwaaahahahaa
     
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