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The Greatest Bicycle Country: China

Updated on February 13, 2010

The Greatest Bicycle Country

There is an invisible bond between the bicycles and the Chinese people making it the lifeline of china, helping thousands to earn their bread daily.
There is an invisible bond between the bicycles and the Chinese people making it the lifeline of china, helping thousands to earn their bread daily.

Cycling history of china:
Bicycles are the most common means of transport in china. Nearly ninety percent of people ride to work on their bicycle. Most of them could not afford to buy a car. The available cars have great problems in getting parked and moving through traffic. Hence in most cases people who are able to afford to buy a car also choose to ride a cycle itself.

We could find traces of bicycle description in late 18th century. Officers who travelled abroad have described spotting bicycles in western countries. Bicycles reached china early in 19the century. But these bicycles were used by foreign settlers only.

Chinese people started using bicycles in the mid 19th century only. China is the highest consumer for bicycles in the world now.

Low cost Chinese Bicycles:
Chinese bicycles are very cheap compared to European bikes. That is why they flood the European markets also these days. A normal bicycle used for commuting costs only $25 dollars in china. That is less than the price of a cycle mirror in USA or England.

Advanced electric bicycles with all modern facilities cost $240. One could not imagine such a bike in this cost in western countries. Chinese people generally do not add any extra accessories to their bicycles other than lights and bells.

Unlike western countries there isn’t any particular brand name to choose from. Bicycles are used much like household accessory and could be bought from any local store.

Various uses of bicycles in china:
Bicycles are used in china for so many purposes other than riding. They are used to

  • Carry goods from one place to another
  • Tricycles are used to carry heavy goods to common houses
  • Mobile restaurants function on a tricycle
  • Small shops selling all items from clothes to groceries function in a tricycle

Many people earn money by commuting goods on their bicycle. A person who owns a bicycle can find number of jobs in china and that is probably one reason why each and every person owns a bicycle here.

Bicycling as a tourist attraction:
China has some wonderful landscapes suitable for bicycle riders. Bicycle tours are arranged in a very low cost. Some of the famous routes for a bicycle tour are

The tour which covers the cities of Guilin, Huangshan, Suzhou, Harbin, and Changsha is probably the best one. You can choose any one of these cities and have a complete look at its historical heritages and modern developments leisurely.

If you want to have a look at the coastal areas you can select cities like Haikou, Guangzhou, and Xiamen. You are sure to get breathtaking view magnificent scenery. The city of Hiakou is famous for its Tour of Hainan International road bike race, one of the popular races in china.

Chinese bicyclists dominate the Asian bicycle tracks always, one reason being their excellent domestic practice. Bicycles are combined with Chinese people life and it serves to provide the livelihood for many people in china.


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      Chinaexpat 3 years ago

      KD is right. I've been living in China for years, and sadly most Chinese today look down on bicycles and only want to own and drive a car. There is much beautiful scenery to be seen in China by bike, but the cities are death traps.

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      KD 4 years ago

      Sadly this article is well outdated or do not represent current situation. Today is Sept 24, 2013 I have been traveling all over China. I see no bicycles. Less than 2% use it and it is disappearing altogether, replaced by motor cars and motor bikes.

      If you use bike in major cities, you are likely to get run over causing major injury or DEATH.

      Think more than twice before riding bike in China.

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      Anwerudin 5 years ago


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