Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cycles in Zhuhai, China

As is clear from some previous posts, I enjoy taking advantage of the wide range of transportation forms available in China--from horse carts to high-speed trains. For a light Sunday post here are some of the various cycles I saw in Zhuhai, Guangdong province. It provides a hint of the important role cycles play in Zhuhai and elsewhere in China.

Of course, people could be found with bicycles:

two young men stranding next to a bicycle in Zhuhai, China
Most people's bikes are not so sporty.

Three women pushing bicycles on a sidewalk in Zhuhai, China.
The padded seat above the wheel allows a more comfortable ride for an extra passenger.

Although some have more compact versions:

man on a small bike in Zhuhai, China
At least he has a helmet.

Others prefer motorized bikes:

The sitting arrangement of the two riders is common in China.

And some motorcycles serve as taxis:

two people riding a motorcycle in Zhuhai, China
Although I have often used them elsewhere in China, I did not take a motorcycle taxi in Zhuhai.

Nonetheless, some people are happy to ride their motor bike alone:

man riding a motorbike on a bridge in Zhuhai, China
The photo does not communicate the speed at which he zoomed by on the bridge's sidewalk.

But riding with another person can mean an extra pedaller:

two young women on a twin tandem bicycle in Zhuhai, China
Did you know that the rear rider of a tandem bicycle is the "stoker"?

And a triple-tandem bicycle means two extra pedallers:

three people riding a triple tandem bicycle and an artistic display of bicycle riders nearby in Zhuhai, China
The riders see some nearby inspiration.

However, sometimes two wheels are not enough. For example, tricycle carts are popular for mobile vendors:

tricycle carts in China with a items such as sugar cane and jackfruit
An excellent way for to bring goods such as sugarcane or jackfruit.

They are also common for deliverers:

man in Zhuhai, China pushing a tricycle cart with a mattress on top
Definitely not fruit

Tricycles can also be useful as cycle rickshaws (also know as bike taxis):

two young woman sitting on the back seat of a cycle rickshaw powered by a young man in China
Not useful if in a rush

Finally, I even saw a quadracycle in Zhuhai:

Looks like the kid gets a work-free ride.

The tandem bicycles and the quadracycle above could be rented in various locations along the "boardwalk" in Zhuhai--typically just for fun. Except for the quadracycle, I have seen all of these elsewhere in China. And based on a single experience in Beijing, I will say that being the lead rider for a triple-tandem bicycle is a bit trickier that I would have imagined. It is definitely easier to be the stoker.

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