Knock, Knock

March 15, 2007


Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Isabel.
Isabel who?
Is a bell necessary on a bicycle?

To test this we edited together all the times we used our bell on the way to work today. They are:
Van pulling out, overtaking a cyclist, overtaking a cyclist, jaywalkers, pedestrian in the road, pedestrian in the road, scooters and cyclists rubbernecking a cop giving a ticket, van reversing into traffic, pedestrian in the cycle lane, scooters trying to jump a red light, overtaking a cyclist, overtaking sporty kid on a bike who can’t believe a forty-something white guy is going faster than him, scooters jumping a red light, two cars and a scooter turning into oncoming traffic, scooter coming out of the sun on the wrong side of the road, a wheelchair and two more jaywalkers.

Isabel necessary on a bicycle? She certainly is!

Bus Out Of Hell

March 9, 2007


We usually keep clear of buses anyway but this one was on a mission! Guangzhou city in the south of China banned the use of horns 2 years ago and we keep waiting for the same ban to be enforced in Shanghai. Who was he tooting at anyway? The road was empty apart from me and I don’t think he even noticed me on the bike. The best theory we have is that his shift is nearly over and he wants to get back to that oldest established, permanently rolling, mahjong game at the depot.

But Is It Art?

March 3, 2007



We think it is. Last year we had the opportunity to visit China’s famous Flying Pigeon Bicycle factory in Tianjin – see photos below – and brought home this souvenir.
We fondly remember wobbling our first Flying Pigeon across Tiananmen Square in 1989 but have to admit that these days we prefer the comfort of a mountain bike (especially since our route to work frequently takes us across a building site) and the last time we lived in Beijing in ’98 our office WAS a building site. So this Flying Pigeon hangs proudly on the courtyard wall waiting for a visitor brave enough to take it out for a spin.

Steel frames piled up

Frames being welded

Spokes go in

Flying Pigeon badges