Bicycle has been the most familiar “stranger” for China and Chinese people, from “bicycle kingdom” known to foreigners to often hit foreign headlines because of cars made a traffic jam, from be proud of a bike to hot debate for returning bicycle. Who moved Chinese bicycle after 61 years of statehood, as increasing economic development, forward city plan and boom desire of people.
Bicycle is the most popular product in 1960s to 1970s. And bicycle is included in wedding gifts, when bicycle should be bought by coupon. The picture shows that different kinds of bicycle produced in a factory is selling in the market in 1970s.
Bicycle is the first popular industry product. As of the end of 1980s, the number of bicycle in China was up to 500 million. Chinese people change the overall pace for the first time, using bicycle. In the picture, forever bicycle factory, one of earliest bicycle factory in China, was built in Shanghai on June 27 in 1981, whit planning to produce 2.5 million of bicycles in 2 or 3 years.
Bicycle was the image of China in the past time, not only one of three people owned a bicycle, but also it was a sign of “made in China” and the image of China. The photo shows that citizens mainly rode bicycles for walk and going out in Beijing in 1981, while the clothes were almost black and blue.
During 1980s, China was known as “bicycle kingdom”, and former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush had received two bicycles for gift from Beijing. Bicycles parked before Tiananmen Square in 1984 in the photo.
In 1986, all foreigners visited China referred China as “bicycle kingdom” in Changan Street of Beijing.
During economic reform, Deng Xiaoping had ever defined “prosperity” as every family has a “Feige” bicycle. The photo is saying that bike path was so broad in that time, across Changan Street of Beijing.
Bicycle shouldered China as the world’ most populous country, used for transporting people and things, and then became the loading bicycle with Chinese characteristics. Shanghai in 1991.
In 1993, a man carried his family by bicycle in Heilongjiang province, which is an important memory of China. At first, bicycle had been a toy of imperial and noble since it was taken into China in the end of nineteenth century, but half of a century later, bicycle became needed wedding gift with watch and sewing machine. However, bicycle was the most important and popular tool in 1980s.
When the time goes to the beginning of 1990s, mountain bike was popular in Beijing, and the people’s hope for bicycle towards to speed and pleasant experience except durable. At that time, mountain bike or racing bike had special landing place, which is the picture showing.
In 1994, the State Council published the first “automobile industrial policy”, encouraging individuals to buy cars, which broke the closed concept of cars. Fiat 126P, Santana made in China, Jetta, Citroen, Charade and other cars has become an unstoppable torrent until the late 1990s. Bicycles began to fade in Chinese lives. Motor vehicles and non-motor vehicles blocked the road in Tianjin on October 19, 1998, in the picture.
The sport of mountain bike has become a trend for young people in the 21st century, and is making bicycles relieved the name of transport for the first time. In the picture, bicycle movement has become one of extreme sports for younger in Yunnan province.
With the sharp development of private cars, the proportion of bicycles in Beijing has plunged from 62.7% in 1986 to 18.1% in 2009. 44% of motor vehicles’ trip distance is less than 5 km, which can be solved by bicycles, an official of Beijing transport department said. The Photo shows that a bicycle is on its way, passing by a large number of Taxi cars on April 3 in 2007.
Beijing set up rental business for bicycles near to subway stations, commercial areas, transportation hubs, buildings and communities across the city during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The picture shows that a television reporter interviews a rental point in Beijing on August 20 in 2007.
Renting bicycles business was shrinking in Beijing after the Olympic Games, which also reflected the same situation around the country. In city’s development plan, motor vehicles also become the important one to be focused on. A rental bicycle site changed into decorated thing in Beijing on August 4 in 2010.
Currently, many cities in British and the United States are building bikeways, when British start a project for bicycle reform. Meanwhile, China is also valuing bicycles, including governmental departments. Beijing plans to recall bicycles in citizens’ common life during 3 or 5 years. In the picture, a bicycle lover from a civil environmental organization is providing free plate of “love Beijing” on October 12 in 2009.
In addition, the return of bicycle is people’s psychological regression expect government’s measures. Yongjiu Company unveiled a new bicycle with retro of shape and simple operation this year, which attracted many younger’s eyes. Currently, Chinese people return to back bicycles. The photo shows that a new bicycle of Yongjiu parked on the street in Shanghai on July 17 in 2010.
Translated by Ma Xin