Smarter Than Cars | Are we Evolving?

In recent years the number of cars on the road in Beijing has reached truly epic levels, the volume of pollution has increased well beyond World Health Organization defined safe levels and I’ve had six bicycles stolen – but I’m still out there every day on a bicycle of some description.  I have four in total – two single speed’s for daily trips to the markets and general chores – really grubby old bikes that surely no-one would steal, one touring bike for urban trips further afield and then a beautful carbon fibre road bike for day trips outside of the city and regular training rides.

While many cities around the world are making it easier for cyclists to take to the road, it is increasingly more dangerous to ride in Beijing – risks to the respiratory system aside, the number of opening doors coming your way as a cyclist is increasing with several thousand new cars taking to the streets every week. I always look twice before opening the door of a taxi and potentially ruining someones day out there.

As fixed gear culture makes it’s way in to Beijing a well organized and very motivated group of people are promoting cycling as an alternative way of life and transport in Beijing at Smarter Than Car:

http://www.stcbj.com/en/about

An upcoming event is the Bohai or Bust Ride in early April – check out the promo here:

http://www.stcbj.com/bob/

One of the STC crew is Innes Brunn, owner of the Natooke fixed gear bicycle store- check out the machines here:

http://natooke.com/en/home/product-catalogue?page=shop.browse&category_id=16

We really do need to be smarter than cars and the associated infrasructure they require – maybe we need to go back to the BIG FAST TED guy and get some of his inspirational thinking ‘evolving’ on the streets of Beijing. Bjarke Ingles, the Danish architect and founder of Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG), designed the Danish Pavillion for the 2010 Shanghai Expo – complete with bicycles. This link takes a while to load the images but they are worth waiting for:

http://www.big.dk/projects/xpo/