12 March 2007

My girlfriend once pointed out to me that Chinese bikes always have the seat quite low. “No one would do that in Holland”, she said, where people take bicycling quite seriously. “You can’t use all your leg strength and you get tired easily”. Of course, it’s a cliche to say that China is a “land of bicycles”. Gone are the fleets that once packed every street, replaced by a thousand honking Volkswagens. But there’s still millions of bikes, and as far as I can tell only one group places their seat high enough to extend their legs fully: sanlunche, or tricycle, drivers. Considering they haul people, furniture and nearly anything else this makes alot of sense. Most other bicyclists appear to keep their seats low in order to maintain a lower center of gravity, something helpful if you’re in congested traffic (read: always) or brake suddenly, but many suffer back problems as a result. Enter inventor Luo Jianping’s two seater bicycle - high seat to speed and energy conservation, low seat for traffic. With this, you may be able to outrun these guys.

Note: Bicycle cops look even dumber when their knees knock their elbows

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