October 23rd, 2007

Amen. Preach it, brother. Ain’t nothing more manly than a one-speed Chinese bike with a beer basket on the front and a wife carrier on the back.

No, seriously.

Although I disagree with his taste in bikes: For me, there is only one: Flying Pigeon, as in the Big Black Monster variety. The only good thing to come out of Tianjin (apart from Huo Yuanjia and the fast train to Beijing, of course)

Alright, sure, my current bike is a pathetic, little, lime-green fold-up bike that is so weak it came swaddled in bubble wrap, and that is so poorly made that the weight of my tea flask in the basket can twist the handle bars if I turn too suddenly, but it was free and it gets me to and from the office, class and the market. Yeah, it’s fun getting back from the market with full beer bottles in the basket. Go real slow, make no sudden turns.

But still, my dream bike is a Big Black Monster Flying Pigeon, and that is so manly it makes a Humvee look like an item of especially lacy, pink lingerie. Even so, all Chinese bikes make a Humvee look as girly as a canary yellow Hyundai Coupe, which is why I started this post with the word ‘amen’.

4 Responses to “amen”

  1. Hai Says:

    My dad had one like you described back to ’80s. I don’t remember the name of the brand, must be either Flying Pigeon or Forever. The feeling I can recall is I was very happy on the way to school when my dad had time to give my brother and me a ride. My brother was seating in the front and I was on the back seat holding my dad’s ZhongShan suit. We were a big, 4 kids, and happy family. The time before going on my own living with my parents, sisteres and brother was the best in my life.

  2. wangbo Says:

    Those are great bikes. Thanks for sharing that memory, Hai, now I get to start my day with a really pleasant image in my mind, and that’s always a good thing.

  3. John Says:

    I must’ve been in China so long that when I inherited a bike on my arrival in Chengdu, I didn’t even bat an eyelid at the presence of a basket.

    The machine itself is a pretty solid Emmelle (or however it’s spelt) out of which, in spite of its weight, I can get a good rate of knots. The only problem is the lack of gears so that when I could go faster, I can’t.

  4. wangbo Says:

    Ah, yes, but weight means momentum, which is fine with the limits that one gear puts on your speed. I’m not sure you’d really want to be going too much faster, though, with all that extra momentum, not unless you’ve got really good brakes.