Happy World Bicycle Day! 世界自行车日快乐！
Acknowledging the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation, fostering environmental stewardship and health, the General Assembly decided to declare 3 June World Bicycle Day.The UN
Do you have a bicycle? What do you use it for? Read the story shared by Haiying LIANG (梁海映), a Queen’s graduate, from Beijing recently.
In Beijing, you can always see people riding bicycles of various colours on streets, which has become beautiful scenery in the city. These colourful vehicles are a type of newly emerged business known as shared bicycle service that has become one of the important aspects of daily life for many people in Beijing, as well as in many other places in China.
Shared bicycles also play an important role in my daily life. While conducting field work in Beijing for my doctoral research, I also take a research assistant intern at Tsinghua University. Its campus is so large that it takes over half an hour for me to walk from the office building to my favourite cafeteria. You may imagine that without a bicycle, I would have spent about two hours for a meal. So I really think that a bicycle does a great help as I can ride whenever I want. Moreover, unlike finding a car park, I can leave the bicycle at the designated parking area nearby, which makes my travel very flexible.
Shared bicycles are indeed a very convenient means of transport in densely populated places where traffic jams are not uncommon and finding a car park is far from easy. In addition, they are not only environmentally friendly, compared with cars, but also very economic – the price of a 30-minute ride is only one-tenth of the price of a single bus ticket in London – which is 1.5 yuan (about 0.15 pound), as this screenshot of the App shows.
Despite the great advantages, the lack of designated parking area for shared bicycles can also cause the problem of occupying space such as pavements and lanes. As shown in the photo, the intensively parked bicycles have caused traffic congestion and inconvenience for people who are walking on this road. When building the roads and pavements decades ago, engineers didn’t expect that there would be so many shared bicycles in the near future. Therefore, in the new urban planning, the parking sites for shared bicycles should be well planned, and roads and bicycle lanes can be expanded to accommodate more vehicles that may appear in the future.
Did you know that in Belfast there are shared bicycles as well? Have you ever used them? Share with us your experience in the comment box below.
Useful vocabulary and expressions in Chinese
- 世界 shìjiè – world
- 自行车 zìxíngchē – bicyble, bike; 自 zì – self, 行 xíng – moving, 车 chē – vehicle
- 单车 dānchē – bicycle, bike; 单 dān – single (person)
- 共享 gòngxiǎng – shared; 共 gòng – together, 享 xiǎng – to share
- 停车场 tíngchē chǎng – (car/bike) park; 停 tíng – to stop, to halt; 场 chǎng – an open space, field, market, etc.
- 收费 shōufèi – to charge; 收 shōu – to receive, to collect; 费 fèi – fee
- 便宜 piányi – cheap
- 方便 fāngbiàn – convenient