Urban Liveability and the Bicycle

Unfortunately I missed the speech of Shannon Bufton last Sunday. It seemed there was an interesting mix of people that had many questions at the end how the bicycle can improve the living quality in Beijing and how those kind of changes can be achieved. Shannon’s presentation and talk can be found at this link. I like the following quotes he had used:

  • Molly O’Meara, Reinventing Cities for People and the Planet:
    „In an urbanizing world there is an inherent conflict between the automobile and the city. After a point, as their numbers multiply, automobiles provide not mobility but immobility.“
  • Enrique Penalosa  – Urban visionary and former Mayor of Bagota:
    „Anything you do to make a city more friendly to cars makes it less friendly to people.“
  •  Dan Bruden –  US Urban Planner:
    „Cars are happiest when there are no other cars around. People are happiest when there are other people around.“

Just an anecdote from the shop today: I had a Chinese person riding a cheap road bike with upward turned drop handlebar come to the shop. He had heard about fixed gear bikes and was looking for a white bike with some golden parts. He did not mind the idea that you can pick and chose each part separately in my shop. At some point he said it might be better if he can just quickly buy a bike that is already built up. I unformatunately only had 3 of which he liked the yellow one best. I thought he would buy a bike, but then his girlfriend came. She was shocked that he was thinking of buying a bike for around 3000.-RMB. She kept saying that he can buy a bike in any shop for 500.-RMB. He still wanted this bike but she just kept on telling him that it will be stolen and he should buy the same bike in another shop. What does that mean? If you want a fixed gear bike, do not tell your girlfriend to drop by as she might not understand the difference between a shitty mass produced Chinese freewheel bike for 500.-RMB and a nice fixed gear bike from my store. On the positive side: At least I do not have to worry about him turning the drop bars upwards on one of my fixed gear bikes.

Mark came with his cool matt black Fyling Banana bike. I finally took some pictures of it.

2 Responses to “Urban Liveability and the Bicycle”

  1. Michael sagt:

    Hi, Ines

    The store happened in your shop was interesting , yeah if you want a fixed gear bike, do not tell your girlfriend to drop by …ha ha

    I was present at Shannon’s speech, he told me before you were in New York. It was a bit pity not meet u .

    Shannon’s work won the applause of audience, people were interested in asking questions but time is sort. I asked a question what I concern,it’s about the long term plan for stc.

    At last, I hope you can take a look at stc beta website, generally finished recently. We need some articles to display ,but the progress is slow, Shannon is too busy to prepare with the content, that would be great if you and others team members could help…

    Take care !