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Two wheels good: Celebrating the resilience of the humble bike

January 23, 2013 - Jo Lane

WE’VE all heard tales of China’s, and indeed all of Asia’s, rising middle class spending their money on all kinds of things from cars, to luxury foods and travel thanks to their booming economy.

However one of the latest fads has been high end bicycle models. This is probably most surprising as bikes have long been a symbol of the working class in China and the only way of getting around, but today Brompton, Moulton, Gios and other high end bike brands are opening up stores in Beijing and Hong Kong. Not a bad thing considering the smog that has choked Chinese cities in recent weeks.

Some frames being sold cost over USD $30,000 and many are at least $2-3000. Watch the full report here from Reuters.

To celebrate the humble bike in all forms, here are some images of its use around Asia.

Jakarta’s busy streets on Sundays when roads are closed to vehicle traffic, Indonesia. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com
Chickens transported by bicycle through Kolkata’s busy streets, India. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com
A monk takes to his wheels in Muang Sing, Laos. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com
Bicycles are unloaded from a truck in Zuunkhara, Mongolia. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com
Bikes go everywhere in China, even the rivers of Yangshuo. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com
Bicycles in Cambodia. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com
A suitable transport for people of any age, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com
Burma/Myanmar’s cycle rickshaws, Inle Lake. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com
Bicycles are perfect for negotiating China’s narrow streets, Beijing. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com
A becak driver awaiting a fare in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com
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