Related News

Home » Feature

Peddlers promote healthy, low-carbon living

TWELVE cyclists from around China will set off from Beijing tomorrow on a 50-day, 4,366-kilometer journey to promote cycling, not driving, for healthy living and environmental protection.

The bikers, all volunteers and enthusiasts, will travel through Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong and Jiangsu provinces, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Fujian provinces, ending in Shenzhen in Guangdong.

At each stage they will ride with local cycling fans and take part in green-life promotion activities, such as getting residents to sign pledges and petitions for environmental protection.

"We will show people that cycling is not simply for transport, but also a lifestyle and an attitude toward the environment," says Ma Zhongchao, president of the China Bicycle Association, a major organizer of the tour.

China was once called the kingdom of bicycles, but with rapid economic expansion many Chinese have given up two-wheeled transport in favor of cars. Urban planners make way for cars and eliminate bike lanes.

People can make better choices, says Ma. High auto emissions and too much sitting are robbing people of their health. Reviving cycling can help because it means zero emissions, more physical exercise and improves people's spirits.

"Some Chinese today recognize the problem and change to cycling when they care for health and environmental concerns," says Ma.

The 12 volunteers were selected from among hundreds of applicants. Long-distance experience, strength and endurance were criteria. Four women were selected.

Huang Yan, a 28-year-old office worker in Chongqing, is one of the riders. Though she rode a bike when she was a child, she abandoned two wheels long ago and only resumed riding three years ago.

She used to be active in college athletics, but ended up sitting in front of computers after graduation.

"My physical condition declined quickly within two years and I easily caught cold - that rarely happened when I was exercising," says Huang.

When she happened to see a bunch of riders in 2007, she decided to make a change. Now she rides everywhere she can, cycling to work unless it rains and going for rides at night, just as people go out for evening strolls.

She joined a cycling club for night ride visits to nearby towns.

"You can stop and enjoy the view whenever you want," says Huang, "and you can find amazing views in places buses cannot travel."

Huang asked for a two-month leave from her company to go on the bike odyssey - her biggest challenge since she previously had only taken trips of up to 100 kilometers. But she's confident because of her past experience and because she has gotten back in shape.

Another rider is Chen Shuhua, a 59-year-old retired worker in Dalian, Liaoning Province.

He has been riding once or twice a week since he joined the Dalian Seniors Cycling Team in 2007. Every Tuesday and Thursday they bike to nearby towns and every two weeks they take longer trips.

His longest journey was a one-month ride from Dalian to Shaanxi Province, covering more than 4,000 kilometers.

Chen qualified for the 50-day tour by passing a three-day competition for both strength and riding skill. He practiced a lot in advance to ensure he was in good form.

He's excited at the prospect of cycling in Shanghai at the World Expo site, where the motto is "Better City, Better Life."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend