Friday, October 14, 2011

Bikes, cycles, and automobiles

DSC06696 Stitch

China moves with a greater variety of vehicles than anywhere else I’ve been.   While subways and airports (left and right, below)  are modern and crowded (just like major cities worldwide), people generally make their way on more placid and personal conveyances for surface travel.


A lot of folks ride bicycles, similar to the Netherlands.  There are designated lanes, but they often abut busy streets and occasionally vanish along major thoroughfares. Still, on a quieter road (or along a city wall), it’s a pleasant (if rattling) ride.


Most working bicycles are three-wheeled, like the Dutch Bakfiets (left) but with the load in the back and lots more space and versatility.  Often, they serve as both haulage and storefront for vendors.



Another step up adds a motor, generally electric.  Motorbikes are the biggest hazard going on Chinese streets: they are dead silent, douse their lights after sundown, and obey no line or law.  Check the baby in the center position in the lower picture.


Cars and busses occupy the top of the food chain on Chinese streets.  They are large, late model, impeccably maintained.  Trucks, in contrast, are large, ramshackle, and occasionally missing front cowling (maybe it keeps the engine cooler.   

And, when everything plays together, the symphony looks like this (there are corpuscular flow groups who spend a lifetime modeling veins that come together like this).  I especially like the lone policeman trying to whip things into order off to the right.

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