Giant on the move
“Vicious cycle” of bike thefts
China has appealed to residents to take “green” transport ahead of the Olympics, casting the city’s pledge to provide clean air and unclogged roads as a civic “duty”.
I used to take green transport to work, cycling a round trip of 14 miles five days a week in the cooler months, and three days a week in the summer.
And then, last week, my bike got nicked from inside the Central Academy of Fine Arts. I have lost count, but this was either the sixth or seventh bike my family has had stolen since arriving in Beijing in 2003.
China is home to a world-record 470 million bicycles, but theft is widespread. A common topic of discussion among bike owners is the latest loss, despite chains and padlocks, either in the street or in the lobbies of high-rise apartment blocks.
Selling stolen bicycles is big business in China, prompting buyers to turn to the second-hand market to minimise their loss should their bike be stolen.
“In this vicious cycle, those who steal bicycles and sell them on the black market benefit while urban residents suffer,” the China Daily said in December.
My bike was a red Giant and it got me to work in 35 minutes in peak hours, compared to sometimes double that by car. If anyone thinks they’ve seen it, I’d be grateful if you’d give me a call.
Photo by Reinhard Krause