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Is China falling out of love with cars?

Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 at 10:51 am

After being known as a city where bicycles ruled the streets, in recent years China has become the leading automobile market in the world. Unfortunately, they’re so excited about cars that major cities are choked with congestion. Now the word on the street is that they’re finally starting to slow down on their car buying binge.

On that note, a reader sent along this amazing opinion piece from the editor of China Car Times. He’s giving up on driving because he writes, “I can’t go anywhere fast and the only thing that seems to be going fast is my heart beat and my hair line as I rage a little bit more about being stuck in yet another traffic jam.” Instead, he plans to buy a fixed gear bike.

Here’s another excerpt:

“Over the past few months I’ve thought long and hard about buying a new car, but I don’t think it’s going to happen, my next vehicle is going to be a two wheeled fixed gear bicycle, which should prove to be much faster around town, at least until it is stolen.

I’m not sure what exactly is wrong, perhaps it is me (I recently edged another birthday closer to 30) or perhaps the number of cars on Chinese roads is reaching breaking point.”

Read the full article here.

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I would never ride a bike in China. The whole country bought cars a few years ago, and still they haven’t bothered to learn to drive. I cannot describe the sheer terror I experience every second I’m on the roads here (presently in Shenzhen on business) and I’m generally a fearless rider.