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My Bike?

Popularity 2Viewed 2057 times 2017-3-19 10:17 |Personal category:life|System category:Life| bike-sharing

My Bike?

 

Last weekend, I was hanging out in the downtown with my friend and sister. We were walking at a public spare when all of a sudden a heated arguing between a student and a middle-aged woman arrested our attention.

 

Out of curiosity, we all stopped to look around and found that they were arguing over an Ofo bike which recently got quite popular in this city along with two other bike-sharing companies including Mo-bike.

 

From what we observed, it seemed that the student saw two unoccupied bikes on the square and decided to peddle one away. But the woman claimed that she was asked to guard the two bikes for her friends and her friends were just away to the toilet. So the woman held the bike handle-bar and refused to let it go. She told the girl loudly that she had to call her friends first to check with them before agreeing to let go of the bike.

 

The student found this absurd and lashed out the woman by saying that "This is absurd. What is wrong with you? This is not a bike personally owned by you. This is supposed to be public facilities. You have absolute no right to keep it." After hearing this, the woman went mad and shouted that she was gonna slap the girl on her face if she talked to her like that ever again. The atmosphere got increasingly tense. Both parties seemed to be determined to win this. The student then apologized to the woman in a not so friendly tone and started trying to talk some sense into her and convinced her to let go of the bike.

 

When all this was happening, nobody seemed to want to intervene during the heat of the moment. In fact, there was a vacant bike lying a few meters away from them. We walked away before witnessing the end of this hassle.

 

While walking, we were discussing who was to blame. I personally understood why the girl was so angry, even though I might not agree with her taking out the anger on the woman in a public place which was only gonna make the woman less willing to budge. My friend and sister seemed to believe the girl should give up arguing with her and simply used the third bike lying around. They reckoned sometimes we simply can't win no matter how reasonable we may sound.

 

Bike-sharing service can   serve people very well considering that the underground system in this city is still under construction, which has to block many roads and worsen the already terrible traffic. So these bikes are welcome to the public considering that it can be very cheap. Furthermore, people are doing exercising while peddling and can do some contribution to environment protection. So this is more like shooting a few birds with one stone.

 

But the new bike-sharing fever is accompanied without problems. For a whole week, I kept seeing a Mo-bike at the front door of my neighbor's flat where it's never supposed to park. It was there every morning when I headed to my workplace and it was still there every night when I went back home. Of course, it may be not the same one.

 

Also, I have heard more than once from friends claiming that they would like to bike a persona lock or just take the bike home  who have been using the bike-sharing service. Apparently, with regard to this newly emergent vehicle, some people still haven't fully realized that it's illegal to do what mentioned above.

 

Of course, the government has realized this and some people have been warned or even suspended from their jobs by violating the rules regarding the use of these bikes. As this is still pretty new, both the public and the companies owning these bikes need time to adjust. But hopefully, more people in the near future will stop treating the public facilities like private possessions.

 

Aside from this problem, I really hope the government can make the roads in cities more bike-friendly. In my personal perspective, it's pretty risky to ride a bike in Chinese cities. Things are probably much better in some metropolises, but here in Changsha I don't really see separated bike lane. Even though some lanes are labeled as bike lane, they are most of the time unfortunately occupied by private vehicles or motorcycles. Having to watch out the traffic from all directions seems to be pretty common in this city. I have become accustomed to being very cautious when walking across a road. Even though there is traffic light everywhere, it's not safe.

 

It would be really nice to see China become a kingdom of bikes again. This will undoubtedly help address the urgent air pollution and meanwhile help improve the public health. But still a lot measures should be taken from both the government and the public before the desirable goals are achieved.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report HailChina! 2017-3-26 10:48
shehemego: At my college, there are two bike-sharing companies under their operations of bike sharings. I can see bike-picking-up workers sometimes drive their e ...
Yeah I do not think I would invest in bike sharing. With better rules I think that bike sharing can be a more valuable social asset helping with transport and pollution reduction and as consumer purchasing power of the Chinese increases larger profit margins will be possible. And yeah there needs to be adequate penalties for abusing the bike sharing system. I read about two Chinese nurses that were jailed in one Chinese city for tampering with share bikes to give them unmetered access and I think this is a bit harsh but appropriate fines could act as suitable deterrent. I wouldnt get hysterical about bike sharing but I think it can work with the right rules and plan.

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    These are the things I have feared that actually happened to me in my life of 66 years.
    1. Getting drafted and sent to Vietnam in 1970.
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    I would never grade your writing as one has done here. Fear is good in certain situlations, you I feel fear the unknown furture like most of us do which is normal.Good thoughts you shared.Thanks

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