Blue Sky Beijing
by Byron on Apr 22, 2007 at 7:13 AM
The blue sky in the background of this photo was a rare site in Beijing. We were lucky to see it and the next day the pollution returned to normal oppressive levels. What I mistakenly thought was morning fog for a few moments, when I first arrived, was instead a gray smog that envelopes the city usually every day.
It’s tough not to be cynical on Earth Day after seeing that level of pollution and reading that Beijing is on track to become the top carbon emitter. While Oprah teaches her audience how to be green, eco-socialites throw parties, and Cheryl Crow urges us to spare a square, the “latest data shows China is building a coal-fired power plant every four days.” The IOC’s confidence in China’s ability to clean up the air for the Olympics is laughable. I was having problems just riding a folding bike around and expect that Olympic performance scientists will focus on breakthrough exercise-induced asthma drugs in Beijing.
Of course, Bike Hugger will do our part to promote cycling and bike culture (May is National Bike Month), but with a new realization and appreciation of how perilous global warming is. China has promised to focus on pollution and the poor. We can only hope that’s true.
Olympic progress report video
by Byron on Apr 20, 2007 at 1:36 PM
In this video clip, Bryan and I observe the Olympic progress. You can also see that we’re having a good time. Learn more about Beijing, the Olympics, and how they’re going to get that done in my post on Textura Design.
At the Apple Store (Portland)
by Byron on Apr 19, 2007 at 10:01 AM
Ok, wow, Scott (our design and brand manager) sent a Publish and Prosper book sighting note and hey it’s in the Apple Store – down there in the right color, green jacket. Awesome.
Byron’s book at the Apple Store (Portland)
Originally uploaded by benishs.
by Byron on Apr 17, 2007 at 11:28 PM
This gentleman administers the curbside service center near our hotel. He was nice enough to pose for a photo and proudly displayed his Chairman Mao pin. I expect the Olympics tourist will love him. He refused my offer of a tip for the photo and barked some orders at a mechanic before I left.
17 flavors of Diesel fumes
by Bryan Rhoads on Apr 17, 2007 at 11:18 PM
Biking through the streets of Beijing offers a myriad of sights… and industrial smells. It ranges from light sweet crude to Kuwaiti sensimilia to high-sulphur coal w/ a hint of turpentine… The more exotic, the more we cracked up at the insanity of it all.
Beijing is a spectrum of activities. Bikes carrying buckets of meat and buckets of tar to baby bakchoy.
We’ve made it out on the bike everyday we’ve been here. Biked at least 10 miles yesterday through heavy rush-hour bike traffic to the Pearl Market (which has everything in the World for 2 dollars). Trying to head out later today to the Lotus Market which is a little closer.
Heaviest bike traffic I’ve ever been in… even more than Amsterdam. We just have jumped in and followed the crowds…
by Byron on Apr 17, 2007 at 11:13 PM
Beijing has bike parking lots near the massive malls. That’s the attendant having lunch.
Beijing by Bike Video
by Byron on Apr 17, 2007 at 4:03 AM
In this clip near the Olympic Park, I blurt out “Beijing” while Bryan rides on past …
David Byrne’s Bike Stolen
by Byron on Apr 17, 2007 at 3:52 AM
Clarence from StreetFilms wrote to tell us that David Byrne just had his bicycle stolen! See Byrne on StreetFilms and Jason’s post on a chance encounter with him at SXSW.
Curbside Service in Beijing
by Byron on Apr 16, 2007 at 7:07 PM
Every few blocks in Beijing, there are curbside mechanics that fix bikes as cyclists ride up. The mechanics have tubes, pumps, wrenches and more. At some of the stops, cyclists socialize and hang out. I stopped and filled up my rear tire on the folding bike and said hello. The mechanic and his buddies didn’t speak english, but nodded and smiled just the same and gave us happy thumbs up.
Beijing by Bike
by Byron on Apr 15, 2007 at 5:22 PM
Bikes as transportation in a city of millions. We rode from the hotel to the Forbidden City and just got into the “flow” of bike traffic and followed it through perilous intersections, traffic circles, and more. I was the only one in all of China wearing a helmet. The safety zone between bikes and other vehicles of all types doesn’t exist, everyone is close to everyone and everything else and it’s best to just roll with it, finding your way.
See more in the Bike Hugger photostream.
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