Notes on international cycling.

I found an interesting article on Fuyu Li, who recently joined Team Discovery, and is the first Chinese road cyclist to be signed to a ProTour team (the highest level of road racing). A pretty good read, and fits in well with all the other social changes that are happening in China; white-collar, middle-class demographic are emerging from within China’s metropoles, and they have money to burn – on new cars, new mortgages, leisure, vacations, luxury items, status. The hugest untapped market in the world, and as scores of 50 lb. Flying Pigeon utility bikes head for the landfill to be replaced by Mercedes-Benz SUV knockoffs that have just rolled off the production line in Nanjing, the way most people see bicycles in China is becoming much like ours – as vehicles for recreation and sport, not a mode of transportation.

Is utilitarian cycling going the way of the Flying Pigeon, being carried off into the land of antiquity and hippies?

PS: On a sort-of related note, I noticed on my ride to work this morning that road workers spraypainted in some rough lines in preparation for a new section of bike lane between Park Rd (just west of Church) and Jarvis. I hate Bloor because the cabs are vicious, especially around these parts. Maybe this will help.

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 29, 2007 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    “Eddy Merckx won 525 races. Lance Armstrong stood atop the Tour de France podium seven times. But a first-year pro named Li Fuyu has 1.3 billion potential fans. Meet the man who might just become the world’s biggest cycling superstar.”

    That’s crazy / awesome… Strange to think of the way China is evolving and how seemingly quickly it’s all happening. I guess I better hurry up and shack up with another Chinese lady before the impending invasion. ;)

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