In the fall of 1987 I moved to Beijing – yes, that’s right – you read it correctly. I had the good fortune to find my way to China in the early days of its opening to the rest of the world and in a time when Beijing was still heavily navigated by its citizens riding on bikes. Based on what I have read on various statistics web sites, Beijing peaked in bicycle ownership as % of residents moving around by bike in 1986 with that percentage being 63%!
Think of that — 63% of the city’s population using bikes for commute etc. I saw that in 1987 – acquiring a bike was a pinnacle of one’s achievement (when it comes to transportation). Admittedly, car ownership was out of reach for probably 60% of the overall 63% who owned bikes (statistic above), but nevertheless moving around the city then was much, much easier.
When I look at the statistics for road fatalities vs bike ridership, I cannot help but wander – what if China and most of the res of the world got back on bicycles – what will happen….I am thinking – good things will happen – i.e. less accidents, and much healthier population 🙂
The important part to consider is that the bicycle rides will also allow to reduce the impact of fare increase for subway in Beijing. The ticket prices increased from 2RMB to 3RMB minimum and now the prices are dependent on distance traveled.
Of course you would think that the rise in public transport prices will give a boost to Bike Sharing in Beijing – but based on info I found on the web – there are only 22K bikes being deployed in the bike sharing programs in the city.
By the way, if you are visiting Beijing on a leisurely schedule and the weather during your visit is good, you should consider biking around the city. It will save you time and make you a lot more mobile – hence allow you to see more…
Well folks, this is it – now you can leverage Kristin’s tech review channel to get to various reviews of cases for smart devices (iPhones and iPads predominantly). Over the last week or we were able to also get a couple of hands on reviews going on for the bike mounts for the smart gadgets.
I personally find the mounts for iPhone (or Android phones for that matter) on my bike extremely useful and over the last several years have written multiple times about my experiences on the subject. Now you can see the video of how to install / use as well.
Why do I find these mounts so useful? For several reasons:
Allow you to have a good tool for assessing your exercise level
You are not likely to get lost on the trail — YES! believe me, multiple friends have told me they have had experiences where they were disoriented on a remote trail and took some time finding their way back to the car…
You can receive a phone call while biking – I do not recommend it BUT WHAT if there is an emergency….
…I am sure you will find other use cases as well (e.g. listening to music in some cases)
So check out the options I recommend and look for more reviews to come over the weeks ahead.
Earlier in the week I finally upgraded my phone from the very good and solid iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6 Plus. In previous postings on this blog I have described how useful a smart phone – whether iPhone or one with Android – can be in terms of providing a biking computer platform for various navigation and exercise planning applications.
There are multiple options for how one can use the previous generations of iPhone 4, iPhone 5 and even iPhone 6 – here are several that I have tried and/or used on my mountain bikes over the last 4-5 years:
Now my new phone posed a larger (literally) challenge – being the iPhone 6 Plus – its size is pretty amazing when seen on the handlebars of the bike….But for that I will provide you with a better visibility over the next couple of days – we are preparing a through review of the Tigra mountain bike case for the phone.
Today, I tested the setup on my Trek bike and was pleased with the overall stability of the case and phone. HOWEVER, I discovered a nuisance – several of the mountain bike computer applications did not change orientation when I turned the iPhone 90 degrees to be in a landscape format on my handlebars. I rode as usual with the Runtastic Mountain Bike Pro application on and to my surprise it stayed in portrait mode even when I turned the phone 90-degrees to landscape. Needless to say – this turned out to be pretty annoying fast.
Then I tried other apps – and surprisingly all of them – BikeBrain, BikeComputer, Cyclemeter, iBike, TheBike – did not change orientation….Strange! To say the least. iBiker was the only one of the bunch – of the ones I tested – that actually automatically adjusted to landscape mode when I turned the phone to be more aligned with my handlebars.
view of the iBiker Dashboard
So, with that in mind, the quest for the ‘perfect application’ needs to continue – this time with iPhone 6 Plus mounted on a mountain bike handlebars in mind! Wish me luck and drop me a comment if you have a recommendation on a good Bike Computer Application. Thanks in advance!
Sometimes biking (whether on the road or mountain) is full of pleasant surprises. That was my experience on the first Sunday of February 2015 — originally the weekend was supposed to be rainy and cold – and Saturday indeed was (to my disappointment) that way. Too bad the weather forecast folks were right…! But Sunday started in a promising way – by mid-day the sun was out and the temperature was pretty nice. So around 3:30pm we decided to go for a ride in the neighborhood trails…
On the way back a couple of hours later – we were treated to a spectacular sunset – why do I say that? Well, please see the photo gallery below and judge for yourself.
By the way, these photos were taken with an iPhone-5. Just think if I had carried with me (which I never do 🙁 ) my DSLR camera…. Oh, well – one day I will do that as well.
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