Archive for Cycling

Bicycles in Late Qing

A good post on bikes in China: 晚清一辆自行车价格不低于50两银子,七品知县一年俸禄不够

我们国家被称为“自行车王国”,很多人在短途出行时都会选择使用自行车,方便、省时省力。不过,大家可能对自行车在中国出现、兴起的过程不是很了解。我们结合老照片和文字记载,为大家讲述相关历史。

男子与自行车

清朝同治年间,中国人对自行车有了初步的认识。1866年,内务府官员斌椿奉命率团访问欧洲,5月7日一大早,斌椿在巴黎街头看到这样一幕:“街衢游人,有只用两轮,贯以短轴,人坐轴上,足踏机关,轮自转以当车。又有只轮贯轴,两足跨轴端,踏动其机,驰行疾于奔马。”这是有据可查的中国人和自行车的第一次接触。

北京云飞自行车行

此后不久,中国就出现了自行车的身影。

1868年11月24日出版的《上海新报》有一篇文章写道:“兹见上海地方有自行车几辆,”这是自行车传入中国最早的史料证据。

1870年,另一家报纸报道:“自行车上海己多,或双轮或三轮,不用骡马,人坐踏足于版(板),其版(板)动而其轮转,即其车自行。”


北京街景,有人推着自行车走过

当时人们对自行车的叫法很多,除了“自行车”这一名称,还被称为

  • 自转车
  • 单车
  • 脚踏车
  • 踏板车
  • 踏车
  • 足蹈车
  • 钢丝车
  • 洋车
  • 洋马
  • 洋驴

其中,以“脚踏车”和“自行车”两种称呼最为常见。

男子与自行车

晚清没有能力生产自行车及其零部件,主要从英、美、法、德、俄、日等国进口。清朝灭亡10多年之后,我们国家才逐渐开设了生产自行车零部件和整车的工厂。

1905年天津海关职员合影,有人骑车

同治和光绪初年,自行车数量寥寥,均由来华的传教士、商人、使节等自行带入,并非商业行为。光绪中后期,上海口岸有了自行车以货物形式输入的记录,英商怡和、德商禅臣、法商礼康等洋行经营之。

 
上海的人力车与自行车

据记载,1903-1910年,上海一埠共计进口自行车4563辆,总价值172028两海关银,自行车零件总价值达到73155两海关银。推算下来,一辆自行车的进口价大约38两银子,经由销售公司卖给消费者,其价格当不低于50两。

上海,巡捕身后是自行车店铺

不得不说,自行车在晚清属于奢侈品,一般百姓根本买不起。一辆自行车售价50两银子,什么概念呢?我们做个对比,清朝七品知县大人一年的俸禄是45两银子,还买不起一辆自行车。

人们对于自行车这一新鲜事物,无不感到好奇。晚清文人以竹枝词的形式,记录了街头自行车飞驰的情景,如“前后单轮脚踏车,如飞行走爱平沙。朝朝驰骑斜阳里,飒飒声来静不畔”;又如:“前后钩联两铁轮,不须手挽踏芳尘。辘轱捷足趁当道,一蹶还防笑有人。”

(骑自行车的男子。父子与自行车。)

一些照相馆购买自行车作为道具,吸引顾客上门前来拍照,让买不起自行车的人过一把瘾。


缠足女子骑自行车(人工上色)

在自行车普及过程中,争议如影随形。有人认为,骑自行车影响女性健康。1905年,上海《大陆》刊载文章说:“英国妇人,近来多因乘脚踏车,而发之一种病。其病尚无大害,而甚为特别,则足部生疼,其病源因乘脚踏车,辄着底薄踵高之靴,又时由脚踏车跳下之故。”还有人说,骑自行车“碍及将来之怀孕分娩”。当然,这些无稽之谈随着自行车飞入寻常百姓家,已经不攻自破。

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What’s he thinking?

If I were to run a European tour and here is an American who had won my tour 7 times in a row, I sure would welcome him coming out of retirement and compete again.  Right? Besides, the Yankee offers the huge market that other wise might be somewhat closed.

What is Lance Armstrong thinking to return? Winning that 8th title? Without his former team and mates? His stake is high. If he lose, the media and nay sayers would jump on him that since the drug testing is more sophisticated now that he has to ride clean .. .. Or he’s over his prime .. .. I could only think that he loves the sport and also wants to promote his agenda, which he could find any other platform to do so but he chose cycling.

What is Jean-Etienne Amaury thinking by claiming Legstrong had “embarrassed” the tour?  Doesn’t he recognize the fact that it’s Legstrong that attract so many Yankees that other wise wouldn’t even glance at his direction?  I for one, would not if were not for Legstrong.  The sissy Europeans could not keep me in front of TV.  Non of them are even as half good looking as Legstrong.  Thick head.

 

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Lance Armstrong

Why the French love to make themselve so hard to be loved? Lance Legstrong has decided to compete in 2009 of the tour he had won seven consecutive times.The new boss, Jean-Etienne Amaury who became president of the Amaury Sport Organization this week, replacing Patrice Clerc, told French sports newspaper L’Equipe on Saturday, "We can’t say that he has not embarrassed the Tour de France, as he has had a quite a complicated history with it.” And went on to say that “today’s tools in the fight against doping are different”

Why can’t the Frenchy get over with it and admit Lance is the greatest? If anyone who doesn’t know the history, when Lance was diagnosed with cancer, he was riding for a French team, who unceremoniously dropped him. After the cancer, Lance fraught his way not only back to riding, but won that country’s most prestigious title, seven times in seven years. I see sour grapes. Where is the human decency, and the so called old world, oppps .. I meant the Old Europe (that made popular again by Donald Rumsfeld in 2003 ..) charm, generosity and courtesy?

Lance said "The last time I checked I won the tour seven straight years and was never once found to be guilty of doping despite seven years of intense scrutiny,” Armstrong said. “Not to mention that my team of 25 riders over those seven years was also never found to be positive. We won clean and fair."

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Chivalry in cycling

Wow .. Lance Legstrong is going to compete for his 8th in 2009 Tour. He’s one of my favored athletes. I found him to be handsome and inspiring. His stoic look or determination made him all the more appealing. Surprisingly the few comments about his return were rather negative.

I got little inspired and took out my rusty bike for a spin.  Before the summer, I wanted to take it to the shop for maintenance and cleaning.  But never made it.  Have to pump some air into the tires before riding.  Felt so good.  My biking skill is at minimum, given the fact that every Chinese knows how to handle one.  Yishi could knit a scarf while I fumbled with it.  Couple of burly men walked around me when they saw me coming today, 🙂 .. that’s how lousy I’m as a biker.

Always wondered, 1.3b people, not one of them could compete let alone to win the Tour de France ??  China should have asked him to lead or train a Chinese team right after his retirement last year .. ..

I remembered him waited for Ullrich in 2001 (to get back on his bike after a fall ..) and Jan Ullrich waited for Lance in 2003.

“If I would have won this race by taking advantage of someone’s bad luck, then the race was not worth winning.”

Winning the race fair is important. Alberto Contador didn’t in 2010 and took some heat .. well, maybe under different circumstance.

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