China

On Two Wheels

Bicycles are a common sight on China’s roadways. Although increased car ownership and ongoing expansion of public transportation precipitated a decline in bicycle commuting over the last two decades, the bike is making a comeback. Air pollution and standstill traffic in cities have prompted new bike-share programs in more than seventy-three cities. Electric bikes comprise about 20 percent of two-wheel traffic in urban areas.

Washington, D.C., is becoming a cyclist’s city. How does it compare to its Sister City, Beijing? In 2010, 3.1 percent of D.C.'s 604,453 residents were bike commuters, as compared to 16 percent of Beijing’s 19.6 million people.

Bike to the Folklife Festival!
Bike racks are provided throughout the Festival site, including right outside the China program crafts demonstration area.

June 29, 11:30 a.m.
Bike to China
Meet at BicycleSPACE, 1019 Seventh St. NW, (202) 962-0123
A two-hour group bike ride through Washington, D.C., starting through the Chinatown gate and ending at the Folklife Festival.


June 29, 2 p.m.
Screening: Beijing Bicycle
Freer | Sackler Gallery, Meyer Auditorium
A teenager moves from the countryside to Beijing, where he finds work as a bicycle messenger.


Click to enlarge and view captions

Photo by Josh Eli Cogan, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution

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Click to enlarge and view captions