Bicycles have served China for decades in all manner of ways. In Shanghai sadly the car is replacing the bicycle as the main means of getting around. Now as people aspire to Western values, bicycle riding is perceived as transport for the impoverished classes and something that one should not undertake or aspire to. Some streets are now closed to bicycles and bike lanes are places for cars to park. What this means is that now in Shanghai, a city that has amazing bicycle infrastructure, it is difficult and dangerous to ride in its main streets.
Therefore bike riders, rickshaws and even scooters all ride together in a pack. The pack has to be large…larger than a car… the larger the better! A pack forms spontaneously by strangers on wheels moving at the same speed. Cars run red lights, pull out, cut across lanes, stop suddenly…drive on the wrong side of the road. You have to work together. You have to move as one to make it through the intersections… to reach your destination!