Check out these pictures of graveyards for abandoned "bike share" bicycles in China. Writing as an amateur bike mechanic for my family's bicycles, it's just plain sad to see so much wasted. Now writing as a bike enthusiast, I must also note that if I have a choice, that kind of bicycle is not what I want to choose--you're simply too restricted in the number of gears, in the physical dimensions important for comfort, and quite frankly the "step through" design tends to be pretty heavy as well.
What's telling especially, though, is that in a country that half a century ago was seeing tens of millions of people die of hunger in the Cultural Revolution, they are now seeing bicycles being thrown away because they're not worth bringing back to the owners. It even appears that a lot of these bicycles aren't being taken by amateur mechanics like me for someone else to use.
It's a great thing that there is now such abundance in China, but it would be nice if governments would stop pushing these solutions that don't work. We have enough junkyards as it is, don't we?
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