Posted on

Beijing bicycling

Three Chinese men repairing Tom's bicycle wheelHere’s Tom’s story of a bicycle accident in Beijing, with photo at left of the repair crew straightening out the damaged wheel. He writes:

“Cycling south after picking up the spare apartment keys from the landlord, I pull up to an intersection, coasting to a stop, and a scooter smashes into the side of my bike at full speed. I only have time to glimpse him before CRASH. I stagger to my right a few feet, maintaining my balance (thank you, ballet lessons!) and and pick up my bike from under me. The pedal is twisted into the other guy’s tyre, but that’s not the worst: the rear wheel is at first glance a total loss. It’s barely able to turn, and grinds in its mudguard.

“The other guy scowls and rides off, his bike apparently fine. I would figure he’s in the wrong considering I was in his field of view wheraes he came at my from a 95 degree angle behind, and to my left (the same angle as my car crash in ’07!). I get up, dust myself off, and look at the bike. The wheel is awful looking, but the bike is walkable. The prints of the other guy’s tyre are all along the lower spar of the bike’s larger triangle, inches from my foot. If he had hit it, I would probably not be walking right now. Small graces.

“I spent 45 minutes continuing to walk, because I was not that far from where Mark bought the bike. But in the meantime the store had changed to a domestic Chinese brand and couldn’t help me. I started the probably hour and a half walk back to my apartment, but then I saw a street-side bike repairman. He spent 45 minutes hammering, screwing, and banging the wheel into shape. Rideable! Fixed! With only a slight wiggle in the back wheel. I attach a picture of the repairman’s expert machinations.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *