Ok, this is it for the daily bike of the day updates, I will still update the blog regularly, but perhaps not daily and not with exclusively chinese bikes...
I spent hours in ChengDu riding to every bike shop looking for real deal chinese bells. It took a few days but I ammassed 10 or so at a price of 6-10 yuan each (75cents to a buck 25). They are chrome, beautiful and loud. If you do not tighten the two halves against each other, they fall off while riding to hilarious effect. You usually can find these in the us for $5 to $10 bucks at Restoration Hardware and the like, but it was fun to get them at the source. If I remember correctly the "word" for bells in chinese was the onomatopoeic "durn-durn" or some such.
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Another fun souveneir, were these terrible reproductions of old chinese advertising. The cigarette ads with the very made up chinese cuties were the most common, but after tons of searching I found this little gem:
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Yes her shirt is nearly exploded open, no I never saw anyone dressed like that on a bike.
Ok, hope you enjoyed the series. I will try to dig up some photos from France, England, Egypt and Turkey over the next few months. Stay tuned.
I will probably be giving a travel talk slideshow on Chinese bikes, based on this Chinese bike of the day series, on August 5th, 2006 at the Travelbug in Santa Fe, NM. If anyone is in the area and would like to see it, let me know and I will give you details when they are firm. I would like to have a nice chinese bike with me at the show. If anyone has a Flying Pigeon, Forever, or other traditional chinese bike they would like to let me borrow/buy let me know as well...