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Faithful Steed: Bicycles in a Chinese Photographer's Memory

by Wang Wenlan

Zhezhutan Falls
The bicycle is an indispensable member of the Chinese family. Almost every Chinese person has a cycle.

Maybe there are more than 400 million bicycles in China, one for every three persons. During rush hour, countless bicycles poru out of hundreds and thousands of small lanes. This flow joins to gether like a series of magnificent dragon formations as they pass through the city.

Zhezhutan Falls
In the midst of it, you feel like you are in a blood vein, beating lively and vigorously. For some, bicycles seem to have their own soul, pulse and breath.

In my childhood, my happiest memory was the sudden moment I gained the ability of riding a bicycle, a feeling beyond description.

At that time, the thing I most desired in the whole world was a bicycle. Riding the first bicycle was an unforgettable experience for all Chinese.

Zhezhutan Falls
With fewer and fewer falls, you would eventually master the loyal friend who accompanied you all the time.

Many children managed to perch on the saddle, although they could not quite reach the pedals. Swaying awkwardly, children undergo a kind of rite of passage from babies to grown-ups by controlling their little vehicles.

Zhezhutan Falls
For me, riding the bicycle is a means of enjoyment. With great ease, I ride the streets and alleys while conducting interviews. I also take photos of bicycles, which carry with them stories of love, family, happiness and sorrowˇ­ˇ­The bicycle rides me as well. Every day after work, I carry it all the way up to my apartment on the fourth floor.

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