Two wheels two hundred years on the Rhine to trace the journey of human cycling

- May 07, 2019-

When you met veteran curator Thomas kosch at the mannheim museum, he was busy planning to convert some of the temporary bikes into permanent exhibits."This exhibition exceeded everyone's expectations."We had no idea that the exhibition would get so much media exposure.

About the original intention of the exhibition, kosch said, on the one hand, it is to let more people know the history of the invention of bicycle by baron dreyth in mannheim.On the other hand, they want to convey the idea that bicycles have long-term value in the future.

"One day, the development of cars in big cities will come to an end because of the shortage of parking Spaces, air pollution and even the exhaustion of fossil fuels.Bicycles are the most energy efficient means of transportation, and there is no more practical and simple way to get around.He said.

In kosch's opinion, bicycles have left a deep imprint on the development process of Germany, Europe and even the whole world. People, society and bicycles have grown together.

In Germany and across Europe, kosch said, bicycles were initially a plaything for the rich, especially before the 1890s.It wasn't until 1895 that the bicycle developed into what it is today, and in the west it entered mass industrial production, "affordable for workers as prices fell."

In the 1920s, bicycles became the most popular means of transportation in Germany. Almost everyone rode a bicycle."There may have been only one or two cars at the intersection, but there were dozens of bicycles, just like the scene in Shanghai and Beijing decades ago."He said.

But in the 1950s, Germany entered the motorcycle era, and people began to enjoy riding motorcycles and driving cars.Bicycles disappeared almost overnight, with only the young, the poor and the unlicensed.That process continued for a long time, kosch said, until the bicycle returned to German life, but then it became a largely recreational tool.


【China story】

Compared with the west, the development of bicycle in China started late, in the hearts of many people also have a difficult to give up complex.Kosch had heard about this and sought help from the Shanghai science and technology museum to get a phoenix bicycle from a Chinese friend.The Chinese friend told kosch that getting such a bike in the 1970s was not easy and he was especially proud.The satisfaction was comparable to earning money to buy a santana.

Kosch told reporters that during the exhibition, the phoenix bike and the Chinese story behind it attracted many German visitors.

Kosch also noted the rapid development of Shared bikes in China and was impressed by the booming market for Shared bikes.He believes this is the right direction for the development of bicycles as a means of urban transportation in the future.

Less than half a year after the exhibition, Chinese bike-sharing enterprises entered Germany.Mobike announced the launch of 700 Shared bikes in Berlin on November 21, adding a Shared cycling experience to the bike-loving nation.

The association and fun of bicycles between China and Germany can be traced back over a hundred years.Bicycle was introduced into China in the late qing dynasty, when the name has not been unified, people call it "rotation car" "bicycle" "free car"...

This imported product is the representative of "fashion" in people's eyes at that time.German-made bicycles were then exported to China, as evidenced by the German "blue label" that is now prized by Chinese bicycle collectors.

"Blue card" is the people to the common name of Germany's bicycle brand "diamond", there are vast blue because of the metal plate covering the name, there is also a collection that "blue card" refers to the Brandenburg, Germany "brenner Bohr" factory production bike, the nameplate for the same blue, just after the second world war factory was damaged, unable to track the textual research.

When German media reported China more than ten years ago, there was no lack of biased views. They often quoted a pop song lyrics "Beijing has 9 million bicycles", which extended meaning that China has a large population, private cars have not yet been popularized, and travel depends on a large number of bicycles.

With the strengthening of people's awareness of environmental protection and fitness, "two-wheeled" travel has become popular again. People who ride bicycles are able to play and are healthy.As a result, "nine million bicycles" has been mentioned less and less by the German media.

More recently, the German press has been reporting on Chinese bike-sharing.An image of a Shared bike in hangzhou was published on the website of le monde earlier this year.Image caption referring to China's efforts to promote green travel: "" legend has it that Beijing has 9 million bicycles.In the photo, there are 20,000 bikes for rental in hangzhou.