In Defence of SkyCycle

Soaring above the city on a bike: you can’t deny it would be a cool way to get around. One of the greatest pleasures of urban transport is being the passenger in a car travelling along an elevated highway — being immersed in the city yet removed from it, revealing a perspective inaccessible to you […]

Montreal by Bike

My love affair with Bixi remains undiminished. This despite the wear-and-tear its popularity has caused — I have been left frustrated by broken docks and bikes on more than a couple of occasions — and the fact that accessibility on the fringes of its service areas is a bit spotty. (It’s no fun to bike […]

Portraits of Beijing Cyclists

Beijing’s rate of cycling has dropped dramatically over the past two decades, as the economy has developed and more people buy cars. As a result, the city is mired in horrendous gridlock and some of the worst air pollution on earth. But cycling is still an important mode of transport in China’s capital; according to […]

On the Waterfront: Kwun Tong, Ma On Shan

Second in a series of three posts about Hong Kong’s waterfront. Read the first post here. The Kwun Tong promenade opened last year on an industrial stretch of waterfront facing the runway of the old Kai Tak Airport. It’s very short — just 200 metres — but the plan is to continue expanding it until […]

Posted in: Architecture, Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on On the Waterfront: Kwun Tong, Ma On Shan , , , , , ,

Hong Kong’s Bicycle Graveyards

Bicycle dump. Photo by Dickson Lee for the SCMP Sai Kung’s bicycle graveyard is back and bigger than ever. Last Wednesday, dozens of bikes were seen piled atop one another on a stretch of government land in the suburban Hong Kong district. It’s a symptom of a wider problem – an acute shortage of bicycle […]

A Place for Bikes in the Heart of Hong Kong?

Imagine it’s a beautiful autumn day in Hong Kong. The summer’s humidity has vanished and you’re out enjoying the fine weather, bicycling along Victoria Harbour. You pass the Star Ferry pier, the new government headquarters at Tamar, then Victoria Park, all the while gazing out at the jade green water. That was the vision presented […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Public Space, Society and Culture, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on A Place for Bikes in the Heart of Hong Kong? , , , , , ,

How to Bike Around Montreal in 1897

The modern bicycle was invented in the 1860s, but it wasn’t until the “safety bicycle” was introduced in the 1890s that cycling really caught on. The new bikes featured chain-drive transmission, pneumatic tires, a metal frame and two small wheels of equal size; they were exponentially more comfortable than the bulky, bone-shaking dandy horses and […]

Posted in: Canada, Public Space, Society and Culture, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on How to Bike Around Montreal in 1897 , , , , , ,

Tokyo Bicycles in Twelve Frames

Photos of Tokyo cyclists taken in March 2011.

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Public Space, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Tokyo Bicycles in Twelve Frames , , , ,

Summer Streets

Ste. Catherine Street. Photo by Kate McDonnell Two years ago, when Ste. Catherine Street in the Gay Village was pedestrianized for the summer, it was organized like a festival, with a corporate monopoly on outdoor beer sales and over-the-top decoration (and not in a fabulous way, just in a tacky commercial one). Even worse, the […]

Rush Hour in Utrecht

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlQYP4WN-5w[/youtube] Morning rush hour in Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, and there’s no traffic jams — just bikes. Lots of bikes. Like most Dutch cities, bicycles enjoy pride of place in Utrecht, where they are used for roughly one-third of all trips made each day. What impresses me most about this video […]

Posted in: Europe, Public Space, Transportation, Video by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Rush Hour in Utrecht , , , ,

Dear Hong Kong: Why I Love Bixi

The following essay appears in the August 2010 issue of Muse, a Hong Kong arts and culture magazine. I still remember bicycling up Mount Royal. It was a warm summer night and there were five of us riding through the streets of Montreal, looking for something to do. Somebody suggested heading up the mountain that […]

Hong Kong: Plenty of Bikes, Nowhere to Park

On an abandoned stretch of road in Sai Kung, a row of lumpy objects covered by a blue-and-white tarp looks alarmingly like a pile of bodies. A closer investigation reveals a graveyard of a different sort: hundreds of bicycles confiscated by the government. Last year, 10,846 bicycles were removed from sidewalk railings, lampposts and other […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Public Space, Society and Culture, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hong Kong: Plenty of Bikes, Nowhere to Park , , ,

Cyclists Fight for a Place in Hong Kong

Martin Turner has a way of getting to work that is faster than the MTR and much cheaper than a taxi: he rides a bike. For most of his ten years working at a marketing firm in Wan Chai, Turner has commuted from his North Point home by bicycle. “It takes about 15 minutes door […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Public Space, Society and Culture, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Cyclists Fight for a Place in Hong Kong , , , , , ,

Follow the Sharrows

A couple of days ago, Dale Duncan wrote on Spacing Toronto about sharrows, or shared road arrows, a new type of cycling-related road marking that is slowly becoming popular across North America. When I saw what they looked like — a bicycle symbol topped by two chevrons — I realized that Montreal has been using […]