Cycling, is it the square dance of Beijing middle class?

In July, it rained heavily during the morning rush hour in Beijing.

I watched the three digit taxi software in my mobile phone on the roadside, and the bus and subway arrogantly handling pedestrians in the rain.

People wearing masks and their umbrellas crowded together.

The air was muddy and the speed was slow.

This kind of operation mode, which was surrounded by “big machines”, made people desperate.

I turned to my bike without hesitation, even though it was raining heavily.

Bicycle is a rare light of freedom for modern people living in cities.


Cycling is the boutique coffee of 2022.

When cycling enthusiasts began to appear sporadically on the streets of Beijing, the punch in photos of Shanghai netizens riding Brompton on the zebra crossing on Yongkang road have filled the network.

The rhythm of cycling in the two cities is surprisingly similar to that of boutique coffee.

Back to the original appearance of riding, it was actually the label of the middle class in the 19th century.

The high price, the perfect combination of machinery and manpower, replaced the bicycle of horses.

At the beginning, it was called “mechanical horse” and “wire donkey”.

It was more obedient than horses, and there was no pollution of horse dung to urban space.

This is one of the most identity flaunting pastimes of the middle class in the late 19th century.

After 1890, bicycles were produced on a large scale, and the cost of cars fell, making bicycles gradually become the new favorite of the working class and no longer the heart of the rich.

Now, driven by environmental protection and fitness enthusiasts, bicycles have returned to the core position of urban transportation, but cycling is no longer a simple and practical function, but an exquisite urban middle class has established its own cycling circle with prices and brands.

Sociologist philippegaboriau divided French bicycles into three eras, namely, the era of petty bourgeoisie, the era of the masses and the era of environmental protection.

As a means of transportation, the most basic functional attribute of bicycle itself is riding; As a consumer product existing under the popularity of commodity fetishism, the brand, metal materials, accessories and appearance of bicycles have become signs of the identity of cyclists.

It can be said that the high premium of urban bicycles now lies not only in how rare the materials used and how superb the technology is, but also in the various cultural attributes and symbolic meanings artificially attached to bicycles.

Bike sharing before this wave of cycling is like the stage dominated by the chain of Italian coffee shops all over the street.

It is easy to use and rescue, but the taste can’t be too extravagant.

The cycling circle after the epidemic was quickly surrounded by the equipment Party, just like the hand washing enthusiasts who went crazy at that time, they wanted to include every kind of filter bowl, scale and grinder into the exquisite chain of contempt.

As an essential refreshing drink for 996 migrant workers, coffee has evolved into the most economical export for ordinary office workers to express their personal taste.

Hand rush is like a free riding bike.

How to upgrade the equipment of novice to expert, how to wear it, and how to ride has become the traffic code.

In those days, the coffee shop represented by Starbucks was the third space of the city, where people were passionate about entrepreneurship, meeting VC and talking about financing.

Now, the third space has changed to the wheel of the bike.

Spending tens of thousands on the bike is to enter the cycling club and chat with the boss.

Cyclists who strive to pedal to create a beautiful and healthy city image do not know that they have become the background of the next round of investment.

Riding is a prop for street photography in Shanghai, and a weight for entering the circle in Beijing.


Cycling, is it the square dance of Beijing middle class? Without praise or criticism, Beijing’s neatly dressed cycling teams are no different from square dancing.

After all, it is also a group of people who socialize in the name of health, who roar past in groups and like to occupy public space in the evening.

These points really coincide with square dance.

For the post-50s generation, the fiery square dance can help them recall the taste of that neat and uniform era.

It is a seamless activity that integrates the musical aesthetics of that era with the three outlooks.

Undoubtedly, bicycles are not the love of this generation, but at best a tool for remembering bitterness and sweetness.

Only driving a big car can they be regarded as successful people.

In the eyes of young people who have not suffered, spending tens of thousands on bicycles is the best way to break the black four sided box of cars.

Like Robert M Bossig’s dialogue in Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance: “this is the most difficult to shoot in the world.

You need a 360 degree wide-angle lens.

You look at such a landscape, and then look at the grass on the ground.

Everything is wonderful.

But once you frame it, the beauty disappears.” I said, “I think this is what you can’t see in the car!” Robert believes that “Sitting in a car, you are always confined to a small space, because you are used to it.

You don’t realize that watching the scenery from the window is similar to watching TV.

You are just a passive audience, and the scenery can only fly past you in a frame.

While riding on a motorcycle, the frame disappears.

You are closely integrated with nature.

You are in the scene, not the audience, and you can feel it That kind of immersive shock.

There is a real cement road galloping by under your feet, which is no different from the land you have passed.

It lies there firmly.

Although it looks fuzzy because of the fast speed, you can stop at any time and feel its existence in time, so that the sense of sureness is deeply imprinted in your mind.

” No longer jam on the Third Ring Road with the sea of cars in Wuyang, no longer think about oil prices behind the red buttocks, directly hit the sunshine, breeze, shade and flowers and plants scattered all over the streets in different seasons, dopamine is secreted madly, which is a part of the enjoyment of riding a bike at will..