My Obsession With Bikes

Years ago, I was visiting my grandparents in Hong Kong. During a lazy afternoon, tired of couch surfing through the same four channels of chinese soap operas, I decided to try some of the pirated dvds lying around the house. I came across Augustin: Roi du Kung Fu (Augustin, King of Kung Fu) and absolutely fell in love with it. The story is quirky, endearing, heartbreaking, and uplifting. At that time, I was not at all interested in cycling, nor had I entered architecture school yet. But even then, I was mesmerized by the way Augustin navigated the city on bike – in day, night, rain, shine; in central paris, chinatown, industrial terrain vague; effortlessly negotiating sidewalks, doorways, crowds, even an escalator! The bike was an extension of his body – and always in balance.

Sadly, during a move, the dvd got lost. In every vidoeshop and library I pass, I try to see if its available. And just today, I finally located a clip of it online! Not exactly the best quality, but satisfies a momentary fix while I wait for my online purchase to arrive. [am unable to embed it… and hopefully the owner doesn’t delete it]

(and if you have just returned from watching the clip: isn’t it fantastic? First, who doesn’t love a bearded asian kung fu master speaking perfect french? or Augustin’s graceful awkwardness??)

still to see: other films with bikes

It is only mid september, but I am already looking forward to the cold. Not COLD cold, just thick sweater and hot chocolate cold. This anticipation necessitates my consideration of bicycling safety. Am I good enough to be a winter cyclist? Actually, forget winter cycling, right now the roads near my neighbourhood are still covered in the remnants of last week’s storm. Its time to learn how to fix a tire, get a basic bicycle kit, and make a lovely pannier later on.


Am trading in my clunker for a lighter (and hopefully just as durable) model! Am excited – hope it works out with the seller. And hopefully this means I can climb hills like a normal person. I may be able to double my travel radius. Maybe even rise to the challenge of crossing the manhattan bridge and biking along the east river bikeway ….

Its just too bad that new york hasn’t implemented the bike lift.

I wonder how much snow technology like this can adapt to. The design is so simple! If implemented, each base could be a social hub – offer free cycling repair tools, water fountains, bike parking, etc. Its strange that I never encountered this technology in any of urban design competition entries. Maybe it just doesn’t look safe?! Or maybe the norwegians are too modest??


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