One of the newcomers to Shanghai, a land filled to the brim with department stores, is the K11 Art Mall. Same stores, same restaurants, same basic design. But, passing by one afternoon, I noticed something different.
K11 is offering bicycle rentals. Ok, so what? There are bike rentals all over Shanghai. Why is this special? The K11 bike rental is exclusively bamboo. That's right...bamboo bikes! One of the latest trends in bicycle making, bamboo bikes are slowly taking off as a more sustainable alternative to carbon fiber. Because of bamboo's strength, they are also considered much safer and crash resistant.
Bicycle riding, popularized in China, has taken a hit in recent years. Younger Chinese, especially those in large cities, are opting to buy gas-guzzling vehicles over riding a bicycle. Bicycle riding has simply fallen out of favor or stigmatized as something only the lower class do.
By adding a "coolness" factor to bike riding, bamboo bikes can hopefully help to make sustainable transportation popular again. K11 is offering the first step for those that may be interested in trying it out, without having to shell out the cash for a new bike.
"Bamboo bikes can...