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Quick Update From China

James’ fixed gear bike in China – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Wow. It has been an inexcusable amount of time since I last wrote an article on here. For the past two and a half months I have been living overseas in the southern most part of China (Hainan Island). I ...

The Urban Country Is Back… 5

Toronto Islands Cargo Biking – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country  Well, we’re back. It wasn’t intentional, but I ended up taking a month-long break from blogging. I wish I could say that I took a month off to volunteer in a developing country and change the world, but my excuse is much ...

Copenhagen Bike & Breakfast 1

Cargo bike sofa – Photo by Mikael Colville-Andersen for Airbnb listing  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to travel to your favourite cities around the world and to stay in a reasonably-priced flat in the heart of the city and have bicycles readily available to tour around town? Add to that, a friendly and passionate host who ...

How Rotterdam Crowdfunded a Bridge 2

Prior to World War II, the Hofplein area in the centre of Rotterdam was a lively, bustling gathering place where pedestrians were king, and cars were secondary. Just as we have seen in many North American cities, a highway was built after the war that divided central Rotterdam from Hofplein, and pedestrians became an afterthought ...

Help Todd Find a Tandem Bicycle 1

Photo of Todd and Daegan with their tandem bicycle in 2012 – Photo from 500 Kindnesses Blog Last year, our friend Todd O’Reilly pedalled 1,500km with his 13-year-old son Daegan in a 25-day charity ride, from Toronto to Ottawa, to Montreal and then ending in New York City. But instead of asking for donations for ...

In Memory of Mary Thompson & Peter Root 5

Peter Root and Mary Thompson in an undated photo (Photo courtesy of Jerry Root) Last week we covered the sad story about British Bicycle Bloggers Mary Thompson and Peter Root, who were tragically killed in Thailand after bicycling around the world since July 2011. I didn’t personally know Mary or Peter, but their untimely deaths ...

British Bicycle Bloggers On World Journey Killed in Thailand 23

Two On Four Wheels blog photos from world journey – Courtesy of Two On Four Wheels In a tragic end to their fascinating bicycle odyssey around the world, Peter Root and Mary Thompson from the “Two On Four Wheels” bicycle blog were killed in Thailand Wednesday after being struck by a pickup truck. Root and ...

19-Car Pileup Caught on Camera 2

19-car pileup in China – photo snapshot from YouTube video  A 19-car-pileup that happened on February 7th was caught on camera in Wuxi, Jiangsu, China. Scroll to 1:00 to see the cars begin sliding in to each other. Several drivers from the pileup get out of their car and risk their lives to apparently try ...

China Traffic Light Art Installation Confuses Tourists, Journalists

Photo of Chongqing’s traffic signal art installation courtesy of Shanghaiist In Chongqing China, the world’s “most confusing traffic lights” have been baffling tourists and journalists alike. The UK’s Daily Mail reported in May 2012: Motorists in China have been left bemused by this traffic signalling system, where officials installed over 20 sets of lights on ...

Photos: China’s History of Bicycles 3

Beijing’s Changan Street in 1986 – Photo courtesy of Beijing Shots  During the 1960’s and 1970’s, the bicycle was the most popular product in China. Bicycles were often given as wedding gifts, and in 1986, US President George HW Bush received two bicycles as a gift from Beijing. The country was known as “bicycle kingdom” ...