Life on Two Wheels
Back then bicycles were rare, only those with power and money could buy one. With the establishment of the People's Republic of China and the setup of state-owned bicycle factories around China, the Chinese people showed great enthusiasm for the new traffic tool. Through the entire 1960s and 70s, the bicycle remained a difficult industrial products to acquire and it was considered a household luxury. During this period the sewing machine, watch and
bicycle were regarded as the three most important and valuable assets that a family could own.
Interview a client:
It was very hard to buy a bicycle at the time, because China was a state- planned economy. We needed a purchasing ticket to buy a bicycle but it was not easy to get one. A certain number of employees were required to give blood and those employees who donated blood were given a ticket and it was with one of those tickets that I bought my first bicycle.
It was not only hard to get a bicycle but the price of a bicycle is very expensive and to many common families, it was a big decision for them to buy a bicycle.
Interview a Shanghai citizen:
When I was about 20, I bought my first bicycle. At the time, a bicycle cost about 170 or 180 yuan, and my monthly salary was just a little bit over 30 yuan. To buy a bicycle, I needed to save money for a whole year.
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