The folding-bicycle club has about 100 members, and all of its members ride folding bicycles to work. On the way, they abstain from smoking and drinking, as they are dangerous for riders and bad for their health. Wary of thieves, they often keep their space-saving folding bicycles in their offices.
Their Web site at www.zdche.com serves as a medium for the members' communications or "chats," with topics including their feelings about riding folding bicycles, information about bicycling equipment and refitting, where to buy novel and quality folding bicycles.
There are member outing on weekends, during which they ride more than 100 kilometres per day. Scenic spots in Huairou District and Miyun County are frequently visited, such as the Huanghuacheng section of the Great Wall. As they have no training tasks as professional athletes, they can ride at any speed in any place at any time.
Xia, a club member, said, "Our exquisite folding bicycles help gather a large group of like-minded friends who want to pursue a fun, relaxing life. And this idea has gradually influenced my parents, friends and even neighbours."
Zhang Jiamin and Long Mao, members of the club, said they bought their bicycles in 2004, with Zhang's DAHON at US$899 and Long's BIRDY at US$938. To equip the bicycle with some mountain bike features, Long spent another US$325 to refit his BIRDY. Now the saddle, speedometer and pedals are similar to those of mountain bikes. Though their bicycles are more expensive than ordinary ones, they feel it quite worthwhile.
Xia said, "Riding bicycles is a kind of protest against the current traffic jams and air pollution. Compared to several years ago, we strongly sense that our concept of fitness and health is accompanied by a sense of social responsibility."