Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

18 May 2017

This Bike Sucks. And That's A Good Thing.

How many times have we heard, or said, that the more people we get to ride bicycles, the cleaner our air will be.

But, you know, that's just one step.  Some of us--especially those of us who live in the major cities--are sucking up the very smog we're trying to combat.  We're not trees:  We can't just inhale the stuff tailpipes and smokestacks belch and exhale air that's as pure as the driven snow.

So what can we do?  Well, since people have used pedal power to sharpen knives, grind grain and generate power for everything from hair dryers to computers, Dan Roosegaarde figured that he could use a bicycle to clean the air.  

Yes, you read that right.  This bike has a mechanism that sucks in dirty air, filters it and lets out fresh air as the cyclist pedals down traffic-clogged streets.  Roosegaarde, a Dutch (what else?) artist and inventor, has designed a series of innovation to help curb air pollution, including a series of 23-foot high towers that essentially act as a massive air purifier.  

The Chinese government is supporting the development of the Smog Free Bicycle.  That makes sense when you realize China has both the largest and fastest-growing urban areas and bike-share programs in the world.  Two decades ago, the bicycle was practically a symbol of China; two-wheelers clogged the streets as impenetrably as cars and trucks clot those same thoroughfares, and those of large metropoli in other countries, today.

Roosegaarde says he wants to "bring back the bicycle, not only as a cultural icon of China, but also as the next step towards smog-free cities".

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