A next natural landscape of bikes

Alec Schellinx
April 4th 2018

It was just little over a year ago that bike sharing schemes started to take off in China. Yet in the blink of an eye, millions of bikes painted in vivid colours, popped up in and around the streets of many a Chinese city. With these colourful newcomers flooding a still immature market at an overwhelming pace, offer quickly exceeded demand and the unbridled ambitions of bike entrepreneurs thus quickly came to be overshadowed by a nagging problem of overcapacity.

Bike sharing companies currently have no other choice than to stockpile millions of their unused bikes in large vacant lots. Similarly, illegally parked bikes are being impounded by the thousands every day and transferred to these so-called ‘bicycle graveyards.’ As a result, steep polychromatic metal hills and vast multi-coloured ferrous fields have become an emerging feature of China’s ever changing urban landscape.

But as nature sets to reclaim these abandoned two-wheelers, the sights of this entrepreneurial endeavour gone wild are gradually fading away under layers of dust and wild grasses. The imprint thus left in the earth crust, will nonetheless remain as a witness of this singular spectacle for future generations.

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