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Vietnam is a country of over 85 million inhabitants and 20 million mopeds. Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is a city of over 5 million where many of these machines congest the streets. If you think your commute is knarly, contrast these two videos below. The first is taken by our friend and favorite man about the globe, Gregg Bleakney, during a non-rush hour (no kidding) period on Saigon's streets. The second is our friend Paul Steely White's relatively sedate and well-produced interview through the streets of New York.
How does the vibe of your commute compare?
Our favorite man in the field, Gregg Bleakney is currently embedded with the Colombian national cycling team training in the high altitude of Medellin. We had a chance to Skype this morning and he sent me some pic's from his recent days in Bogota. Here you can see the everyday cycling culture in some of the poorest parts of the city. In the last few years, the city of Bogota has built hundreds of kilometers of cycling lanes equally through both the poorest and wealthiest sections of of the city. This has seemingly made life more egalitarian and reportedly greatly reduced crime. Check out the burly and practical cargo bikes on which many family members are taken to work and school.
The road below is a dedicated bikeway, along which a cottage bike repair industry grows. Note man in background wearing backpack with passenger on front of his double top-tube, yellow cargo bike.
The two pic's below illustrate the great contrast between the wealthy, freeway serviced areas of Bogota and the barrio, yet note the attention to bikeway detail in both areas. There is pride amongst the residents in knowing that the government will spend money to improve even the poorest areas of town.