COMMENTARY: Backpedal to the Future

Biking in Beijing is downright unhealthy. With more than 1,000 new cars on the roads every day and drastic construction underway for the 2008 Olympics, fewer people are biking to get around. Dust and particulate matter from construction and industry together with the toxic emissions of 2.6 million vehicles have transformed a practical exercise and enjoyable commuting option into a gamble with respiratory disease. Add the danger of crowded traffic and novice drivers, and biking in China quickly loses its appeal.