Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cycling shows slow beauty of nature

These times require "green life innovation," and reinventing carbon-free bicycles as a main means of transportation is our given task, President Lee Myung-bak said in his bi-weekly radio address on Monday (Apr. 20).

Bicycles fall down when they move too slowly, and likewise we should prepare for a "bicycle era" before it gets too late, the President said.

"By 2012 when the restoration of four rivers – the Han, Geum, Yeongsan and Nakdong Rivers - is complete, bike paths totaling a length of 2,000 kilometers will be set up. Somebody living in Mokpo [in South Jeolla Province] will be able to reach Seoul by bicycle, running along the Yeongsan and Geum Rivers. Another person living in Seoul can reach Busan [South Gyeongsang Province] via the Han and Nakdong Rivers," he said.

He also said that major bike arteries connecting all major provinces will also be connected to the feeder roads of every town and village.

Bicycle tours will show people "the beauty of slowness," which cannot possibly be sensed from inside rushing cars, Lee said. When comparatively less developed towns utilize their resources and provide bicycle riders with attractive spots to rest or stay, it will contribute a great deal to the development of the regional economy, he added.

He regretted that Korea currently imports over 2 million bicycles from China, the Netherlands and Canada, and suggested the country develop core technologies for bicycle manufacturing.

Instead of falling down, bicycles go straight ahead when their riders pedal fast, Lee said. "I hope everyone will have a great start to the week with hope-filled pedaling," he added.


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