I was once told that there was a saying in the Communist era that went like this:

"If you have a baby boy, get a Forever, because he will be with the family always, but if you have a baby girl, get a Flying Pigeon because she will eventually fly away."

My Forever bicycle got taken apart on the street by one of the many road side bike mechanics in Beijing. It seemed ludicrous: the bike got wrapped up, the chain, its screws and bolts undone, tied up with an old table cloth and put into a bag; taken to the airport, sent through security, scanned, weighed and carried up in the plane by the Chinese airport staff; lifted up in the sky and was flown to the other side of the world. Here it got unwrapped and put back together.

The Forever company has been a leading bike manufacturer in China throughout the past century and carries a significant cultural value. The bicycle was included in wedding gifts, when bicycles still had to be bought with coupons.

Hans Peter Auken Beck

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