It began as a wooden machine without pedals and was invented by a German, Baron Von Drais, who propelled himself around his extensive gardens by pushing his feet on the ground. We can see why it's called a pushbike but the Draisienne, not being practical, enjoyed a short-lived popularity.
In China nobody needed a tandem - just the standard model, named the Flying Pigeon, which could carry the whole family. With the father pedalling, mother sitting aside at the back, a small child balances on the bar in front of dad. If they had two children, baby would be strapped to mum’s back, feet dangling under the baby carrier as they grow bigger. I’d seen one child standing on the back carrier eating an ice-cream with one arm draped casually around mum’s neck. Some children still grow up on the family bicycle, but many are now enjoying the convenience of a scooter or being ferried around in sleek cars.
One man coverts his bicycle into a pedal-operated fairy floss machine and spins sugar into huge balls ready to dissolve into a sticky treat for sweet appetites.
The common black “Flying Pigeon” in China has been outdated by the modern high-tech models although I’d be better sticking to the original pushbike with no pedals and no need for brakes - except that I’d probably have my foot run over by a motorist like the cyclist in the middle of gathering onlookers I'd seen near the uni gate in Wuhan.