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Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 16:11

Prone cycling enthusiast wants more to get out of the saddle

By Yao Yao

Cycling enthusiast Li Ming is encouraging people to try riding bikes in the prone position rather than sitting on bike saddles.

The man, now aged in his 50s, began riding bikes when he was five years old, and never stopped.

After a series of long distance cycling experiences including riding through Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region and Thailand, Li began looking for a more comfortable way to cycle.

Inspired by "Bird of Prey Bicycles" he saw on the internet in 2015, Li decided to start modifying bikes to allow people to ride prone.

After completing his first modified bike at the end of 2015, Li found the bike was faster than ordinary bikes and made it easier to climb up and down slopes.

While Li's modified bike, which includes a fitness ball to lie on, attracted the attention of many passers-by, he was disappointed few wanted to take it up.

"Most people thought both this kind of bicycle and this kind of cycling are unacceptable for many Chinese."

But he cheered up later saying that he was surprised that his father supported him this time.

One of Li's fans Xiao Yun said: "The modified bike is cool and the new way of cycling is more comfortable than sitting on bike saddles, which may hurt bums in long distance cycling."

Li hopes to find bicycle manufacturers willing to produce the alternative bike after inviting and teaching many volunteer riders to give it a go.

"It's really not difficult to lie prone to ride bicycles. One can learn to ride like that as soon as they are brave enough to try. And the new cycling will see a bright future," Li said.

Prone cycling enthusiast wants more to get out of the saddle
Li Ming demonstrates how he lies belly down on his bicycle at Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center in Guangzhou city, capital of South China's Guangdong province, on Jan 9, 2017. (Photo/VCG)

Prone cycling enthusiast wants more to get out of the saddle
A bird's eye view of Li Ming and his six bikes in Guangzhou city, South China's Guangdong province, on Dec 29, 2016. (Photo/VCG)

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