Ferreted away in the business pages in the Korean papers last week was this intrguing headline:
Bicycles lead charge in green stock boom
According to Korea Exchange, the average per-share price of bicycle-related stocks has soared by 223.5 percent from the end of December, highest among the 15 most popular stocks. … The share price of Samchuly, the largest and oldest bicycle maker of the country, surged by 392.8 percent over the past six months.
And in similar news:
Insurance for cyclists relaunched
Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance yesterday relaunched its insurance policy for cyclists.The insurance product covering bicycle accidents had been sold until 1997, but was dropped from the market as the popularity of cycling declined.
With bicycles playing a key part in President Lee Myung-bak’s “green growth” strategy, the popularity of bicycles has risen again, which has in turn caught the attention of insurers.
And it seems we’re hearing the same complaint as everywhere else:
[EDITORIAL] Roads for walking
President Lee Myung-bak asks people to use more bicycles as part of his “low carbon, green growth” policies, but the problem is that the nation is virtually devoid of roads where people can safely walk or ride bikes.
The government has continued to make huge investments in the construction of highways [and] must face strong influences from the auto industry, the world’s fifth largest.
Koreans both in cities and the countryside no longer have safe places to walk, as all available road space has been taken up by moving and parked cars. As much as they yearned to drive their own cars in the past, people now want to have more time free from the noise, fumes and confinement of motor vehicles. High oil prices are prompting people to reject their cars.