SHANGHAI is quite a cycling-friendly city with numerous bike lanes and routes to choose from. Here are six routes recommended by local and expat cycling lovers for those who are keen to take up cycling as a daily exercise or just as a means of exploring the city.
Just remember if you are out cycling, steer clear of Nanjing, Beijing, Huaihai and Xizang roads as these are closed to bikers.
• Longteng Avenue (south to north)
It is basically a portion of the south Bund where there is a dedicated bike line.
“This route has a nice view of the other side of the Huangpu River and the Shanghai skyline,” says Francis Hau. However, as the Bund is quite crowded with tourists, try to avoid this route during weekends and holidays.
• Puming Road (south to north)
Located in Pudong, this route provides a perfect combination of cycling and a bit of sightseeing.
“This route allows you to take in a lot of green space while getting a perfect view of the Lujiazui area,” says Hau.
Similar to the Longteng Avenue route, you might want to steer clear of Puming Road over weekends and holidays when there are many people in the area.
• Along the Suzhou Creek
By using Suzhou Creek as a point of reference, you can easily create your own route along the river that can stretch as far as 17 kilometers.
It is a nice scenic route although the numerous bridges can pose an obstacle when you have to push your bike across them. A good place to start cycling next to Suzhou Creek is Guangfu Road.
• Fuxing Road (west to east)
“Fuxing Road is great,” says David Lingerak. “The trees are nice and there are also different types of buildings around to make it a captivating ride.
“The bicycle lane from west to east is really wide and has a good surface,” he adds.
However, Fuxing Road is one way for cyclists, then from east to west it is a nightmare. So make sure you’re on the right side of the road.
• Wukang Road area
The area covering Wukang, Dongping, Yongfu, Tai’an and Taojiang roads is not only a cherished region for coffee and art lovers, but also for avid bikers. English teacher Genavieve Coleman says that she loves cycling through the quieter streets of that area, which can also include Julu, Xinle, Changle and Wulumuqi roads.
“It tends to have lower buildings and plenty of tree-lined lanes,” Coleman says, “which makes it the perfect place for an easy ride.
“Although the narrow streets can sometimes be a bit tricky, you should be able to have a hassle-free ride if you explore the area in the late afternoon or evening.”
• Around West Lake, Hangzhou
For any cyclists who want to get out of Shanghai a bit, Hangzhou is the perfect place for a nice weekend of riding. The West Lake is an ideal destination as there are various routes around the lake and surrounding hilltops.
A ride around the lake is about 16 kilometers. A bit further out you can even ride to the Longjing tea fields.
Getting your own bicycle to Hangzhou might be a problem, but luckily there are plenty of shared bikes to go around in the neighboring city.