Bicycling, Beijing - Shanghai, part 2

by Sep 07, 2011
by Amirah Shahid Sep 07, 2011



I landed in Beijing a week ago to embark on a cycling journey to Shanghai. Many weeks of planning and preparation is starting to come to life this past week. Over the past 5 day, I have made it from Beijing to the capital of Shandong Province-Jinan.

The roadways and traffic are not nearly as scary as I thought they were going to be. Major cities have bike lanes separated from the main traffic by a planted barrier or fencing. Crossing intersections can be a bit daunting at first, but luckily there are enough other bikers on the street that I can just pick one person that seems to know what they’re doing and follow them. Outside of urban areas, the national roads have wide shoulders and are not nearly as busy as the major freeways that I am carefully avoiding. They have been lined with formal rows of street trees that provide nice shade and occasionally open up into views of wide-open crop fields.

The language difference, with me not knowing a bit of Chinese, was another concern. Travelling has been very manageable despite this. I have many translated cards of key phrases about booking hotel rooms, ordering food in restaurants, buying water, etc… People also seem to appreciate the project description that I’ve had translated to explain who I am and what I’m doing. I’ve also been able to find Chinese youth that have learned a little bit of English in school to help me out along the way. Everyone has been more than hospitable and welcoming toward me. I also have a cell phone and plenty of people in China that I can call in case I get into a situation where I need help translating. This offers great peace of mind and lets me relax and not worry too much when interacting with others.

I’m beginning to get more of an understanding of just how quickly China is growing by the number and frequency of new development projects along the way. There are signs everywhere, even in seemingly remote areas, of new master planned communities coming in the future. This, combined with the large number of bikes I’m seeing on the road, makes the questions I’m asking about how bikes can be incorporated in future landscape architecture/planning developments even more relevant to me. There are bikes everywhere and seem to be here to stay. I’m looking forward to the next couple weeks and further exploring the way bikes fit into the current and developing landscape.

Cyclists, pedestrians, buses and cars all move simultaneously, without division, through a busy Beijing intersection

Designated bike parking along the streets of Beijing

A local Beijing bike store sells new bikes and parts in a city dominated by old unmaintained looking bikes. 60% of the new bikes sold are to locals - 40% to foreigners.

Cars, bikes, and pedestrians share highway lanes in Tianjin

My bags unpacked. 3 changes of clothing for a 3 week bike tour packed into 3 bags. It’s humid and hot. I’m regretting the decision to bring a winter hat and extra wool layers just in case I need them - it seems unlikely.

An unmaintained road, following the river, is the quietest and safest way to leave Beijing. Farmers tend agriculture growing along the river banks and only 10 cars are seen for 10 km.

Bike Parking on Beijing’s Peking University’s campus. Cycling is the primary mode of transportation for students living on campus at this large university.

Darkness doesn't stop people from commuting via bike in Cangzhou

Lots of people in uniform commuting to and from the local hospital near Jinan

Typical tree lined national road between Dezhou and Jinan

Daming Lake Park is a popular place for men to gather, play games, and enjoy each others' company

Caged birds providing a tweeting ambiance are common in China's urban open spaces.



Amirah Shahid

Amirah Shahid, YouthLA Volunteer, landscape designer.

2 discussions
  1. zhou says:

    It’s a great learning by doing story. Thank you so much for sharing. I wish I’ve a chance to do the same thing in my Country. It’s also very impressive to see those common scenes from a Landscape Architect’s eye.

  2. Will says:

    Be along with you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Amirah Shahid

Amirah Shahid, YouthLA Volunteer, landscape designer.

书评 布鲁克林大桥 批评 风景园林学会2013年会 雕塑 碛口古镇 龙安寺 孟兆祯 Brownfield 留学 风景园林月 喷泉 树屋 城市 Malden 年会 地域性景观 非言述性和默会性知识 宋晔皓 华南 雕塑公园 意识形态 幻觉 西方建筑 多伦多 成范永 联谊 德国市民花园 枡野俊明 韩国 朱胜萱 TAMU 卡尔维诺 水盒子 建筑 马萨诸塞大学 UMass 迪士尼 Disney 公共交通 儿童 英国 理论 沥青 日本设计 迪士尼音乐厅 维格兰 植物 碳补偿林 张唐景观 雨水 logo 贝聿铭 城乡 绿色设计 雨洪管理 城市空间 棕地 毕业设计 设计研究 如园 Vista Hermosa 翻译 数字化 公益 LABash 铺地 2012IFLA亚太区会议 美术馆 散步道 海平面上升 苗木 人居环境 护栏 纽约 欧洲 原子城 休斯顿探索公园 视频 庭院 公园 铁路 风景区 世博 加拿大 德国 Prof. Wolfgang Jonas 矶琦新 辰山植物园 2013北京园博会 绿色基础设施 实验 教育 永昌河 LEPC 风景园林学 刘秀晨 合作 毛细水 园博会 弗吉尼亚大学 UVa SWA 流浪汉 钓鱼岛 张乔松 反思 美国 摄影 视觉文化 Prof. Nigel Cross 陈俊愉 纪念碑 加州花园 博士 绿色屋顶 IGA RTD 开放空间 风景园林学会2011年会 游乐场 Dr. Rosan Chow Mader MLA 保研 清华 地震 Gleisdreieck 西安世园会 IFLA 野生动物廊道 行业 空气污染 LIM 机场 雪铁龙公园 Prof. Jürgen Weidinger 什刹海 Waterboxx 手绘 马晓暐 参数化设计 南湖中央公园 枯山水 洛阳 场所 康奈尔大学 维吉尼亚理工大学 数字景观 自然文化资源 朱育帆 经典 首尔 北川 土人景观 创业 种植 三倾园 公共花园 方塔园 纵向耕作 鹿特丹 Gesche Joost 香格里拉植物园 哈普林 halprin BIM 9.11 论坛 绿墙 风景园林 低能耗 伊利诺伊大学 UIUC 狼牙山 ASLA学生奖 设计展 布鲁克林 京津冀 居住区 ARC 希望小学 Peter Walker 北林 数字图解 禅修 Jack Ahern 文化景观 历史 Kingston University 新西兰 SANAA AGER 哈佛 墨西哥 交通节点 泰山 台湾 竞赛 城市建设 俞昌斌 地砖 青海 夏成钢 北角公园 王劲韬 设计未来城市 玛莎·施瓦茨 Ruggeri WEST8 技术 教学元素 北欧 设计竞赛 展览 预制混凝土 环境效应 NITA 佛罗里达 Xeritown 自然观 巴塞罗那 花园 政治 冯纪忠 纪念性景观 可持续城市 客座教授 Hans Joachim Mader 马克 校园 北京 可持续化 万科 学习方法 盐湖城 购物中心 滨水 岭南园林 安友丰 国际风景园林师高峰论坛 环境 考研 罗马奖 城市雨水 苏州古典园林 绿道 Prof. Loidl-Reisch 瑠公圳 新青年读老经典 新年 几何 广场 ASLA Diana Balmori Juergen Weidinger 檀馨 多样性 骑行 国家公园 华盛顿 可持续 深圳前海 布法罗河湾散步道 种植装置 银泉市 Silver Spring 旅游 沃夫岗·哈勃 日本 盆景园 灾后 垃圾 法国 迪拜 景观都市主义 生态 沙龙 跨学科教育 裁员 Stoss Landscape Urbanism 挪威 Prof. Gesche Joost James Corner 中央公园 便携 Media Ship 香港 buffalo 天津大学 历史理论 概念方案 五角大楼 禅意 现代主义 商业建筑 证书 太阳能 会议 古根海姆博物馆 水景 城市景观 风景园林学会2015年会 讲座 牛雄 住宅花园 工程 长椅 韩炳越 河流 上海 经验 普渡大学 Vertical Greening Systems LAM 王欣 保护 新加坡 人文 区域园林 调查问卷 托马斯·丘奇 鸟类 广州市绿化公司 设景 就业 Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates Ron Henderson 鹈鹕湾 水文 图解 清华同衡学术周 洪盈玉 老人 2012IFLA 铺装 Greenway 珊瑚礁 职业实践 Julius Fabos 步行街 植物园 TOPOS 西班牙 教学 安藤忠雄 自杀 钢笔画 GSD 志愿者 风景园林新青年,就在你身边 低收入住宅 托滕堡公园 湿地 世界风景园林师高峰论坛 空间 捷得国际 宾夕法尼亚大学 何巧女