Bicycling, Beijing - Shanghai, part 4

by Sep 21, 2011
by Amirah Shahid Sep 21, 2011


I made it to Shanghai! The cycling portion of this journey is complete. I can now focus my efforts on processing all of my observations and making some conclusions about the role of the bicycle in China over the next couple weeks.

The last leg of this ride was the easiest to handle. I think its because my mind and body have gotten used to the daily routine of spending the day on the road. The Road condition remained great for cycling and traffic was bearable. The weather was mostly cloudy which kept the temperatures cool.

I was worried about increased pollution as I got closer to the industrial areas surrounding Shanghai. The smog was incredibly noticeable as I crossed the Yangtze River. The ride between Wuxi and Suzhou also had endless views of factories and plenty of particulates in the air. Besides feeling a little bit nauseous at the end of the day, I was happy that the amount of poor-air riding was kept to a minimum. I am very happy that I didn’t have to spend any days coughing.

One of the things I noticed as soon as I crossed the Yangtze was the increased number of motorized scooters and bikes on the road. They are faster than the e-bike I have been seeing on the way-sometimes moving as fast as the cars-but still allowed in the bike lane. They are also unpredictable with their swerving movements and dirty with the exhaust released from their tail pipes.

Riding through Shanghai city limits was much easier than Beijing. It was very clear where the bike lanes were, the streets/lanes were wide, and I had good visibility down the streets. My first stop was the SWA Shanghai office where I was warmly welcomed. It is great to be around people I can communicate with in English after travelling by myself in a foreign land for so many days. I’m now looking forward to meeting with local bike advocates and getting a feel for the local bike culture. Please continue to follow my progress-even off the bike at www.cycle-china.com.

Bikes and pedestrians share a narrow lane in Yangzhou

Part of Shanghai’s bike-share program fleet. I haven’t seen anyone of these bikes on the road yet. A frequent comment is that the stations aren’t frequent enough

Shanghai cyclists are diligent about protecting their seats from the weather with plastic bags

Rain is not a limiting factor when getting from point A to B on a bike in Shanghai

Bikes and motorized scooters fill up the bike lane while waiting for the light to change in Suzhou

Boats at Slender West Lake in Yangzhou. The lake is named and modeled after West Lake Park in Huangzhou

The poor air quality makes crossing the Yangtze River on a ferry less scenic than I anticipated

Minimal security for a bike left on the street. Nothing but a small lock on a bike left on the side of the road. Despite being an obvious theft target, this bike was left in its place for the few hours I was in the area

Newly constructed roadway. I was able to ride here without worrying about passing traffic since it is still closed to cars

Slender West Lake Park pavilion in Yangzhou. Shade and coolness from the water make this park an urban oasis and refuge in the heat

Planted and structural bamboo at a small park in Yangzhou

Interesting paving detail and strong tree rows in this Yangzhou garden


Amirah Shahid

Amirah Shahid, YouthLA Volunteer, landscape designer.

2 discussions
  1. 淼溶箜 says:

    Why not come to Hainan? The island has a large population of cyclists, and the government is trying to make it an island of tourism. Thus, the function of bicycle is no doubt attracting more and more attention.

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Amirah Shahid

Amirah Shahid, YouthLA Volunteer, landscape designer.

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