One of the few challenges that we encounter living in the mega-convenient city of Shanghai is where to go for a nice bicycle ride. Over the past three years, my standards for great bike rides have dropped dramatically. I used to consider a great bike ride to involve open country and absolutely zero cars. Now, if I have a protected bike lane that I am sharing with a thousand scooters, next to a road with heavy traffic, I call it a good day. However, I can still appreciate a great ride when I find one, and I have found a few in the past couple of months.
The first route I stumbled on isn’t a great ride, but it is passable. I got onto Jiangsu road in the former French Concession, and discovered that it has a bicycle lane forever. In fact, once you go north of the creek (and the name of the road changes), the bike lane is separated from the main road. I road for 90 minutes north on this road, with very few stops. Not having to hop on and off your bike is rare, so I thought this route was pretty good.
The next route is really pleasant. We started from the middle of Fuxing road, since that is where we live. Ang and I biked east down Fuxing road, which has a bike lane the entire way, as long as you are going east. At the very end of Fuxing is a ferry across the Huangpu river.
The ferry ride cost 2.8 RMB one way, and we were able to use our metro cards to get across. It was quick, and even kind of scenic if you head up to the top deck.
After the ferry, pretty much anywhere around Pudong seems like biking in Pleasantville in comparison to the congestion of the Puxi side of the river. The route below is only one that we found that was really pleasant.
We rode to Century Park in Pudong, and had we been so inclined we could have made a day of it by going in to the park. We did not, but at a later date discovered that it may even be possible to bring your own bicycle into Century Park, but I cannot confirm that. If it is true, it would add a pretty big incentive to this ride, with the option of a Century Park loop.
I always forget about Pudong, because it seems like kind of a hassle to go there sometimes, but it seems a lot quieter and less busy than the Puxi side of the river, and so it is a winner for peaceful bike rides.
The last route Ang and I found was probably the best, but also the longest. We were looking for a nice bike ride, and Angela decided that she wanted to try and bike to Gucun Park, since this was supposed to be the best place to view the cherry blossoms in Shanghai. The route there is perfect.
We went across Suzhou creek on Changde road, and immediately after crossing the creek we took a right onto Kaixuan North road for about a block before taking a left onto Guangxin road. Guangxin road eventually intersects with Hutai road (S106), and we took a left on Hutai. Guangxin changes names once or twice which is a little confusing, but as long as you stay on the same road until it hits Hutai, it will work out. Hutai road goes all of the way to Gucun park. It is not always a totally scenic ride, but there is almost always a separated bicycle lane, and you can bike far enough that it doesn’t really feel like Shanghai anymore.
We went far enough north that there were no longer any tall buildings around. Above is an interesting view of the Pudong skyline from the far north.
Once again we were too tired to actually go into Gucun park once we arrived, but it would be totally possible. There is also rumored to be a nature trail near Gucun park, but we did not look for it. This was a great ride, and provided some interesting views of Shanghai that you don’t get to see very often.