Beijing: Cycling - Mountain Biking

The Forbidden City

Beijing Cycling - Mountain Biking

China was once known as a nation of bicycles. An increase in wealth has led to a rise in private car ownership, but the infrastructure is still excellent for cyclists. The city is very flat and all major streets have cycle lanes. Bicycling in Beijing is often a quicker way to get around the city, because of the dense congestion.

However, Bicycling in Beijing can be incredibly dangerous. Cars and trucks often do not observe traffic signals and will turn across bike lanes without prior warning. Sometimes a right-turning vehicle crossing a bike lane will sound its horn as a warning, but not always. Cyclists also need to be on the lookout for wrong-way traffic in the bike lanes, usually bicycles and tricycles but sometimes motor vehicles, too. Wrong-way traffic usually stays close to the curb so you move to the left to get by them. Bicycling Beijingers do not usually wear helmets. Nor are lights used at night with few bikes even having rear reflectors. The moderate pace and sheer numbers of bicyclists in Beijing appears to make bike travel safer than it would be otherwise.

Several professional bike rental companies, as well as major hotels and some hostels, rent bikes on an hourly basis. For those who need the security of a guide, a bike touring company like Bicycle Kingdom Rentals & Tours is recommended.

If you are staying longer a decent bike can be purchased for 300-400CNY. Ensure you have a good lock included in the price, as theft is common.