Guide for Bike Riders in Shanghai

Shuan’s question on riding bike in Shanghai:

Hello again,

First I would like to acknowledge your warm welcome,

second.. how do I ask a question.. is there any special place where I ask, or do I send you an email or what?

Any way, I’ll post my question here considering you can edit posts and what not (the above is a question in it self :P ^_^)

I just got a bycicle, a standard $500 rmb one.. today I rid to work and back! The thing is I don’t know the laws with the bycicle or in shanghai.. Every body just seems to do what ever.. ie., some people (well alot..) go through red lights, some people go through any light.. most people ride on what looks to be the wrong side of the road (with cars comming towards them, etc.) as a foreigner.. what do I do?

Every body just seems to ride any where on the road! I find this quite frightening coming from New Zealand.

A side note: One thing I dont get is the lights.. if it says you can walk.. why do cars still drive thru? I heard about some thing to do with “right way” or some thing but am not too sure..

I think you should write a cycling guide for tourists in shanghai.. Do I need to get a bike lisence? What places can I park my bike at.. etc. Do I have to pay for parking? Should I lock my bike up? Should I get lights? Bells to honk at people in the way? Do you need a helmet? What happens if I get a flat tire and get stranded some where? Do I have to ride in designated areas? If so.. where are these areas? Can I ride on the walkways.. is it allowed? What are some ways to be fined from the police? etc.

This would help alot of expats/foreigners who consider using a bike to get around shanghai or china in general.. As I don’t think there is an extension guide for this.. just little pieces of info.

Posted by: Shaun on September 6, 2006 08:37 PM

This is a very good topic to discuss. Here is my Personal Guide for Bike Riders in Shanghai.

What You Need to Ride a Bike in Shanghai?

To ride a bike in Shanghai, you do NOT need a license (or a certificate to demonstrate you can ride a bike). You can ride at any roads that allows riding (both foreigners and local residents). There is no classification the skill of your riding.

Typically, little boys and little girls learn to ride bikes when they are young – for me, I learn cylcing when I was 14. When their parents feel they can safely ride a bike, they go to the road, and then they keep riding on the “real road”. Unlike driving a car, riding a bike does not any license.

The bike does need a license. You get it after you buy your bike. They have a steel stamp that put a unique ID onto your bike on three major parts of the bike, and give you a certificate. You pay for this service, and most bike dealers provide this service.

This was mainly for the safety of the bike in case someone steal it. However, due to more and more bike stealing cases, and cheaper and cheaper a bike is (compared to people’s income), many people don’t have that number on the bike. For example, my second bike is still brand new – with no numbers. This is not allowed, but no one in this city really checks the number.


Two years ago, bike owners need to pay for 8 RMB (I remember, correct me if it is wrong) annual tax for the government. They will give a stamp to the bike owner’s booklet and a badge to you so you can put it to your key rings. Every year, some people will randomly stop people and check for the round badge. if you don’t have the badge, they ask you to pay the 7 RMB tax, and give you the badge.

This tax was canceled about two years ago, since the tax collected do not cover the cost of the 4000 people team to collect the tax. In 2004, 7 out of 12 provinces with bike tax canceled this kind of tax.

So relax! There is no bike tax in Shanghai.


People get confused about whether bikes should follow the traffic lights.

Obviously, you should. In many cross road, there are special sign designed for bicycles (so they have standard lights for cars, for pedestrians, and for bikes).

Since everyone can ride a bike without receiving the right training and education, many people still believes that red lights are still for cars only, and bikes don’t need to follow traffic lights. This is dangerous misunderstanding, but when you look at the current traffic situation, you will feel that the saying is reasonable since many people keep riding at red lights.

Green Lights for Pedestrians or Bike?

The other confusing situation for bike riders and pedestrians are, when there are green lights for bikes or pedestrians, cars still go across.

This is because in China, cars are still allowed to make right turn when it is red light (unless there are special red arrow pointing right). Although the traffic rule is, cars need to stop to yield for pedestrians, and pass when it is safe to do so, the general practice is, cars have the right to turn, and pedestrians need to yield for cars. Keep this in mind if you are new to ride in Shanghai.

Where to Park

Along the road, there are bike parking lots – you will see a lot of bikes there. Some places have bike parking sign, but no sign does not mean you cannot park. Follow your common sense and don’t park your bike in the middle of pedestrian.


It is important to have helmet to ride bike, but in Shanghai, helmet is not something related to bike. People never take helmet. This does not mean you don’t need to do that.

Need Help?

What happens if you get a flat tire and get stranded somewhere? There are some bike shops along the road. Just walk the bike. Typically, along the road with many bikes, chances are there will be some shops.

Area to ride

Some streets do not allow bike. Follow the sign – they have a forbidden sign – a circle with a bike stroked. For other areas, it is OK to ride. It is not OK to ride on walkways, unless with special sign, but unfortunately, it is a general practice. To violate this rule, you will be fined by policeman.

Happy and Safe Riding in Shanghai!

Cycling in Pudong

What a nice Sunday afternoon. It has been quite some time before I can enjoy the peaceful weekend. I am so satisfied to stay at home and feel the good mood of “having nothing to do”, and start to think of doing something new, something crazy, and something unusual.

So, what is the unusual thing in my life? Yes. The bicycle. Since I bought the Giant bicycle and completed the Taihu tour in 2003, I seldom used the bicycle especially after I got my car in March, 2004.

This afternoon, I washed the bicycle, did some maintenance, and added air to the tier. Then, I visited the Decathlon Huamu Store. At the entrance, I saw this poster:

I learnt about 2Wheels trip – traveling from Shanghai to UK by bicycle. As the introduction said, “it may take you 12 hours to complete the trip by air, but it takes me 12 months. Why? Because it is a more environment-safe way to travel this way…”

New Bicycle

“Life is always at somewhere else”. This saying reminds us that to pay more attention to what we have, instead of what we don’t have yet. I feel so obliged to live in Pudong beside the Jin Xiu Road – the road with very nice trees and parks. I should use bicycle more instead of car. Decathlon is the sponsor for this tour. Very nice job!

At Decathlon, I saw a new bicycle that is cheaper than the one I already got with much better quality. After playing with the new one for about 15 minutes, I started to love it so much. So the result is, I finally bought it. :-) So there will be two bicycles in my home that Wendy and I can go cycling together.

Update November 21, 2005

The price for the bicycle is 499 RMB.

End of update

Pudong is More Bicycle Friendly

There are much less traffic in Pudong, both cars or bicycles. Biyun International District is doing the best job. They have specially bicycle lanes:

Check out the three lanes. The left most is for cars, the middle is for bicycles and the right is for pedestrians. I feel much safer to ride on the bicycle lane there.

The sign for pedestrians are also very interesting there.

Sunset in Pudong

Finally, check out some pictures I took today during the cycling. As I described before, Pudong’s sunset is different from those in Puxi (I, II. I cycled around 20km today, and will increase it to 30 km in the future as my favorite sports.

Back from Taihu by Bike

As I forecasted before, I completed my trip to Taihu by bike today, covering 147 km in distance. Here is the actual route.


© Jian Shuo Wang

I started at 7:30 AM of Saturday from 77 Caobao Road – near the Metro Caobao Road station. Then I headed to Qibao 七宝. Within two hours, I arrived at Sheshan 佘山. At noon, I passed the Oriental Green Boat 东方绿洲 and Zhujiajiao 朱家角 and arrived at #8815, Huqingping Road and had lunch there – free lunch.

In the afternoon, I cycled on the best road for cycling – from Daguanyuan – Shangta – Zhouzhuang – Tongli (大观园-商榻-周庄-同里). At 1700, I arrived in Zhouzhuang and took pictures below. After having dinner there, I continued my journey to Zhouzhuang – it is about 10 km between and I finally get Tongli at around 1915. The sun just set.

The night at Tongli is amazing – my personal advice for anyone who want to visit a historic town like Tongli, Zhouzhuang or Luzhi 甪直 have to go there at night. The village looks so nice with all doors (the doors for shops) closed and all visitors just left the town – I didn’t see anyone in the town during my stay.

The next day, I started late at 0800 and arrived in another historic town Mudu 木渎 at noon. Having lunch there, I completed the last 3 km from Mudu to Xukou 胥口. It was so hot at the time I arrived – 34 degrees C or even higher since 1400 is the hottest time for the day and there is no tree alone the road. After that, it seems no possible for me to get back home within that day and I have to get back since I have already booked my flight to Beijing early next morning. So I ride back for a while and took the bus from Suzhou to Shanghai. As luck would have it, there is a car model called “North” from Neoplane. It is large enough to accomendate my bike and I left Suzhou on bus from 1820 and arrived at around 2000.

Below are technical metrics of the trip

Dst = Distance (km)

Av = Average speed (km/h)

Mx = Maxium speed (km/h)

Odo = Odometer (km)

Tm = Riding time (hh:mm:ss)

Nw = record time (hh:mm)

8815 Huqingping 沪青平 Rd.

Dst 54.95

Av 15.8

Mx 33.3

Ca 574.8

Odo 65.5

Tm 3:28:30

Nw 12:44

Zhouzhuang 周庄

Dst 81.00

Tongli 同里

Dst 97.30

Av 15.1

Mx 33.3

Ca 1010.7

Odo 107.9

Tm 6:24:27

Mudu 木渎

Dst 139.73

Av 15.2

Mx 43.4

Ca 1439.9

Odo 150.3

Tm 9:04:23

Nw 13:37

Taihu @ Xukou 胥口

Dst 147.72

Av 15.3

Mx 43.4

Ca 152.41

Odo 1581.3

Nw 14:26


Below: Reached Zhouzhuang

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: My bike and I on the bridge in Zhouzhuang 周庄.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: Early morning (3:40 AM) in Tongli.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: Too tried so I lied down on the ground on my way from Suzhou to Mudu 木渎

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: Finally reached the destination – Taihu.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: It is the hottest day of this year. It was 34 degrees C. When this picture is taken, it is 2:00 PM, the hottest time of the day.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: Boats waiting on Taihu to enter the river.

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: returned from Taihua, on the bus from Hangzhou to Shanghai

© Jian Shuo Wang

Cycling to Sheshan

After cycling to Chongming (186km) and Pudong Airport (30km), Wendy and I cycled to Sheshan together today.

Wendy bought a new bicycle so we have two now. Hers is very cool with good color and 5 speeds.


After four hours – God. How can it be possible for us to use as long as four hours to arrive in Sheshan? I made the mistake to take the route of G318 since I didn’t bring a map with us. This may cost us additional 16 km – almost double the distance. When we returned, we only used 2 hours.



There is a nice lake before the Sheshan. It has a beautiful name too – Yue Hu or the Lake Moon.


See the church on the top of the mountain?



P.S. Bus #92 broke down

I saw bus No. 92 broken down and all passengers got off and push the bus to the side of the road at the Cao Bao Road, when I returned. It was really funny.


Cycling to Pudong Airport

I become so passionate to travel by bicycle – it offers very good chance to experience the different life at the passing villages and see the wonderful views. All these are not possible for taking buses or cars.

I rode to Pudong International Airport from Xujiahui today. It took me 4.5 hours from 12:30 to 17:00. It was not far – only 35 kms but the wind – east 11kph wind made it very hard to ride – I was directing to exactly the east side of the city.

Travel by Bicycle, Fly w/o ID, etc

Travel by Bicycle

After decided to hike to Kanas, I found I was hopelessly passionate for hiking – even if I cannot hike in mountains, walking in Shanghai also seems fun. I began to walk to any places in the city as long as time permitted. For example, after taking the driver’s license written exam, I walked from Xinzhuang back home covering 14 KM in 2.5 hours. I also started to walk to the place I work and back home. It is about 3 KM and costs me 50 minutes. really inspired me about traveling by bicycle. They southern China on bicycle. I am so impressed that they even made it without knowing any Chinese.

What a nice idea it is. So don’t be surprised if one day I do tell you I have travelled by bicycle to someplace.

Interesting to know: How to Fly without an ID

I read an article telling people how to fly without an ID (via Jeremy Zawodny’s blog). I was so surprised to know that an ID is not required by law of U.S to get on board a U.S. plane. It means, if you insist not to show the ID, the agent has no right to stop you from going onboard. Very interesting.


I checked BlogShares today about the market value of my blog. I didn’t check it for a long time since I claimed the ownership in March. To my surprise, I found my blog worth $4,777.33 (of cause it is fake money).

Above is the share valuation trend. I don’t know why there is a sharp increase in the market value. What happened during the increase period?

From the recent buys and sells table, I found someone are interested in my blog and bought my blog stock.

Type Player Quantity When

Sell todd 1250 15:04 01 Jun 2003

Buy midnite lily 200 18:27 30 May 2003

Buy todd 1250 13:02 30 May 2003

Buy midnite lily 1250 10:05 30 May 2003

Sell Carlo 2500 10:20 22 May 2003

Buy Kenneth 50 01:12 22 May 2003

Buy Carlo 1250 21:09 21 May 2003

Buy Carlo 1250 20:38 21 May 2003

Buy Kenneth 1250 03:55 16 May 2003

Buy Jian Shuo Wang 1000 16:01 01 May 2003

Obviously Carlo has gain a lot of money during the buy and sell – actually, Carlo is the 18th richest person in Blogshares world.