Ridazz in Shanghai
Thread started by light_fixture
at 08.16.11 - 12:22 pm
Hey guys, just thought I'd share this awesome experience I had tonight witchu. Currently I am in China, visiting relatives and whatnot. Tonight, I had my first group cycling experience in *~*SHANGHAI*~* (sparkly).
There were about 15 of us, all chinese, all riding nice fixies (except me, i borrowed my cousin's city bike), all 20 somethings. We met up at a bike cafe in the french concession and had a few drinks to start. It was really intense from the get go. We barreled down the streets, narrowly dodging taxis, other bikes, scooters, pedestrians, and debris. These kids were way more hardcore than I had expected, riding super fast and reckless the whole way; keeping up with them all night was very challenging (32 miles total, and in 80+ degree humid weather). Our one and only stop was a popular fried chicken joint, equivalent to a taco truck in LA, but with less truck and more cart and wok over a burn barrel.
Overall, SO AMAZING. Riding a bike in Shanghai is as romantic and exotic as you'd expect it to be. The architecture is world class, the streets are 100% FLAT, the bike avenues are well paved and numerous (we went through an underground bike only tunnel at one point), and the obstacles are plentiful, but surprisingly less dangerous than in LA. The city seems endless.
In Shanghai, bikes are more prevalent on roads than cars. In the past few years, the number of cars on the road has increased exponentially, but people still primarily commute by bike. There isn't really a need for a cycling community here because cycling is so commonplace. Riding fixed gear, riding fast, riding as a group, riding in the middle of the night, riding for the sake of F.U.N., however, is NOT common place. So yes, it's more a "fixie enthusiast" thing than a "bike enthusiast" thing, but it's still pretty awesome to see and be a part of a community of people coming together to do what everyone else is doing, but different.
Ideas for the future: Tall bikes in China, MR Shanghai Chapter...
TL/DR: first group ride in Shanghai, was fast and a lot of fun, bikes are cool!