Shanghai is a really a world-class city and one of the highlights has to be the famed French concession, now known as Xuhui district. With its beautiful tree lined streets, funky cafes, boutiques, bars and restaurants it is where you find most of the trendy foreigners. Whether its sipping on a latte, munching on a Panini enjoying a cold one in the hot summer or riding around on a Shanghai Custom bike it’s a great place to live sleep and work.
The area is located in the middle of the city and is surrounded by… well China, so you tend never to leave the area unless its too the airport. An executive decision was therefore made, get a bunch of people together and go for a bike ride; the question is where to go?
Aimed with some basic geography and Google maps, we begin our journey early and hearing there is a beach somewhere we decide to head south. Who knows maybe there is a hidden Boracay just waiting for us to discover. Heading out of Shanghai requires a crossing of the Huang Pu River, the famous river next to the bund, and to do this there is some fantastic tunnels and bridges. The Fuxing Lu tunnel is the only one which bikes are actually permitted to go through as is the Da Pu bridge, we take the tunnel to Pudong and fitted with a go pro get some great shots.
Heading south we pass though industrial areas, intersected with small villages, dealers selling their wares on the side of the road and interesting food items which I’m not sure would be passing too many food safety standards.
The roads in China are confusing; there is really no other way to describe it. Perhaps it’s all the Chinese characters, the speed at which the roads change, or problems with the use Google maps it really was not a surprise to find ourselves quickly lost and reaching for the smart phone.
Kris crossing the Pudong marshlands is fantastic, new flat empty roads comparatively fresher air than down town, exploring and just great riding.
After about 2 hours we start to smell the scent of the sea getting closer and its not long before we’re on the coast, it’s a nice relaxed feel and although the day is overcast its very warm. At first we find an area full of fishing boats its low tide so we can drive out onto the dock to have a look. Close by is the town of Feng Xian, the place seems like a bit of a weekend getaway place for Chinese, although I can imagine nicer places its nice for a change so we soak up the atmosphere and get a bite to eat.
A quick peak at the beach shatters any hopes of finding the next Boracay and the 20 kuai entrance fee… yes entrance fee for the ‘beach’ is the cue to head back into town. We take a more direct route back on the highways, it’s a big day and we’re all happy to be back for a beer on Yong Kang lu heading into dusk.
There were plans for many Sunday rides but due to the poor summer we only able to mange a few, however the 2015 riding season is arriving soon and plans are already in place for some nice rides.