China has more bikes per capita than almost any other country in the world – which, with its population as large as it is, adds up to be a LOT of bicycles. So why wouldn’t any foreigner, cycling aficionado or not, want to experience the gut-wrenching thrill of riding a bike in crowded Guangzhou? Save yourself the entry fee necessary to experience Chimelong’s coasters and hop on a bike today!
Where to buy
You can buy a bike almost anywhere in Guangzhou, and if you’re just looking for a quality cruiser or simple mountain bike a good place to start is your local supermarket – Tesco, Jusco, TrustMart, etc. Most stores have a small outdoors section including a variety of folding, cruiser, and mountain bikes at a decent price. At the time of writing, Tesco was offering a basic folding bike for only 228 RMB, and these types of stores frequently offer deals, particularly on the ever popular commuter and folding bikes. Prices for the bikes typically range from around 300 RMB up to just over a thousand RMB. Bike pricing is just like cellphones – the more versatile, industrious ones and the smaller, more compact ones are more expensive than the ones that simply offer a way to get from point A to point B. Want the bike with wheels no bigger than a single-serving sized pizza? It’s going to cost you, but then again it’s easier to take it on the metro (folding bikes are permitted on the metro but not on buses).
There are options for hardcore enthusiasts, however. Trek, located near the Peasant Movement Institute, offers name brand bikes of all types, including mountain bikes you could ride to the tip of Everest and racing bikes with wheels so small you’re surprised they don’t break. They also offer a full range of bike parts and accessories, providing you the opportunity to custom-build a bike if you so please. They also offer bike service and repair for a fee. Bicycles here are more expensive, ranging from over 700 RMB to several thousand, but if you’re looking for the best-of-the-best available in China this is the type of place you’ll want to visit.
TREK GUANGZHOU STOREView In Map
ADD: 510 Dezheng Beilu, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8376 2972, 020 8376 2975
Opening hours: 07:00 to 20:00
Getting there: Take Metro line 1 to Peasant Movement Institute, Exit C. Walk straight from the exit and turn right on the first road. Walk five minutes. It will be on your right hand side.
What? Rent a bicycle?
If you don’t already know, it can be done near many metro and BRT stations in Guangzhou, which is a perfect option for tourists or even someone who wants to go for a bike ride but doesn’t think it’s worth it to actually buy one. There are various options when renting a bike – you can do just a normal rental for 3 RMB an hour or 20 RMB for a day, or you can buy monthly and annual cards which cost only 2 RMB an hour or 15 RMB a day. All rental options require a 200 RMB deposit. Normal rental includes the bike, a bike lock and insurance. Monthly and annual passes offer a little more – loss and compensation, shopping discounts and invitations to various events. While not all metro stations offer bike rental, those along any section of the GZ Greenway tend to have offerings as well as along the Pearl River. In some places (such as Higher Education Megacenter North) you can even rent tandem bicycles.
Where to ride
For just a pleasant jaunt within the city itself, riding along the various sections of the GD Greenway provides easy access to many of the city’s best features, including right along the north side of the Pearl River all the way to Shamian Island or cutting up through the heart of Guangzhou along Yuexiu North Road and even a path north towards Baiyun Mountain and south towards the coast. The aptly named Greenway offers access to over two hundred major tourist sites in Guangzhou and Guangdong largely along lush, tree-lined routes that are physically separated from the busy Guangzhou roads and peppered with hidden parks. It has clear paths for cyclists and pedestrians, and scattered courier stops that offer refreshments and bicycle rental services. There are six “lines” of the Greenway that thread all through Guangdong and for tourists or residents alike it provides a great way to get some exercise while seeing almost everything Guangzhou has to offer (and then some).
For cycling adventurers, there are several routes heading out of the city that lead you to hidden gems in the countryside. One such route leads you to the Baishui Waterfall outside of Guangzhou, about 45 kilometers (28 miles) away from the city itself. Or, you can start in Licheng and ride along a dedicated bike path to get there, which helps to avoid the major expressways you would have to take to get to the waterfall directly from Guangzhou. If you’re not interested in spending an hour or three on a bike just to get there, you can rent bikes at the waterfall and pedal around the park – leaving you an alternate way home just in case climbing the 9,999 steps up the side of the falls leaves you with legs of jelly.
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Keywords: Cycling guide Guangzhou where to buy bikes Guangzhou renting bikes Guangzhou Guangzhou bike guide
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