Beijing is a perfect city for bicyclists of all ages. The terrain is flat, designated bicycle lanes abound and there are ad hoc bicycle repair shops set up at major intersections every few kilometers. As an added bonus, Beijing’s best scenic spots appear as if they were designed with bike riders in mind. Whether it is just a couple of hours meandering through Beijing’s famous hutongs, or several days experiencing the majestic Great Wall and its surrounding mountains, exploring Beijing by bike is an unique, educational and healthy alternative to the dull tour bus options.
Got You Covered
Bike Beijing is a branch of Bicycle Kingdom Rentals & Tours Company. They provide fun and safe guided bike tours in several dozen cities across China. Tours range from a few hours to a few weeks in length, and are all-inclusive for the duration of each tour. All you need to do is show up at the designated meeting spot dressed in appropriate clothing and bring some personal snacks and supplies. Bicycle Kindom provides everything else.
Short city tours include only a bicycle, helmet and a guide. Longer tours include meals, accommodation as well as a van to carry luggage and mechanical supplies. Taking a leaf from the Boy Scout manual, Bike Beijing is always prepared, carrying everything you may need during your tour: front mounted camera bags, bells, maps and map holders, raincoats, water bottle holders, puncture repair kits and locks. They also offer detailed map assistance. The little extras don’t stop there: When it’s time to return home and rest your tired legs, you can download a link to access photographs taken by Bike Beijing staff during your tour.
A Family Affair
Bike Beijing takes care of all the details for you, which is particularly
convenient for groups with children, as it allows parents to focus on enjoying the family time and not worrying about directions, where to eat lunch, or the equipment needed for longer tours.
“Bike Beijing has several different sizes of kid’s bicycles, as well as bike seats, tandem bikes and other equipment to support even the youngest biker,” says George Wang, General Manager of Bike Beijing since 2005. Their Family Bike Trip provides the ultimate in flexibility, with different route choices for any age and fitness level. Also, according to George, “All Bike Beijing guides are English speaking, well trained, and are mostly local to the areas they are working in, so they know the roads really well. They plan the route very carefully, so it is safe and beautiful and you will see a lot of interesting things,” continues Wang.
Easy Does It
Bike Beijing caters to a mix of expatriates, singles and families, experienced cyclists and novices. Most of the people who travel with them are from Europe, the US, Australia, and New Zealand. On longer tours they offer a choice of three mileage options. One day you might go for the most challenging route, and then take it easy the next day on the shortest route, leaving more time for relaxation, exploration or mingling with the locals. Travelers may spread out over several miles or choose to ride or even walk together. For peace of mind, there is always a Bike Beijing van driving back and forth on the route, ready to offer assistance, refreshments and even a lift back to the hotel or campsite.
Mix It Up
In addition to the actual biking, the tours often incorporate walks through markets and local tourist sites. Authentic local meals are included on longer tours. Some tours are designated as multisport trips, where travelers can engage in a combination of biking, walking, kayaking, rafting and snorkeling.
Tours destinations available in half or full-day tours include: hutongs, Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace, Olympic Park, and Fragrant Hill. Longer tours include: Simatai Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Chengde, Guilin, Hangzhou and Inner Mongolia grasslands.
So, what are you waiting for? Try something new and explore Beijing by bike this summer.
Although it is possible to find last minute openings, it is best to allow as much advanced notice as possible. Book online with PayPal or pay cash when you arrive for your tour. Longer tours require a deposit to secure your spot. A full day at the Great Wall costs approximately RMB 1,000 per adult. A three day (two night) trip to Inner Mongolia is around RMB 4,500 per adult. Children under 12 are 10-50 percent of the adult price, depending on the equipment needed. A discount of 10 percent per person for groups over five are available.
Bicycle Kingdom Tours & Rentals
34 Donghuangchenggen Nanlu (400m east of Forbidden City), Beiheyan Dongdajie (6522 9478, 133 8140 0738, English; firstname.lastname@example.org) www.bikebeijing.com