A free day, beautiful blue skies, and a great suggestion from friends prompted me to set up a bike tour in Beijing. Like many of you who have been here a few years, I always intend to go out and explore the city where I live; instead, I wind up getting busy with everyday life and never making those grand plans. I’m glad I finally did and now I encourage you to do the same!
Bike Beijing is a biking tour company with many possibilities to suit your needs. If you have a full day to get out and about, five options await your reservation. Half-day tours are perfect for those who need to get back home to school children (five choices available here, too), and for the more serious bicyclists, 2-3 day bike tour packages and 2-15 day cycling holidays are available.
My friends and I took the half-day Hutong Bike Tour. Winding around hutongs surrounding the Forbidden City, we learned about the history and architecture of these civilian courtyards that are disappearing from Beijing at an alarming rate. We also stopped at the Drum and Bell Towers, Houhai Lake and rode by Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The three-hour tour was about 9.5 miles or 15.5 kilometers, with several stops along the way.
Other tours available include an Olympic Beijing and a Night Beijing Bike Tour – great for those of us living here and for when visitors come to town. Full day tours often include a walking or hiking element.
Prices vary on how many participate in your tour and which one you select. For our group of four on a half-day tour, it cost RMB 300 per person, which included bike and helmet rental, an English speaking tour guide (kudos to Hero, our guide!), and a bottle of water. Gratuity is appreciated and was well deserved. Various bike sizes and styles are available for rent, included children’s bikes, child seats and tandem models. Family bike tours are actually a special segment of what Bike Beijing offers, with suggestions listed on their website.
Additionally, bikes and helmets are available for rent by the day, should you need one short-term.
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to book a bike tour, even semi-last minute. Via e-mail, the response was immediate and the information helpful. Visit www.bikebeijing.com for overall information; e-mail email@example.com for specific questions.
While the weather is still beautiful this fall, get outside and enjoy Beijing!