China must have been built on bikes Part 3


 Hangzhou is a city about an hour away form Shanghai by train, it's main tourist attraction is the Lake which has a bike/walking path around it's periphery which is dotted with teahouses, pagodas and temples; the lake itself has several causeways which cross parts of it as well as a few little islands.  We just hopped on the train to get there; I had read up on the Hangzhou bike share prior and was pretty eager to test it out.

One of the bike share stations - these were every couple hundred metres
We found one of the stations and put down our deposit and used our contactless cards to beep in to release a bike.  The bikes themselves are pretty rudimentary and utilitarian.  The three of us found we had to swap bikes about 3 times to find one that didn't have anything broken on it - I was pretty surprised to find that they didn't even have sealed bottom brackets (just the old style with separate cups and lockring) and I got the idea that they weren't that well maintained; one bike I got you couldn't even pedal, not sure what was wrong with it but the cranks were stuck fast, the other didn't have working brakes and I didn't bring a shifter to fix it myself; my mandarin is basically non-existant.  Anyway, once we all found bikes we got cruising along.





mmmm tea and snacks






Suzhou is also not far from Shanghai, a little closer than Hangzhou.  We didn't get any bikes, however I did get a few pics.  I thought traffic in Shanghai was a bit crazy, Suzhou is even worse.  It's an industrial town most well known for its UNESCO world heritage listed gardens.  Here's some pics



We caught a cycle rickshaw and I just loved the ghetto pedals

Separated bike lanes, 3-4m wide at least
Suzhou also has these little canals that criss cross the city - a bit like Venice so they say...





Both Hanzhou and Suzhou, as crazy as the traffic was had serious bike lanes and bike infrastructure.  I felt a lot safer riding back in Sydney - when you are riding in China you constantly have to be looking out, people cut you off; lots of bike riders just run red lights, it's all quite chaotic.  Funny now I look back on it - the kind of squabbles people have in Sydney over some measly bike lanes and a very small amount of bike riders pales in significance to what goes on in China every day.

Now back to Shanghai...
Yes that is a man holding a crutch with his right hand riding.


Smallest maccas in the whole world?


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