I've been biking and scootering (in the summer) in shanghai for over 3 years now. If wherever you're going is a city similar to Shanghai, I could give some helpful advice.
-Expect everyone on two wheels to ignore all basic rules and ethics of the road, because they don't know 'em. Most traffic violators I noticed are from people who don't have vehicle-driving licenses (bike riders and e-scooter people) with proper traffic education. These people share the road with cars, but they don't follow the laws. You can imagine the mess that comes from that.
-They don't understand that pulling out into the street without even a glance at on-coming traffic is probably dangerous. In the states, if you pull out like that in a car, and someone smashes into you, it's you're fault. In China, it's your fault for riding too fast and not being AWARE of your surroundings to brake in time. It's complete bull****.
-Which brings me to this point; ride slow unless you have an escape path or the best reflex and brakes and tires money can buy.
-They will float across the lane without checking over their shoulders and they won't apologize for it as if they're determined to take you out.
-They will get uncomfortably close to you just to pass you so they can be "first" at the light/intersection, and then ride slower than you since most people ride a low gear ratio single speed commuter.
-They WILL ignore red lights and test your reflexes and maneuverability by crossing the intersection halfway just to stop directly in the path of your bike.
-EXPECT to play chicken with an inconsiderate jerk (usually lazy old people) every other block. It's normal now for me to see someone barreling directly towards me in my bike lane forcing me to induce a brake wobble while I guess left or right??
-Respect buses, as you would anywhere else. Shanghai bus drivers can be really good, or really aggressive. I expect them all to be really aggressive, and try to stay visible or get off their route.
-NEVER get comfortable at a light by daydreaming or whatever. Always be aware of your surroundings.
-Privately owned 4 wheeled vehicles tend to be relatively safer and observant, they don't want to kill anyone and damage their car, but most importantly they have some basic knowledge of safety rules.
-Taxis are the exception, they can be pretty aggressive. However, aggressive taxis and buses still aren't as annoying as other people on bikes and scooters though.
-Also, don't use cable locks if you want to keep your bike. I lost a nice dahon folding bike recently after someone easily cut my cable lock.
Hope that kind of helps a bit. Stay safe out there.
Last edited by milksteak; 07-03-12 at 12:26 PM.