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  1. #1
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    Grand Canal, China (Beijing to Shanghai)

    First post! I'm a recent graduate living in the UK, just started getting into cycling, mainly touring. I lived in China for a few months back in 2007, so am a fairly familiar with the culture/language.

    I found out about the Grand Canal in China by accident when watching a TED presentation. It's a fine example of China's very long history of vast civil engineering projects (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canal_%28China%29).

    I was wondering whether anyone had ever heard of this being 'cyclable' (ie whether there is a decent road which tracks it). I had a quick search around and found about the film Man Zou, a doc made about a group cycling from beijing to shanghai, but they went quite a different route.

    Anyone had any cycling experience at all in china? Give any tips if I was thinking of planning a long tour in China?

  2. #2
    Godfather of Soul SBRDude's Avatar
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    I'm sure you'll get some responses here as well, but you should also check www.CrazyGuyOnABike.com, which has lots of user written travelogues from all over the world. It's a great resource.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Google Earth may be your friend here also.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  4. #4
    mev
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    Quote Originally Posted by dezmundo View Post
    I found out about the Grand Canal in China by accident when watching a TED presentation. It's a fine example of China's very long history of vast civil engineering projects (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canal_%28China%29).

    I was wondering whether anyone had ever heard of this being 'cyclable' (ie whether there is a decent road which tracks it). I had a quick search around and found about the film Man Zou, a doc made about a group cycling from beijing to shanghai, but they went quite a different route.

    Anyone had any cycling experience at all in china? Give any tips if I was thinking of planning a long tour in China?
    I don't know much about the Grand Canal. However, I have an uncle and aunt that have a reputation of setting off on trips without a lot of advance preparation. As a result, after broadly announcing their plans (and having many people follow them on the internet) they've had several trips they've aborted soon after starting. Their attempt to cycle the Grand Canal was an example. When they set off from Beijing and picked the default road that paralleled the canal, they discovered it was a large busy highway with a lot of traffic and not pleasant riding. They were back home shortly after that.

    I personally have a suspicion if one put some more advance investigation into it, you might be able to find smaller routes that occasionally intersect with the canal along the way. However, I haven't done that investigation myself.

    Crazyguyonabike is a good site to look for travel journals of cycling through China. As a whole it is a very interesting place to ride. I've done two trips in China myself. The longer one was Urumqi to Beijing: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/mevchina2007 I also did a shorter ride in Yunnan Province: http://www.mvermeulen.com/yunnan/index.htm

  5. #5
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    I am cycling from Beijing to Delhi this coming March but will, probably, not be following the coastal route through China. This is because 80% of China's 1.3 or so billion people live around the huge coastal cities. I believe that the canal follows the population in this respect and I doubt it would be the best route for a bike trip. Though, this does not mean that it is impossible. I have never been to China so these are just some assumptions I have made through my own research.

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