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  1. #1 Best scenic road, the closest possible from Shanghai ? 
    C-Moto Guru Fred's Avatar
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    Ok, I'm in the hunt !

    After spending many days riding outside Shanghai for 1-day rides, I'm a little bit disappointed with the "sights" I'll admit...
    Of course Shanghai is not very close to "mountain roads" but I'd like us guys to share some experiences of WE rides, the most beautiful road/landscape, the closest possible from Shanghai ?

    I went to Sheshan, Dianshan lake, Taihu, Xitang, etc. . I liked some roads between Sheshan and Xitang, around Dingzha town, but it's not marvelous either... Went there on Saturday with the gf behind, and we'll go to Moganshan next WE, but it's not really "close to Shanghai"...

    So a call to all Shanghai riders : share your secret roads for a WE ride !
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  2. #2 Re: Best scenic road, the closest possible from Shanghai ? 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    Dear Fred,

    Great idea for a thread, though it obliges us Shankers to put on our "wishful thinking" caps. Here's one irrefutable fact: All the nice twisty rural riding in Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangsu is a lot close if we can get there by expressway. It can be done, but it's not for the faint of heart. And I've been privately scolded by some riders, especially Chinese riders, who think I'm putting all of motorcycling at risk by using my non-Chinese mug to blunder my way past the tollgates in search of a fast ride out of town. And they are not wrong to feel this way. But I know from reading the traffic laws that it's not illegal to ride on the expressways. I digress...

    So do have a look at the ride Motokai and I made to Moganshan. It was an easy overnight, given our quick exit on the G50...

    cheers!
    jkp
    Shanghai
    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  3. #3 Re: Best scenic road, the closest possible from Shanghai ? 
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    Euphonius has it quite spot on here. If you could find some guaranteed way to ride the expressways out of town, then the mountain roads and scenic areas would be within a day's reach. As it stands, it's not easy to do this. There may not be laws against expressway riding, but sooner or later you'll bump into a toll gate and have to face the uncertainty of getting through or not.

    The alternative is to hit the 'lao lu' or the non-expressway roads out of town but they take longer, and there is a constant stream of traffic lights to deal with that slows down progress.

    That being said, you might be able to park the bike at a train station on the bullet train. This could happen in a station like Jiaxing or somewhere between Shanghai and Hangzhou.

    For example, one day during the week, you ride out to the train station, park the bike overnight in a secured area (most train stations have them) and take the train back to Shanghai.

    The day you want to ride, say the weekend, you take the train out to where your bike is. The ride to the twisty mountain roads is much shorter now. When you're finished, back to the train station, and the train back to Shanghai.

    Then, some other day, you ride the bike back to Shanghai.
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  4. #4 Re: Best scenic road, the closest possible from Shanghai ? 
    C-Moto Guru Fred's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the input. I hope this thread could grow, in order for us to know all the hidden gems around Shanghai.

    Euphonius, I read your RR when you first posted it, and this is where my inspiration came from for next weekend. But I'll ride the G318 then the 104, I will report the duration of the trip (remember I only have a small 150cc... ;-)) )
    Steve, I thought about this too, but it takes the spontaneity off unfortunately. For the trains, you need a minimum of planning (go buy the tickets, then go the the train station, carry all your gear, etc.). The reason I took a bike was to be able to decide in 5mn according to the weather to go outside Shanghai and see a little bit of green scenery. That's why I would prefer that we share nice sceneries/roads/landscapes available by bike for 1-day or WE rides. Thank you anyway for the tip ! ;-))
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  5. #5 Re: Best scenic road, the closest possible from Shanghai ? 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    OK, taking out the expressways, the distances are still not too bad, so efficiency starts to be a big factor. Day trips are basically out. But an overnight is possible even using surface roads -- if you can make like chinabiker and get your arsch into the saddle by 6 a.m. or even earlier. Six hours on the G318 will get you somewhere, but if you're shaking off a hangover and saddle up at 10, well, there you go. Lost opportunity.

    The pain of this scenario is that, assuming you do this on a weekend, you'll be heading back into Shanghai on the 318 or 321 or 320 in a maelstrom of newbie traffic and fumes, which is an awful way to come down from a nice ride. Once again, the expressway beckons.

    One final word on the expressway, prompted by Steve's comment about eventually coming to a toll gate. In my experience, the trickier task is getting onto the expressway. Once you are already on, you'll get some confused looks at the next toll station, but rarely will someone come out and stop you. You just roll up to the right-most gate, with it's motorcycle-friendly wide channel, look confidently and smile at the tolltakers, and roll right through. If someone stops you, they'll ask, "how did you get on?" And you reply, "They let me on back in xxxx." And often this is just enough for the tolltaker to decide not to escalate, mindful of the adage: "One more thing is not better than one less thing." (多一事不如少一事).

    I rode the expressways all the way from Beijing to Shanghai last summer using this tactic. The only time I had trouble was when the expressway ran out and I had to actually exit, rather than just pass through a toll gate. By then I was in southeastern Shandong and they had gotten the (non-existent) memo that motorcycles are not allowed on the expressway. So I had to do a bit of cowboy riding to persuade may way back on...
    jkp
    Shanghai
    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  6. #6 Re: Best scenic road, the closest possible from Shanghai ? 
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    2-2.5hrs. riding with a decent big bore bike brings you to Huzhou / Deqing / Anji / Moganshan area (Zhejiang zhejiang) with good road and scenery, day trips around 500+k's easy as!
    Ride safe! Pal
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  7. #7 Re: Best scenic road, the closest possible from Shanghai ? 
    C-Moto Guru milton's Avatar
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    I am with Jeff completely on this one. I have made numerous trips with some Chinese riding buddies without getting on the expressway in the past. The first part of the trip for getting out of Shanghai was generally very painful. Actually, it is also quite dangerous even though GuoDao 318 is not that bad to travel on but still has its share of messy traffic and frequent small town centers to get across. I believe Expressway is the way to go.
    If we can organize some trips with a few Laowai mugs to participate in this should be doable. I will just hide behind you guys as my Chinese face automatically degrades my status to some second class citizenry.
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  8. #8 Re: Best scenic road, the closest possible from Shanghai ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by milton View Post
    I am with Jeff completely on this one. I have made numerous trips with some Chinese riding buddies without getting on the expressway in the past. The first part of the trip for getting out of Shanghai was generally very painful. Actually, it is also quite dangerous even though GuoDao 318 is not that bad to travel on but still has its share of messy traffic and frequent small town centers to get across. I believe Expressway is the way to go.
    If we can organize some trips with a few Laowai mugs to participate in this should be doable. I will just hide behind you guys as my Chinese face automatically degrades my status to some second class citizenry.
    I second this! There are all sorts of nifty tricks!

    Milton, when we left you in Zhejiang we actually rode around the border checkpoints through some farms because a few of the guys didn't have plates. What an experience!

    Euphonius,

    I am extremely curious about this supposed lie that all the toll-gate operators have been preaching to me. I always assumed that it wasn't allowed, but now it seems like we should start carrying around a copy of the Chinese traffic laws!
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  9. #9 Re: Best scenic road, the closest possible from Shanghai ? 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRF_Hans View Post
    I am extremely curious about this supposed lie that all the toll-gate operators have been preaching to me. I always assumed that it wasn't allowed, but now it seems like we should start carrying around a copy of the Chinese traffic laws!
    It'll take some time to dig it out, but remember the two and only two questions in the question bank that pertained to motorcycles on the expressways?
    1) What is the maximum speed for motorcycle on the expressway? Now if it were illegal, the maximum would be 0 kph. If the maximum is, as I recall, 90 kph (about 55 mph), then doesn't this prove that it's legal?
    2) Is it legal to carry a passenger on a motorcycle when riding on the expressway? The correct answer is "no" but, er, doesn't this irrefutably imply that a motorcycle with a single rider is legal?

    Better detectives than me have looked, and there is nothing in the current national traffic law barring motorcycles from the expressways. And in some parts of China, bikes are allowed on without question, and are tolled at the standard passenger car rate. Other regions don't collect a toll but just let you on. I'm thinking of Guizhou, but there are probably others.

    Is it possible for a province to enact its own local traffic law? I don't think the central government would allow this.

    Yes, it would be useful for us to get current copies of the national traffic law and carry them with us. We can read them aloud to our jailers to pass the time....

    cheers
    jkp
    Shanghai
    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  10. #10 Re: Best scenic road, the closest possible from Shanghai ? 
    C-Moto Guru Fred's Avatar
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    You're right, when I was studying the traffic laws for the exam, I didn't find any rule forbidding the use of expressways for bikes...
    Unfortunately I lack the vocabulary about traffic laws to explain myself clearly to the cops if I was to take the expressway to test it. But it's not difficult to learn, I'll check the useful words for it, beginning by how to say "national traffic law". ;-))


    What I gather from this first round of replies is that except taking the expressways, there's no obvious scenic roads/places reachable from Shanghai using only the "normal" roads in a relative short amount of time (2h more or less), including the famous G318 ? When I leave for a ride, I'm always on the road before 7AM, so this is not a problem for me.
    Remember, I already went to Sheshan, Dianshan Hu, Taihu, Xitang, etc. Anything else worth mentioning ?

    I'll still go to Moganshan this WE, but with my bike (150cc), 2-up, it'll be slow and painful...
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