Again and again we hear amazing stories of our students breaking the mould and enjoying amazing cycling trips. Yunnan with its amazing weather and beautiful landscape is sort of a cycling paradise. Because of this we have regular ride outs with students and staff in the surrounding hills. This is one of the cheapest and healthiest pastimes you can pick up when you come here.
For others it is a different story. We’ve had students that cycled from Europe to China and beyond. One of our students estimates a total lifelong cycling distance of over 45,000km! That’s amazing to us. On the other hand we’ve had students that came on a cycling trip to say bamboo temple, got hooked and now cycle hundreds of miles per week.
The mountains, fresh air and good vibes draws people into this feeling. Here are a few tips to make sure you have the best experience when cycling in Yunnan.
Buying a bike
In Dali, Lijiang and Kunming there is no lack of second hand bikes for very cheap prices. Our students who aren’t cyclists usually pick up bikes for in and around $50. Others have cycled from Europe on custom made touring machines. You can buy bikes from second hand markets, second hand privately, bike shops or online. A cheap and good way to get a good bike for a very good price is online. Our staff can help you buy online and the price will be roughly half the price you pay in the West. For example a student recently got a well specced XC mountain bike weighing around 12kg for $400.
Getting out on the road is easy as our school has a couple of groups of cyclists that go out regularly. Cycling is a diverse sport with downhill speed freaks, road warriors, adventurers and city riders. Finding your preferred discipline is not difficult. There are many bikes shops in Kunming and they all act as sort of cycling clubs where you can meet fellow cyclists. Just some info to get people excited. For Downhill cyclists there are some amazing trails with uplift service in Yunnan, for racers there is the Gran Fondo which is a weeklong race series with amazing stages around Yunnan.
Chinese driving and roads are totally different compared to Western standards. We have a few tips for budding cyclists and seasons vets alike. In China always wear a helmet as you can hurt yourself in the mountains and a hospital might be 3 or 4 hours away. We’ve had students who’ve taken big falls off road and say the helmet saved their lives. If going out alone or in a small group of inexperienced riders please send a message to the school with your plan and make sure you message us when you get back. If you have space please bring a pump and repair kit because it can be difficult to find a bike shop in rural villages.
Get in touch
Whether you want to come and learn Chinese in China or are coming to work get in touch with us. We have Chinese language schools in Dali, Lijiang and Kunming and are happy to bring you out on a group ride, invite you over for coffee or just tell you where to find parts, trails or groups.