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Home Biking Guide For Self-guided Cyclists

For Self-guided Cyclists

Recommended Preparations for guided or self-guided China Cycle Tour:

a. Do not carry anything on your back while biking;

b. If your tour date is in the summer, thin trousers and long sleeve cycling jersey (or over sleeves at least) is more suitable than short one as they will protect us from the sunlight, our skin get hurt very easily when there is no shade at all.

c. A fisherman’s hat with large edge is suggested (we can use it when feel bored with the helmet and when we trek).

d. Light and thin rain coat is necessary; it also helps us to keep warm while cycling down from the mountains.

e. The food here (also in many southern part of China) is mainly salty, there is too much type of snacks and food here, so about 1/5 of the former guest cannot digest well after tasting too much types of food. We are not allowed to introduce medicine to guests as it’s very sensitive between company and guest, so please bring some tablets or own medicine helps you to digest better.

f. Bring your own saddle, pedals, or helmet if you do not confident enough on ours.Also makes it easier to get used to an unfamiliar bike.

g. Weigh everything and try to see if you can reduce the luggage weight. Carrying too much things on our rack and pannier and climb the super long mountain with broken road is not funny. (3-8KG is enough for multi-day guided/self-guided cycling, especially in summer).

h. Mosquitoes are common in the summer time, especially in mountain areas. They do not carry disease but itching is inevitable.

i. Most of the shuttle bus will refuse to help if you give up the cycling on halfway, as there will no space to place our bikes when there are too much bikes. Therefore, don't get over confident before your tour, it might be some hard parts during your trip without phone signals or no one speaks English at all, if you give up any part of cycles on the half way, don't expect to get too much help from the shuttle bus running between A and B. (And they are slow and rarely show up in places not that commercialized).

Bike Carried by a Shuttle bus in China.

Tips on hotels and meals for budget cyclists:

a. Most of the hotels on the road are basic but clean; supplying WIFI but breakfast is not included. So we will have the most common Chinese breakfast in the morning (Steam bread, traditional Chinese rice-pudding, glutinous rice and vegetable roll, rice noodle, red bean juice, soya-bean milk, etc.). There are very few bakeries in smaller towns in China, so if you have get used to western foods like coffee, cake, etc. It’s not a pleasant to walk up in the morning without them but it’s the fact in China.

Breakfast for cycling in China

b. There will be some hostels booked if your tour budget is under certain level; a guided cycle with us for many days is not extremely cheap. Some dormitories in the hostel do not offer tooth brush or tower, so don’t forget to bring your own one. The toilet type there may be just a squart one, sorry!

Hotels in small towns in China.

c. While cycling on the road we will have most of the common fast food (Chinese one) for lunch, but our bike leaders will introduce some traditional snacks and more expensive restaurant when possible. Usually dinner is arranged in restaurants in the hotel or featured one in the resting town. We promise to offer you the best meals based on the money you paid. Simple snack supplies can be found in the smaller super market (coke - not coke zero, snikers, etc.)

d. If you are picky on food (some people missing western food a lot when cycle in China), we can try to find some bakery or super market to buy some closer to western ones.

e. Please bring a one-time–use sandal, in case that the hotels do not offer it. Or it’s ok not bringing it as we can take shower bare foot. 

Standard of Food and Accommondation of GCT for Supported Tours.

Food is an important part during a long-haul cycling tour. Most of the meals are included in our packages; however, guests may need to know some tips before starting a trip with us.

Normal standard food at restaurant in the town.

Food and Drinks

1. Food is easily ordered without language barriers in Guilin and Yangshuo, vegetarians and vegans are well catered for also.

2. Chinese breakfasts usually include one or more of the followings: toast, noodles soup, fried egg, steamed buns, fried bread, milk, fruit and tea or coffee (instant). Lunch is relatively simple but nutritious in order to make the afternoon biking easier, noodle with egg is a good example. Dinner is always in banquet style with plates of meat, fish, fresh vegetables, tofu and rice. Part of the biking experience is to sample local specialties forming part of the huge variety of Chinese cuisine.

Hot pot lunch for bike tours, Hunan hot pot.

3. Snacks that good for energy recovering like banana or chocolate/biscuits are available from the supporting vehicle or local groceries.

4. Bottled big brand filtered or mineral drinking water is provided for the duration of the cycling. Glucose powder (dextrose) is also provided as it transforms into energy quickly and is effective to muscle cramps.

5. Chinese believe a balanced diet between meat and vegetable is the secret of a long and healthy life.

6. The rice noodle is so popular in Guilin areas and even in the whole Guangxi province, it is regarded more as a food than a snack, therefore, the rice noodles might be rider’s almuerzo when the diet condition is limited.

Dining habit for nowadays Chinese

Suggestions for cyclists traveling to China

1. Eating too much salty food/snacks will cause the rapid consuming of the water and your energy. Spicy food is also not recommended for breakfast and lunch as it increases the possibility of diarrhea during our biking. 

2. Soda drinks will not help us to relieve thirst as we may feel thirsty again soon, make your drink simple during biking are a smart choice. The most necessary drink for riders is boiled water/mineral water.

3. Keep feeding yourselves every 1-2 hours while cycling, take a good rest, it’s late to have food when your energy runs out, the best physical state is feeling just right, and people will not feel hungry or overfed.

4. If the cycling plan shows that we will not have chances to have food supply around 12:00 at noon (this happens a lot when biking to rural/less-discovered mountain areas for the solo riders), take as much food as you can at 11:00 or 10:30 in the morning and it is better to take some food away with you.

Chinese dishes, food to eat when biking in China.

The hotel will change based on tour applicants’ budget and tour fee, we respect every requests on accommodations no matter you are looking for extreme budget-tour or a you don’t care about the money and just want the best room. The tour cost listed on are mostly based on 3-star hotels, or hotels without stars but of similar service and room quality to 3-4 star hotels, they are usually located in downtown areas. You will live in twin share with private bathrooms, hot water, air-conditioning etc. A single room supplement is needed if you would like to have your own room. 

Hotel and guest house for foreign cyclists in China

GuilinCyclingTours will try best to update your rooms to ensure a pleasant journey. 

Although we tried best to arrange the best hotel/hostels for everyday, China is such a vast country with big gap in wealth, there is a mixture of accommodation when we cycle together. The average cycling distance is only less than 60KM per day, therefore inevitably, staying overnight in a small hostels without WIFI or private bathroom happens sometime.

Lovely hotels in China, Hotel used by GuilinCyclingTours

We will arrange lovely hotels in China in more developed towns and cities.

Travelling by bike takes us to the less developed rural areas of China. This means that choice of accommodation is limited. Whilst not having all the facilities that you may be accustomed to at home, these small lodges make up for that in location, views, atmosphere and friendly service.
If we end the day and stay in more developed and commercialized area, like in a hot spring hotel in Longsheng, the accommodation condition will be much better. It is to reward you after the tough riding through mountain areas. You have free access to the hot springs and swimming pools.

No laundry services, no coffee for breakfast, poor/no WIFI signals, annoying local cultural works like hammering cloths, etc. is common in rural areas of China. We will appreciate for your kind understanding of those unpleased things. 

Basic rooms for cyclists, China Cycling Tours

Riders need to stay in basic rooms when cycling into less developed areas of China. (10% probability like the picture above)