WITH major cycling events making the island increasingly popular, bicycling around Chongming is more than transport; it’s a way of life and an activity that brings pleasure.
To celebrate cycling and the rural attractions of the peaceful island, Chongming is also hosting a carnival starting May 14 in Xincheng Park, on the southwest part of the island.
The five-day carnival, “Ecological Chongming, Green Carnival,” will be all about low-carbon living that centers around healthy, environmentally friendly cycling.
Outdoor sports such as fishing, skating and rock climbing are becoming increasingly popular on the island.
“Chongming, with 20.5 percent forest coverage and some of the best air quality in Shanghai, is an ideal place to go cycling. The cycling races and carnival are celebrations of bicycling and rural fun on the peaceful island,” said Ma Lesheng, head of Chongming County. “Cycling races are getting more and more popular in the county. It inspires more people to embrace a green and healthy life.”
The carnival will cover an area of about 7,000 square meters that will be divided into five sections — for activities, entertainment and performances, creative exhibitions, food and cultural experiences.
At the main stage, performances such as Chongming folk songs, acrobatics and sports dancing tend to draw the biggest crowds.
Biking and bike-related activities are also central to the carnival. Visitors can enjoy bicycle motocross stunts or even participate in person. They can also try out bicycles and compete in interactive games.
In the food area, visitors can enjoy authentic local snacks with typically fresh natural ingredients of Chongming.
Or people can go to small family restaurants that dot the island. The most famous dishes are white beans and sweet sorghum.
There will also be local snacks from Chongming and other districts in Shanghai available at the carnival.
Yimi Bicycle Rental will offer bicycles at Xincheng Park, including regular bikes, children’s bikes, mountain bikes and bicycles built for two.
There are plenty of scenic stops for cycling tourists who want to get away to the countryside, including Dongping Forest Park, Xisha Wetland and the Yangtze River embankment.
It is cherry and mulberry season, and visitors can stop for fruit picking and fishing along the road at numerous locations around the rural area. Those wanting to stay overnight will find plenty of choices at inns, small hotels and family farmhouses.
For Chongming’s future, a new bicycle-themed park of about 1.2 million square meters is under construction, according to the officials.
NOW Shanghai Daily teams up with Shanghai Huating Overseas Tourist Agency to organize a trip to watch the race. Participants can also go sightseeing and savor local delicacies at the same time. iDEALShanghai offers four free tour tickets to readers. Click JOIN and you will have a chance to win free tickets. Two winners will be selected on May 14 and each can take a spouse or friend for the tour (free for kids under 3).