Culture Shock Bike Tours

Whether you are looking for an alternative view of the city, or simply want to pack some out-of-towners off on a daytrip, while you take a break from tour guiding duty, Culture Shock Bike Tours is the perfect solution.
A relatively new tour company, it has already generated a lot of buzz in the local travel industry. And, with their shiny, reconditioned Forever bicycles sitting in front of the Andaz Xintiandi, they do tend to attract a lot of attention.
We decided to go for a ride with the expat-owned tour company, to find out whether they really could give us old-timers a “culture shock” and, to be honest, we discovered more than we actually expected. The bicycles were in good condition, and it was a novelty to cycle around the city on one of the country’s time-honoured brands, even if they were spruced up a bit more than the bog-standard ones languishing on most street corners. Before strapping on our helmets heading out onto the mean streets of Shanghai, we were given in-depth safety instructions, and taught hand signals to communicate with the tour guide and fellow guests, which put our minds at ease.
What we noticed immediately about the tour was that it wasn’t just a day trip around the city, the tour was sprinkled with historical and cultural points of interest, as well as being backed up with a tour guide with knowledge of the area and their own anecdotes. On our tour, we visited a shikumen community and learnt more about this fascinating type of architecture. We also stopped off in Fuxing Park for an impromptu Wushu lesson with our tour guide, before being immersed in dancing grannies and water calligraphy. Covering a vast area of the old town, we learnt that there are mirrors on the corners of old lanes houses, not for the benefit of foreign cyclists trying to navigate the warren of alleyways, but to protect the inhabitants from evil spirits. This is the type of insight that the tour company aims to impart on its guest, offering an entertaining alternative to the more run-of-the-mill tour companies.
Book onto a tour, grab a complimentary coffee or tea and pastry at Andaz’s Éclair café before zooming off around the French Concession and Old town in Puxi, or navigating around the skyscrapers of Pudong’s financial district, Lujiazui.
Each tour lasts for around four hours and costs RMB 450, including bicycle rental, refreshments at the Andaz Xintiandi, street food meal and site entrances. Tours are available in English and French for the moment, with other languages being added soon.