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The Best Time of Year for Cycling 2017-09-13
As summer cools, and autumn falls over us, it could be said that now is the best time of year for cycling. There are many beautiful cycling routes in Hangzhou, but if you had to pick one where Hangzhou’s best features were heavily presented, then it’s the one around the West Lake that comes highly recommended.

Cycling to tour the West Lake is probably the best way to really appreciate the lake’s beauty, which is said to be the soul of Hangzhou. Compared with other ways of touring the lake, there are many advantages to cycling: firstly, it is more energy-saving than walking, secondly, it can offer a more in–depth experience than driving a car. Lastly but the most importantly, besides an abundance of scenery that can be seen with your eyes, by cycling to tour the West Lake, one can also experience the breeze in Longjing Mountain, the refreshing scent of Bamboo-Lined Path at Yunqi, and all of which offer you a real taste of Hangzhou.

Another great thing is that currently in Hangzhou, in addition to the city public bicycles, there are all sorts of sharable bikes available for hire, which can be rented and returned almost anywhere.
 
Su Causeway Cycling Route

The cycling route recommended today starts from the southern end of Su Causeway which is opposite the Prince Bay Park. The route stretches from Youran Pavilion at the southern end of Su causeway to its north end on Beishan Road and then turns into Gushan Road. If you are interested, you can cycle on until reaching the Broken Bridge, which is a landmark of the West Lake and the place which witnessed the break-up of Xu Xian and the White Snake, two characters from the household folklore, Legend of the White Snake. The whole length of the route is 5 to 6 kilometers.

During the cycling route, one will pass by “Viewing Fish at Flower Pond” and “Three Pools Mirroring the Moon.” The route is suitable for both day and night cycling: at night, one will be able see the three pagodas standing erectly at the center of the West Lake with their reflections and moon rippling on the water’s surface; whilst during the daytime, you will be able to see red fish swimming freely in the pool and chasing the many fallen leaves.

Su Causeway is about three kilometers with five arch bridges, which adds some ups and downs to your cycling experience. On its left, one will find West Lake State Guesthouse, formerly the No. 1 Villa of West Lake, – Liu’s Villa. On its right is Mid-Lake Islet which is accessible by both sculling boats and painted boats.

When reaching the end of Beishan Road, turn right into Gushan Road. Gushan (the Solitary Hill) used to be the palace of the Qialong Emperor in Hangzhou, which now has been turned into the Xiling Seal-engravers’ Society and the West Lake Art Gallery.

On Solitary Hill, you will also come across Lou Wai Lou, which serves authentic Hangzhou dishes as well as a direct vantage point to view the West Lake.

The route is also advisable when you do it in reverse. In that case you will end the trip in Youran Pavilion at the south end of Su Causeway, which happens to be one of the many wharfs in West Lake. You can either go back to your hotel or board a West Lake cruise.
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