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6 Rules for Night-riding in China

Shanghai: night riding

From Tokyo to Los Angeles to London – there’s nothing like a late night blast through the city to tear up the cobwebs, stretch the legs and take a hit of adrenalin. Six rules for night-riding in Shanghai:

  • 1. The first vehicle into a space has right of way: in the event of a tie – the biggest, most phucked-up vehicle wins. If one vehicle obviously belongs to a party official then the same rules apply, but the emphasis falls on the second vehicle to avoid contact. This makes taking junctions at speed pretty hairy.
  • 2. Every *lane* can include oncoming traffic.
  • 3. Stay clear of the bicycle/motorbike/e bike lanes, and instead slipstream the larger traffic. You’ll be the only pedal power playing with the big boys and as long as they can see you they tend to show respect. The major exception to this are some of the bus lanes – they are a license to speed, can quickly become single lane channels with no escape route. Know your route kids.
  • 4. Recalibrate your margin of error: the bell curve for vehicle size/speed/visibility/maneuverability/predictability/… is flatter and has a longer tail than most countries.
  • 5. The prevalence of e bikes means you can’t gauge your bearings on sound alone.
  • 6. Choose your expressways carefully: high speed + long right hand curve = poor lines of sight

22:00 is a good start time, the traffic has died down to something approaching lite.

Related: 6 rules to off-roading in China.