Article by Marcus Meyer
First a quick disclaimer:
The path isn’t completely finished yet (expected official opening time check the miniapp). The road surface is 95% done, but the Rest Stations are most still under construction as well as the side decorations. The actual ongoing construction work and the locals using it with cars and scooters can actually be a hassle sometimes.
There are three different categories for the Rest Stations. We found a few of the Rest Stations already working, like the coffee shops/toilets/shops are operational. But even with the official stops not fully operating yet, it is easy to find supplies/toilets in the nearby villages all around.
Me and my teammates (check out our group at the end of this article) watched the construction work for quite some time already and wondered what takes that much of a work. First we thought it must be some new main Road or so. So we were thrilled a few weeks ago when we found out that it’s a bike lane for us and long sections are already ready for business. We tackled the full loop (circa 160 km) a few weeks ago and enjoyed it a lot. Just a 10 km stretch in the northwest part was still under heavy construction, so we had to take the parallel road next to it.
The path follows the three rivers around Xi’an; the Wei River, the Ba River, and the Feng River; and the S107 in the south at the base of the Qinling mountains. A side route also leads to Lantian. When cycling on the south part there are several smaller sections going a bit into the mountains through some very scenic villages. A lot of the villages in the south were renovated recently, so you’ll find sightseeing spots, small shops, and some information about the locations. The new Xi’an Greenway allows you to cycle separated from traffic, has beautiful views and is pretty flat. Next to the S107 in the south you’ll find yourself on sections where you above the main road, so that avoids some climbing/descending which would have been needed on the main road.
I saw lots of improvement over the 4 years cycling here and am amazed how far the cycling infrastructure has developed. The new bike lane can easily keep up with other bike infrastructure projects I have seen in Europe, like the Eurovelo cycling network. By the time it will be completely finished this is maybe the best cycling path you can find nearby. The path is wide, offers a lot of great views. The path is pretty flat and doable for all fitness levels/ages. Of course, it’s possible to just take a part of it per day and avoid the full loop. From wherever you live in Xi’an you can access it easily. The Rest Stations make it very comfortable, I am looking forward to see all of them fully operating.
About our cycling club:
Feel free to join Shaanxi Hills International Team (aka Team SHIT) if you are based in Xi’an/Shaanxi and like cycling. We are doing social rides multiple times per week. These rides are casual and open for everyone and you can discover the new Cycling Path together with friends. We can help getting/renting a bike and other equipment (we insist on everyone wearing a helmet) We also organise multi-day cycling trips and participate in local races and are open for all Cyclists, no matter wherefrom. So don’t be shy,contact me: QR Code