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SCENIC and green Chongming will host a five-day carnival starting May 11 to celebrate bicycling and the rural attractions of the peaceful island. Fei Lai pedals.

There's no better place in Shanghai than Chongming County for recreational bicycle riding and island's winding roads and enchanting scenery have made it a popular venue for international cycling races.

The Tour of Chongming Island International Cycling Race has been held eight times, making the island increasingly popular. Cycling to Chongming is more than transport; it's a way of life and associated with celebration.

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.

On May 11 the island will hold a five-day carnival in Xincheng Park about low-carbon living that centers around healthy, environmentally friendly cycling.

The first-ever such carnival, "Green Chongming, Carnival Zero," showcases the local government's ambition to build the event into a tourism brand.

"Zero here not only means zero pollution and zero emissions, it also stands for being simple, healthy and successful," says Shen Yongping, head of the Chongming Tourism Bureau.

"It's an event that immediately allows visitors to feel the true culture of Chongming. When the island's folk culture meets the modern sport of cycling, visitors will be amazed at how entertaining and relaxed life can be."

Biking and bike-related activities are central to the carnival. On site, visitors can assemble bicycles by themselves. Bicycle brands such as Giant and Forever will take spare parts to the festival and instructors will help people build their own bikes.

There will be 1,000-meter races and also "reverse" races in which the rider who goes the slowest and doesn't fall down will win.

The most exciting event will be an amateur cycling race at Mingzhu Lake and a cycling tour that everyone can join. Picturesque Mingzhu Lake is a magnet for cycling clubs in Shanghai.

During the carnival, Xincheng Park will be divided into areas for activities, entertainment and performance, creative exhibitions, food and cultural experiences.

Visitors can enjoy bicycle motocross stunts and bicycle "dancing."

Cycling and trendy lifestyle activities will be accompanied by Chongming folk songs developed over 1,300 years. They were passed down orally through generations and the sounds are fresh and charming. Most are about farming life.

Part of the Chongming culture is its food and visitors can enjoy authentic country cooking with the freshest natural ingredients. There are numerous small family restaurants dotted around the island that is famous for its white beans, white distilled liquor and sweet sorghum.Accommodation is plentiful; visitors can stay overnight at inns, small hotels and family farmhouses.

Local Yimi Bicycle Rental will offer 300 bicycles at Xincheng Park, including regular bikes, children's bikes

Downtown Chongming

The 7-kilometer route takes around two hours and passes Shou'an Temple, Yingzhou Park, Nanmen Sightseeing Dike, Bayi Road commercial street and Hanshan Temple.

Xincheng Park - Chongming Dongping National Forest Park

The 18km route passes scenic spots including Family Gao's Manor, Shinan Reserve, Beiyan Road and Dongping National Forest Park.

Xincheng Park - Xisha Wetland

The 25km route takes around three hours. It starts from Chongming Avenue in Xincheng Park and crosses Jiangshan Road, Dongmen Road, Mingzhu Lake and Xisha Wetland.

Where to rent a bike:

Yimi Bicycle Rental has stations at Chongming Dongping National Forest Park, Xisha Wetland and Nanmen Dock.

Rental:

75 to 100 yuan per bike per day.

How to get there:

By ferry: Take Metro Line 3 to Baoyang Pier, then take a ferry.

By car: Take Changjiang Tunnel-Bridge Expressway to Chenhai Road and then Chongming Avenue