Hiring a bicycle is one of the best ways to explore towns and their environs. Bike lanes are common and roadside repair are everywhere. Beijing, with its spread-out sights and flat terrain, is the most cycle-able of the big city, maybe you are willing to travel by bike. Make sure that any bike you rent has a lock provided. Handy bike stands are found in big cities and have an attendant to watch the bikes for a nominal fee.
Main streets, avenues, and thoroughfares are often divided into different sections based on the four cardinal points. For example, Zhongshan Lu (Zhongshan Road) may be divided into Zhongshan Xi Lu (East Road) and Zhongshan Dong Lu (West Road). Similarly, you may also see Zhongshan Bei Lu (North Road) and Zhongshan Nan Lu (South Road). Road names in large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai also display the pinyin translation, but in smaller towns and remote destinations, only Chinese is used. Apart from lu (road), other key words to look out for are jie (street), dajie (avenue, literally “big street”), hutong and xiang (lane or historic alleyway).