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Road Cycling around Hanoi: Contrary to popular belief.

Updated: Sep 19, 2022

If you're a cyclist who's new to Hanoi or new to road cycling around the city of peace,

you must understand that contrary to popular belief,

cycling around Hanoi can be rather gratifying. The versatile topography provides us with a plethora of features including rolling hills around gorgeous lakes, fast flats, and a couple of 1000m+ HC climbs as well to mix it all up.

Early morning rollout over the Red River.

Vietnam in general, has some jaw-dropping backdrops, pristine tarmac, and infinitely winding switchbacks with grades over 20%, but we're not going to mention the Hai Van Pass, Dalat's climbs, or the serpentine spell of the roads of the Northern Frontier in this article.

Located in the red river delta, Hanoi lies between 0-10m above Mean Sea Level and features a mild, tropical climate typical of northern Vietnam with a dry season from November to April and a wet season from May to October. The months of June through August are typically the hottest and wettest. Summers are Hot and Humid and the Winters are chilly and bleak but provide for some nice all-day ride temperatures.

A map delineating most of Hanoi's most popular rides.

Hanoi’s typography is fairly simple. The city is nestled in the alluvial cone of the Red River Delta and rooted in the fertile plain. The Muscovite granite and Volcanic Redstone make up the hilly areas in the North and NorthWest and date back to the Cretaceous ages. These span from Tam Dao Range to the Southeast around Soc Son The other hills can be found in the form of soil Limestone mountain ranges of the west around Bavi and Hoa Binh.

Before the Neogene (23.03 million years ago - 2.58 million years ago) this area was a highland, but today, Hanoi’s topography is diverse for its low mountains, hills, and plains.

The most popular rides of Hanoi are headed north and northwest into Soc Son and Thai Nguyen area as well as headed west along the Red River towards Son Tay.

There are innumerable cycling clubs in Hanoi, The most notable of these open groups are T2 Cycling Open and Hanoi Cyclists. T2 Cycling Open

T2 Open is open to all cyclists as anyone can join their Facebook page

and their ride schedule is fairly simple Tuesday/Thursday: 32km Airport Run Sunday: 45km Open Race (VKL)

Although some members of the T2 club ride every day without fail, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays are when there's the most amount of action due to 100+ cyclists showing up and the most action-packed racing is guaranteed. The timings vary slightly from summer to winter months and it is best to confirm with the members on the Facebook page if you intend to join. The open races are very exhilarating, but as with any kind of racing-related activity, Everyone who participates understands the risks involved and participate of their own accord. Definitely NOT for the faint-hearted.

Tam Dao is on the horizon at dawn from Nhat Tan Bridge. 5:30am Summers / 6:00am Winters

A regular gathering of the most notable roadies of Hanoi before the T2 flag off.

Average speeds on these 30km loops can exceed 45km/hr. Take your turn in the front at your own peril. Usually safest to be in the front but the adrenaline rush is the same anywhere in the peloton.

The final bridge sprint gets intense. The T2 loop is simple, apart from the fact that it has been named after the Noi Bai Terminal 2 which the ride does not even cross, but that's great because the stretch of road is relatively unsafe after that due to airport vehicles and trucks plying all over. Begin at the first pillar with the bunch and roll over the Nhat Tan Bridge. As soon as the bridge descends, the pace is held up above 40km/hr until the first turnaround and then back to Nhat Tan with the finish line being the first pillar on the way back to Hanoi. A premium adrenaline rush is Guaranteed.

Sundays are the day for the VKL, which is usually slightly longer than the T2 loops but is even more adrenaline-packed as there is a podium ceremony afterward before the Pho refueling.

*UPDATE SEP 2022 Recent Complaints from motorists have resulted in the police shunning bicycles from the Highway. Cyclists found on the Freeway/Highway will be fined 300,000 VND-500,000 VND and they will confiscate your bicycle and to avoid that harassment, we recommend the Service Road for all rides.

Hanoi Cyclists

Hanoi Cyclists is an open group for leisure as well as discerning cyclists alike. A Whatsapp group can be joined by requesting us at or any one of the