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Old 11-05-13, 04:37 AM
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nyrealitydose
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Hi from Hong Kong!

I signed up on BF back in '04 when I was biking my way around NYC. I have since moved back to HK and just bought my first bike in almost a decade, and I love being back on two wheels! BF is a great board and I learned a great deal here. I know I'm going to learn a lot in the weeks and months to come!
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Old 11-05-13, 04:38 AM
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Juha
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Hello and welcome back!

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Old 11-05-13, 08:37 AM
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Lacumo
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Welcome back to BF and back to cycling! Man--from cycling in NYC to cycling in Hong Kong--you’re braver than me! Have you ever considered going for a ride out in the countryside? It’s really different out there… flowers, trees, birds, fields, woods, no homicidal traffic… there’s a lot to be said for it!
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Old 11-05-13, 10:28 AM
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Again, welcome aboard
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Old 11-06-13, 02:41 AM
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Welcome,

I worked out in Hong Kong for a while, where are you planning to ride, the New Territories maybe?

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Old 11-06-13, 04:36 AM
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nyrealitydose
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Originally Posted by Lacumo View Post
Welcome back to BF and back to cycling! Man--from cycling in NYC to cycling in Hong Kong--you’re braver than me! Have you ever considered going for a ride out in the countryside? It’s really different out there… flowers, trees, birds, fields, woods, no homicidal traffic… there’s a lot to be said for it!
Thanks guys, it's good to be back

Urban cycling is pretty much all I know! I have heard of this countryside you speak of...lol. I did ride out on Long Island a fair bit too when I lived there. People thought I was nuts for riding in traffic on Long Island. In NYC the cops were actually really cool and liked my bike, and it actually started a lot of conversations. Once a stunning blonde starting spinning my pedals on the subway.

HK is different. It takes a certain level of insanity to ride in the urban areas since the roads are so narrow and the drivers are real a-holes on the whole. I've seen bus drivers nudge motorcyclists and laugh at them. Cyclists have it even worse because it's unlikely we're going to outrun motorized transport. Now, even with all of that, cycling culture is thriving here. I live pretty much in the heart of the city and have been riding around the area. It is pretty exciting, but you do feel vulnerable.

Out here on the west side of HK island, gas cylinders (for cooking) are still delivered on Chinese roadsters. Yesterday I was riding down the tram tracks and overtook one of the delivery guys, who was in his 60s. I stopped at a light and he rolled right by me, and right through the light. I had to chuckle!

On the flip side you have some very serious spandex-wearing roadbikers here with VERY expensive bikes. Mountain biking is also hugely popular here. I rode a ferry to an island for a tuneup and on the way back, there were some guys in their 20s with very nice full suspension Giants, Treks and Cannondales. There are a very limited number of 'legal' trails (free government-mandated permit required), but people do their own thing where there are no trails and risk the fines. I think most of HK is actually protected land, so there's a LOT of space for MTB if that's your thing. I saw a video of a guy riding down stone steps yesterday and it was a sheer drop on both sides...I'd rather ride in traffic, thank you!

There's no shortage of US$20,000+ bikes for sale here, as well as the $60 Chinese specials, and everything in between. We have some really nice 'cycling studios' for those who want to spend the big bucks ( http://www.skybluebikes.com/ ), along with elderly bike mechanics who ride around shirtless in kung fu shoes with hand painted plywood signboards on their rusty roadsters. They will fix your bike for you while they're perched on a little wooden stool on the sidewalk. If you don't speak Cantonese, your bike sure as heck isn't get fixed by those guys though. LOL

HK pretty much has everything! There are even meetups for people who are into folding bikes, and monthly critical mass rides.

There's a British guy here, Martin Turner, who is a diehard promoter of cycling and we've been in touch over the last few days. I am determined to help, even if I don't dedicate my life to cycling here as he has, but he has really pushed things along. Right now the Hong Kong Cycling Alliance (the organization he heads up) is trying to get the government to set up a bike path running the entire length of the harbor, kind of like the greenways in NYC, but it's very much an uphill battle...even taking our bikes on the subway here is a PITA. They insist you remove your front wheel to manouever through the station, even if that makes things MORE difficult...

http://hkcyclingalliance.org/

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Old 11-06-13, 09:20 AM
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Wow -- It sounds like HK is a blend of heaven and hell for bicycling. Maybe a bit like NYC in that regard, when I think of some of the NYC park and riverside trails vs. Manhattan traffic during business and rush hours...
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Old 11-06-13, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Lacumo View Post
Wow -- It sounds like HK is a blend of heaven and hell for bicycling. Maybe a bit like NYC in that regard, when I think of some of the NYC park and riverside trails vs. Manhattan traffic during business and rush hours...
NYC is an absolute pleasure to bike compared to the streets of HK. The wilder parts of HK are just that--wild. You'd have to watch out for snakes (including cobras) in the undergrowth!
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Old 11-07-13, 07:20 AM
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Wow (again)! Poisonous snakes to watch out for when bicycling in the parks and ‘burbs! Now there’s something even the most hardened New Yorkers haven’t had to put up with. Violent and occasionally murderous homeless, gangbangers and all kinds of psychos--yes, but no poisonous snakes yet. I think the wildest the NYC fauna gets is an occasional coyote. I’m pretty spoiled with the pastoral countryside cycling of upstate NY and I had lost sight of that fact. Your descriptions of HK have brought me back into awareness and appreciation of the riding environment I enjoy! My next ride will be done with reopened eyes and renewed appreciation.
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Old 11-08-13, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Lacumo View Post
Wow (again)! Poisonous snakes to watch out for when bicycling in the parks and ‘burbs! Now there’s something even the most hardened New Yorkers haven’t had to put up with. Violent and occasionally murderous homeless, gangbangers and all kinds of psychos--yes, but no poisonous snakes yet. I think the wildest the NYC fauna gets is an occasional coyote. I’m pretty spoiled with the pastoral countryside cycling of upstate NY and I had lost sight of that fact. Your descriptions of HK have brought me back into awareness and appreciation of the riding environment I enjoy! My next ride will be done with reopened eyes and renewed appreciation.
The 'burbs are fine and where you will find (limited) cycle paths. The roads are dangerous because they are very narrow, since land is at a premium. Cycle paths are a no go in most of HK because of the existing roads and there is no space to expand them without demolishing wide swathes of the city. HK was never really considered suitable land for building on because it's steep and rocky, but it blossomed nonetheless due to its importance as a port for the British. The main issue with HK is ******* drivers who WILL mess with you because you're on two wheels, and if you're of a different race, you'll get messed with even harder. The homeless won't mess with you, and the local triads probably won't mess with you. You could get pushed off your bike by some of the local a-holes though!

On the plus side, I think the roads in HK are better than they are in NYC--far fewer potholes.

The wilder country parks (the equivalent of national parks) are where you have to watch out for snakes, including pythons that can swallow smaller dogs whole.

On the plus side, we can bike year-round since we don't get snow or even frost. We might get one or two days of frost a year, if that, and not in the urban areas really. I guess you can't have it all no matter where you are!
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