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The hectic, congested and staggeringly steep streets of Hong Kong don’t immediately appear bicycle friendly, but the city is home to a handful of cycling routes, and a growing number of cyclists who use them. Michael Tsang, financier turned founder of Hong Kong Free Tours and Stephen Cheung of Smooth Rides, have both set up businesses in Hong Kong, offering cycling trips around the city. They share a few tips for getting around on two wheels.
Michael: If you do a bit of research, you’ll find that there are good bike paths and amazing scenery across Hong Kong — especially in the New Territories. Weekends get packed so [you] should aim to go on a weekday if they can.
Stephen: Hong Kong has a great variety of cycling experiences, be they in the busy urban centre to relaxing bike paths across the New Territories or outlying islands. The routes are not always clearly marked or connected — my tip would be to plan your bike ride in advance or book a guide. The government is also planning a designated bike path along the HK Island East Corridor, which means people will be able to cycle all the way from east to west.
Michael: My favourite route is from Tai Wai to Tai Mei Tuk, which is very scenic and relaxing. It really shows you a different side to Hong Kong from the hustle and bustle in the city.
Stephen: Cheung Chau makes for great cycling for all ages — it’s a unique fishing village setting and totally car free.
Michael: I have ridden along the Hong Kong-Shenzhen boundary. To do the same, take the MTR to Fanling Station, then walk or take a minibus to Luen Wo Hui, where you can rent a bike. Hop on and cycle through the Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail to Kan Lung Wai (also known as San Wai). From here, continue north along the Ng Tung River; cross over the river at the big water pipe and head north to get to the border. You’ll see vegetation on one side and skyscrapers on the other — it’s amazing. This is a round trip of about 10 km and you’ll need to cycle back to Luen Wo Hui.
Michael: We arrange bike rides every week across the city (except from July to September). We get customers of all ages and from all walks of life; we’ve had people who were in their late 60s join the bike tour, and while we recommend a general level of fitness, we aren’t riding fast and there are always plenty of rest stops. The longest bike ride is only 25 km on flat terrain and is usually completed in three hours.
Stephen: We specialise in neighbourhood cycling experiences that enable you to immerse yourself in our city’s history and culture. All you need is a smile and suitable clothing!
Hong Kong Free Tours hongkongfreetours.com/
Smooth Ride sr-cycles.com/
Want more? Hong Kong has a few amateur cycling groups, meetups and venues open to visitors and residents alike.
|ABOUT||Only early birds and serious cyclists need apply to join this established group which takes to the streets well before most people wake. Running a schedule of crack-of-dawn weekday and weekend rides along the mountain-meets-sea south side of Hong Kong Island, SIRC states that rides are open to ‘all’ levels, but you need to have your own road bike, a reasonable level of fitness and cycling experience. The group also participates in local and overseas races.|
|ABOUT||Primarily a bike retail and rental business in Yuen Long, these wonder wheels also offer guided jaunts of the district. Explore the atmospheric Ping Shan Heritage Trail or scenic Nam Sang Wai wetlands; they’ll also tailor rides for families, groups or individuals.|
|ADDRESS||17A Tak Cheung Building, Hung Shui Kui Main St, Yuen Long, New Territories|
|PHONE||+852 6737 2497|
|OPENING HOURS||10am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm Saturday & Sunday|
|ABOUT||Prefer your biking with a shot of adrenalin and side of dirt? Hong Kong Mountain Bike Association is the go-to for off-road adventure. The group organises monthly ‘Rock Up N’ Ride’ days, usually along trails on mountainous Lantau Island and the New Territories. And while mountain biking experience is ideal, there’s no need for a lack of wheels to hold you back: you can rent a mountain bike through their partner Crosscountry HK, which also runs guided mountain bike rides and training sessions. HKMBA are strong advocates of the sport liaising with government departments on trail access and even arranging volunteer sessions to build or clean trails.|
|ABOUT||The Mui Wo Mountain Bike Practice Ground is one of the largest mountain bike practice grounds in Asia. The practice ground offers trails with different challenge levels and characteristics. Beginners can start with an easy section with gentle undulations and work up to the more difficult sections. The lush green vegetation of the practice ground and the unique coast view of Mui Wo add leisurely fun to the exciting mountain biking activity.|
|ADDRESS||South Lantau – Mui Wo and Chi Ma Wan|
|ABOUT||Situated on Sheung Wan’s trendy Sai Street, the Hong Kong outlet of slick British cycling brand Rapha arranges rides amid Hong Kong Island’s steep hills every Thursday evening and Sunday morning. Drop by the store for events, workshops and a cup of coffee — essential fuel for any bike ride.|
|ADDRESS||56 Sai Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island|
|PHONE||+852 9442 3507|