Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mike Rides Again! (Hong Kong stylee)

I finally got my buttocks in gear today and took my bike out. I discovered that the old Enduro very nearly fits into the boot of a standard Hong Kong taxi, with just enough fork sticking out for the flapping, bungeed boot to smack up and down on the front caliper. Perfect!

I peddled up to the top of Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong's highest peak (957 metres - massive), with a view to riding down a trail I'd been spying on the way up. There is, however, a considerable weather station on the peak, and there was no way to get anywhere near any trails, so I rolled back down the hill trying to look as rad as possible. Hooking up with a trail further down, I experienced first-hand an issue that is upsetting many a local rambler; everytime there is something even vaguely approaching an incline, the kindly HK government build a lot of steps. If it looks like it's going to break the 1:10000 incline limit, they put in a handrail as well. This is very annoying.

Close to despair, my luck changed when I ran into a group of local riders tweaking their bikes in a layby. Turns out they were running a couple of downhill routes, and invited me along. Better still, they'd hired an uplift van. They made it very clear to me that this was an illegal activity, and if we got caught I'd have to go to court and pay a fine of £30! I accepted the risk, safe in the knowledge that I could say 'I'M BRITISH, DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!' and still get away with it, God bless the Empire. And the good times ensued. Safe to say, I'm now an official member of the Hong Kong downhilling scene of 12 people.

mike riding big

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