MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Bike riding in the New Territories

At Tai Mei Tuk, which is a place just down the road from where we're living in the New Territories, there are a couple of places to rent and buy bikes. It seems to be a popular pastime, and it seems there are bike lanes every where in the New Territories - certainly where we've been so far.

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Hong Kong seems to be encouraging a greener way to live, with cycling being one aspect of it. They're currently broadcasting adverts for them on TV and on the buses (tv advertising screens). Well, to be honest, they might have been doing this some time, since I'm still seeing other adverts which were broadcast when I was last here two years ago.

During the weekends, the bike lanes from Tai Mei Tuk, past our village and all the way to Tai Po, are full of cyclists, either in groups, pairs or on their own. The people are a mix of casual cyclists to more serious ones with racing bikes, helmets and the full cycling gear. This particular route is not surprisingly popular since its adjacent to the coast and its an easy and pleasant ride.

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My brother bought a bike when he was over in Hong Kong a few months ago and at a cost of £20 (!) for a secondhand one, Linh decided to get one too (specifically a pink one - with a basket for shopping!).

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Here's a short video she insisted on shooting, where she's testing the bike in our front courtyard.



The cost of the bike was slightly higher than a few months ago because of the exchange rate now, but Linh managed to negotiate the price of a second hand bike down to 290 HK$ (about £28) to also include a front lamp. When purchasing most things in Hong Kong, we were advised to always ask for a discount and ask for extras and where applicable, to ask for delivery to be included. This is also in the case of larger retailers too.

There are obviously more expensive bikes available, but Tai Mei Tuk's stocks we chose from were for standard models which they use to hire out. Linh could have bought a new version of the bike she chose, for 700-800 HK$, but it would have to be ordered in. Pointless really, if we're only staying here for a year, when the second hand one is good enough.

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Rental options

My brothers bike and Linh's seem to be two standard models commonly hired out. The former is more of a mountain bike and has six gears, whereas Linh's is distinctly more ladylike but has no gears.

There are also tandems and racing bikes available to hire and a three/four seat tricycle. Two adults can sit side by side on a wide bench seat at the back and either two kids or one adult sit in front, all with a roof over them.

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Cost-wise to rent, it seems to vary but we've heard of 30-60 HK$ for the bikes and 120 HK$ for the tricycles for all day use and around 100 HK$ for a half day for racing bikes. Seeing the cost of purchasing a second hand bike at 290 HK$, you can guess that hiring won't be that much at all.

Owning a car?

From what I've heard, owning a car is not always a practical option in the inner city areas, due to finding places to park and then the cost. Hence, traveling by bike is a far cheaper option. Bike theft also seems less of a worry than in the UK - probably because of the cost of the cheaper bikes. I've seen riders frequently leave their bikes unlocked on the pavement as they go shopping.



This entry posted in : Hong Kong. New Territories. Sport. Tourism.

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  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
20/02/09  at  10:47 AM
V jealous, I'd love to be riding around the Tai Po area on a bike! My bike du choix would be a red beachcruiser.
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20/02/09  at  03:41 PM
We discovered Tai Po Waterfront Park yesterday, which has a path and bike route alongside the bay...

Post coming soon, but photos already online at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/markwu/sets/72157614073000667/
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