Remoteness of legal trails 'leads cyclists to break law'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 April, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 April, 1998, 12:00am

Cyclists are using illegal mountain bike tracks because the four trails made legal for bikes last year are too hard too reach, a riders' group said.

The Hong Kong Mountain Bike Association said it would soon ask country park managers for more trails to be opened up to cyclists.

Association secretary Michael Pryde said many riders lived in Sha Tin and Tai Po, so wanted access to trails they could get to within 20 minutes without needing to take a taxi or van.

'There's a lot of people going out there every weekend breaking the law,' he said.

Mr Pryde said there were plenty of trails suitable for making available to mountain bike riders. 'Hong Kong has hundreds of trails everywhere and they're mostly not used,' he said.

He said the time and effort it took to reach one of the four approved trails, on Wan Tsai Island in Sai Kung Country Park, put people off.

'To get there legally, you have to take a taxi, then hire a sampan, then take your wheels off and carry the bike until you get to the head of the trail.' Agriculture and Fisheries Department officials said they needed more time to assess how the four trails were working out before they looked into opening more.

Country parks management officer Alice Tang Yuk-king said officials were worried about potential injuries to hikers.

She said she was aware that at least two of the trails approved for bike access were rarely used because they were difficult to reach.

Department officials would be happy to meet cyclists to discuss the issue.