• Sat
  • Aug 30, 2014
  • Updated: 6:30am

Wheel rush

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 September, 2011, 12:00am

The sport of mountain biking has been thriving on the hilly landscapes of Hong Kong. Biking veteran Tiger So Fu tells Young Post about popular local routes and the precautions you should take while pursuing this exciting but risky sport.

Routes:

Tai Lam Reservoir Loop

Take a bus to the Gold Coast and make your way to the Tai Lam Chung Reservoir. The 30km-long route with two loops follows the reservoir's shoreline. The scenery is nice. The route is generally flat with a few sharp corners, which makes it suitable for newcomers. It takes about two hours.

Dragon's Back, Shek O Country Park

Hire a van with a few like-minded friends to journey to the Tai Tam Gap Correctional Institution.

There you can embark on a demanding and bumpy adventure through Shek O.

The route is littered with extending tree roots and slippery rock surfaces so novices should stay away. As the trail snakes through narrow paths, a ride in Dragon's Back demands bike control and technique. The trail is ideal for boosting fitness and skills.

Chi Ma Wan

Catch a ferry to Mui Wo and follow the road signs to the Chi Ma Wan trail. It's hilly, technically challenging terrain. The route starts with an intimidating climb, followed by a steep descent.

The trail has many twists and turns, with spectacular ocean views.

Clear Water Peak Trail

Make your way to Ng Fai Tin on Clearwater Bay Road. Make sure to set out with full water bottles as there's little shade in the park.

It is a short and fast trail that takes about an hour to complete. You can boost your fitness and balance on the steep uphill climbs.

The park is closed to bikers on Sundays and public holidays.

Wan Tsai Island, Sai Kung

A laidback, relaxing trail awaits you on Wan Tsai Island, starting from Hoi Ha village. The flat road is biker-friendly and perfect for beginners.

Along the way, you'll find public facilities like toilets.

Ho Pui Reservoir

The Ho Pui mountain bike trail is the toughest cross-country trail in Hong Kong with winding pathways, rock gardens and gnarled roots in a rural setting. Here is your chance to push yourself to the limit with gruelling climbs and descents.

Safety precautions:

Look out for cows!

Though they may look calm, the animals may charge you if they feel threatened. Give them a wide berth.

Wear a helmet and safety gear

Make sure your protective gear fits well: you wouldn't want them to hang loosely as you pedal around.

Tell people where you're heading

You should travel in groups, never alone, especially in remote areas.

Behave responsibly

Don't embark on a jump or a rocky trail ride you don't think you can handle. Train well first before you challenge yourself.

Follow rules

Adhere to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Mountain Bike guidelines. All mountain bikers need a permit from the AFCD to ride in country parks. You can apply for permits on its website.

Biking tips:

1 Drink plenty of liquids.

2 Stay safe; don't take risks.

3 Choose your mountain bike wisely. Bikes can range in price from HK$8,000 to HK$100,000.

4 Make sure not to push yourself beyond your limits. Keeping fit is crucial for mountain biking. You can boost your fitness by running or swimming.

5 Keep your eyes open for the natural scenery... but don't forget to look down for sharp stones!

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