Hong Kong development chief promises to boost local cycling and mountain biking scene

Among the projects are a 82-kilometre cycling route linking the New Territories from east to west, and the extension of an official biking trail on Lantau Island

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 August, 2016, 8:39pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 August, 2016, 8:39pm

A top government official has promised to implement projects to improve Hong Kong’s cycling and mountain biking scene “as soon as possible” in hopes it will help promote the sport and nurture future star cyclists like Sarah Lee Wai-sze.

Development chief Paul Chan Mo-po said projects to link up existing cycling paths in the New Territories, and the building of more official trails for mountain biking are well underway.

“We will try our best to implement the cycling and mountain biking projects as soon as possible... so more people can enjoy the fun of cycling,” Chan wrote in his blog on Sunday.

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“It may also one day help produce more outstanding athletes like Hung Chung-yam, Wong Kam-po and Sarah Lee Wai-sze,” he added.

A cycling route, spanning a total of 82 kilometres from Tsuen Wan to Tuen Mun and Ma On Shan, will link the New Territories from east to west.

A section of the route from Tuen Mun to Yuen Long is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, while another section from Yuen Long to Sheung Shui will be finished by 2020.

We will try our best to implement the cycling and mountain biking projects as soon as possible... so more people can enjoy the fun of cycling
Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po

The government had approved a funding of HK$295.4 million for the construction of the new cycle tracks from Yuen Long to Sheung Shui, as well as improvement works in the area.

Nick Dover, director of trail development at the Hong Kong Mountain Bike Association, said: “From a beginner’s point of view and the development of biking as a whole, [the project] will be fantastic since it will link up different parts of towns and recreational areas.”

However, Dover added that the new tracks will be a “grey area” for semi-professional riders who train on roads next to car traffic – which is more suitable for their riding speed and style – as they may then get ticketed for riding on roads when there are cycling tracks available.

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The association also welcomed plans to extend an official mountain biking trail on Lantau Island and to build a training park since current tracks only cater to advanced level mountain bikers.

The project, which costs HK$41.6 million, will be completed by the end of 2017.

Hong Kong has 11 official mountain biking trails, with eight of them being shared with hikers and other country park users.

Meanwhile, Paul Chan also suggested introducing floating restaurants and sampan services in the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter in a separate interview with the government’s Information Services Department on Sunday.

The area, which is currently closed due to construction of the Central-Wan Chai bypass, is part of the government’s long term plans on developing the city’s waterfront.