Mainlanders have been travelling to Hong Kong to shop, dine and enjoy the sights since the solo travellers scheme was introduced in 2003. But now there is a new breed of mainland travellers dashing round the busy streets of Hong Kong on bicycles.
And one such group who visited the city at the weekend are calling on Hong Kong to do more to promote cycling as part of a low-carbon lifestyle.
The trip marked the fifth anniversary of the Bu Yi Zi cycling club, based in the city of Shanwei, Guangdong province, and about 30 members hit the streets, all wearing the club’s blue and yellow cycling jerseys,
Their 60-kilometre route began in North Point, passing through Shau Kei Wan, Tai Tam to Aberdeen, and then on to Pok Fu Lam and Sai Wan before finally stopping at Wan Chai’s Golden Bauhinia Square.
Among the cyclists was Cai Hanchao who said Hong Kong was becoming popular among mainland bikers. “There is beautiful scenery with beaches and natural landscapes, but, after a hill or two, the city’s urban vibrancy hits you. It’s great that we can get a mix of that throughout one cycling trip.”
However, he reckoned the Hong Kong government should introduce enough cycling tracks to connect the whole city and to make it more cycle-friendly.
“It’s more dangerous to cycle in Hong Kong [compared to the mainland] – especially on Hong Kong Island when there’s traffic everywhere but no tracks for cyclists. It’s challenging,” he said.
Xiao Manghua, the group’s founder and leader of the Hong Kong trip, insisted the blue and yellow jerseys of Bu Yi Zi would be back. “We will organise more cycling trips to different parts of Hong Kong in future,” Xiao said, adding that the group wanted to bring its concept of green and healthy living to Hong Kong.
“We support low-carbon living – some of our members do that by riding to work and back every day in Shanwei,” he said.
Responding to a recent YouTube video showing a mainlander violating traffic laws by cycling through Lion Rock Tunnel, Cai said a couple of club members had made a reconnaissance trip to plan the route and check traffic conditions.
After reaching Wan Chai, the club’s trip was not quite over. “We’ll take the Star Ferry to get across to Tsim Sha Tsui, then ride to Hung Hum and take the MTR back to the mainland,” said Cai.