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How Hong Kong can cycle its way to a greener future

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 April, 2018, 11:03am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 April, 2018, 11:03am

I am writing in response to the article “If you’re riding a bike next week, Hong Kong police will be watching you” (March 30), and want to express my opinion about the cycling culture in the city.

Nowadays, more people around the world are taking part in cycling events, including in Hong Kong. However, cycling tracks can only be found in the New Territories and not so much in Kowloon or on Hong Kong Island.

Even where there are tracks in the New Territories, the quality may not be good. For example, many cycling tracks in Tseung Kwan O are not continuous and are interrupted by road junctions. Moreover, many are very narrow. It is very difficult for cyclists to ride smoothly without dismounting, and to improve their performance in the sport.

Further, the biggest cycling event and race of the year, the Hong Kong Cyclothon, is too easy for non-professionals who really play hard. The longest distance is only 50km. This is too short for serious cyclists and doesn’t offer enough of a challenge. This won’t encourage more serious amateurs to take part.

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With fossil fuels facing supply and price volatility as major future risks, and with more economies seeking low-carbon alternatives, it is important to recognise that cycling is not just a sport, it is an alternative lifestyle and a cleaner mode of transport. It causes zero air pollution and improves health.

The Hong Kong government should encourage more people to ride bicycles to promote a green lifestyle. The most basic move would be to perfect the cycle track network, to offer convenience and ensure the safety of cyclists.

Matthew Ho, Tseung Kwan O