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最新一期有關啟德發展的「啟德新里程」的第八期通訊 (2012年3月)中,提出使用高架單軌列車作為區內的主要連接交通工具,也提到路面環保公共交通工具,包括超低硫柴油巴士(歐盟五期排放標準)和液化石油氣小巴,可是對早前和團體討論過會在區內建單車徑以方便踏單車在區內作連接的方案仍然是隻字不提。

啟德作為全新發展的區域,完全可以在開始規劃時便把單車這環保交通工具放在規劃圖之上,可是現在的發展看不到是這樣。

香港一定不可以錯失這個在巿區建設環保單車徑的黃金機會,在啟德這小區內,單車的效率完全可以比得上甚至遠超過任何一種交通工具。其環保表現,使任何用超低硫柴油、液化石油氣及電力的交通工具自慚形穢,其在不應忽略它在交通上的作用及貢獻。

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Under renewal terms for franchises beginning 2013, currently held by New World First Bus, Long Win Bus and Citybus on the airport and North Lantau network, passengers must be allowed to bring foldable bicycles on board.

(Reported in SCMP, 28 Feb 2012.  But we are not sure where that news came from.  Will post here when we find it.)

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On 12 January, HKCAll took the harbourfront cycleway a step closer to reality with a presentation to the Hong Kong Island Task Force of the Harbourfront Commission.  We showed how the Island Eastern Corridor boardwalk, proposed by Planning Department’s consultant, would be enhanced by and could accommodate the cycleway.

See the HKCAll paper and presentation.

At the end of the meeting, CEDD undertook to incorporate the cycleway into its upcoming initial design consideration for the two-kilometre boardwalk.

 

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Ecomobility conference

November 16th, 2011 | Posted by wheeliefine in advocacy | events | uncategorised - (1 Comments)

A conference in December, hosted by the Hong Kong Foresight Centre, will bring together stakeholders to see how Hong Kong can develop a more environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive way of local mobility, combining the use of non-motorized means of transport such as walking, cycling and wheeling with the use of public transport and light electric vehicles, provided electric power stems from renewable energy sources.

Would you like to take part?  (exact date to be announced)

http://www.hkforesight.org/?page_id=66

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HKCAll on Facebook

September 2nd, 2011 | Posted by wheeliefine in uncategorised - (1 Comments)

Check out our Facebook page too!

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The Government has increased the number of country park trails open to mountain bikers following an outcry from frustrated riders.

The two extra trails – one at Chi Ma Wan in the Lantau South Country Park and another in the Shek O Country Park – will give riders a choice of four routes.

The move followed warnings made by the Hong Kong Mountain Bike Association that a wave of individual riders would break laws to ride on country parks trails unless their choice of routes was expanded.

Bikers say the two existing routes, along a concrete water catchment in south Lantau and a remote track in the Sai Kung West Country Park, are unsuitable and remote.

Hong Kong Mountain Bike Association chairman Richard Barton-Smith welcomed the new routes, but said they were only a beginning.

‘It is a very good start. We hope it leads to development of a more comprehensive network of trails across the territory,’ Mr Barton-Smith said.

The association had urged the Agriculture and Fisheries Department to open two tracks on Lantau – one around Chi Ma Wan and another near the Big Buddha.

The department agreed to open the Chi Ma Wan trail and a Shek O route, but said the trail from the Big Buddha was unsafe for cyclists.

‘It is not suitable. It is very steep – we have considered it very carefully,’ said assistant director Wong Fook-yee.

Mountain bikers wanting to use the country park trails can apply for a free one-year riding permit from the department.

The scheme would be placed under continuous review to ensure bikers and hikers did not clash and the paths were not eroded, Mr Wong said.

 

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Mountain bikers warn frustration over laws banning them from country parks could erupt in a wave of illegal rides unless the Government opens up more trails to cyclists.

Under the Country Parks Ordinance, cycling in all but two areas in country parks is prohibited and punishable with a maximum $2,000 fine and three months in prison.

The Hong Kong Mountain Bike Association proposes allowing riders on two country park trails on Lantau Island in a pilot scheme integrating bikers and hikers.

Convictions for biking in country parks have increased dramatically since 1993, when 17 were prosecuted, to 110 last year.

Association chairman Richard Barton-Smith said bikers were becoming increasingly frustrated.

‘Tension in the biking community is rising, especially among those who have been arrested. They are seriously angry,’ he said.

‘A lot of people have gone out and bought bikes and suddenly realise that riding is illegal.’ The Agriculture and Fisheries Department set up a pilot permit scheme this year on two routes – South Lantau and Sai Kung.

Association member Brian Paterson said the concrete path along a water catchment in South Lantau and the remote Wan Tsai peninsula in Sai Kung West Country Park were hardly ideal.

But the 869 permits issued expired in August. Mr Barton-Smith said there had been no further official communication, and bikers had no idea where they stood.

The 150-member association has been forced to restrict its monthly fun-rides to Lamma and North Lantau, but many individuals were breaking the law, he said.

‘Very definitely people will break the law, simply because you’re not going to stop a growing sport,’ said Mr Barton-Smith.

The association has suggested two existing country park trails – down from the Big Buddha and around the Chi Ma Wan peninsula on Lantau – be opened to bikers.

Mr Barton-Smith said bikers and hikers could avoid potential conflict by common courtesy. Biking caused no more damage to trails than walkers, he said.

With about 2,000 mountain bikers in Hong Kong, which offers some of the most challenging riding in the world, the sport was growing and could bring in eco-tourism dollars, he added.

Agriculture and Fisheries Department assistant director Wong Fook-yee said the proposals were being considered and a decision would be made this month.

Hong Kong lags behind Singapore, which set up trails four years ago.

 

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Cyclists will be allowed to ride through two country parks during a six-month trial starting today. Permits will be issued by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department for Sai Kung West Country Park (Wan Tsai Extension) and the catchment area from Tung Chung Road to Kau Ling Chung in Lantau South Country Park, which were previously off-limits to cyclists.

Senior Country Parks Officer Lai Ching-wai said applicants, aged between 12 and 18, should seek endorsement from parents or guardians on their application letters.

‘The department will not accept any group applications nor applicants under the age of 12,’ he added.

No fee will be charged but permit-holders should observe the code of practice for cyclists and have the necessary safety equipment, including suitable helmets. Cyclists should apply for permits from the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries. The application, in the form of a letter, should be addressed to Canton Road Government Offices, 14/F, 393 Canton Road, Kowloon or faxed to 2311 3731.

Mr Lai said there were many locations in country parks where no permit was required for bicycle riding. Among those are Plover Cove Main Dam and its access roads, Hok Tau Road, Kam Shan Road, Lau Shui Heung Road, Shing Mun Road, Tai Mong Tsai Road, Pak Tam Road, Hoi Ha Road and the cycling track at Tai Mong Tsai. Other than in those areas, cycling is strictly prohibited in country parks or special areas.

 

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The Hong Kong Cycling Association (HKCA) provides year-round courses.

The All Future Cyclists’ Race is held every weekend at Yuen Wo Road playground.

The association provides bicycles and helmets for this course, which covers the very basics. There are five races each year.

There is also a useful Cycling Proficiency Scheme course at Tai Wai every weekend. There is no age restriction.

On Saturday, the course is from 2 pm to 6 pm, and on Sunday it is between 9 am and 12 pm.

Cyclists are taught ‘egg-shape’ turning and given a basic introduction to the construction of bicycles.

Enthusiasts are also taught how to choose a bike when they rent one, basic control while they are riding, V-shape turning and how to use gears – a frequently misunderstood aspect of the sport.

‘Many people go through this elementary course during the summer, before October. This is a useful course for cyclists who haven’t yet grasped the basics of cycling,’ said Walter Yue.

‘Upon completion of this course, they can go on to the intermediate course where road riding basics are taught – like how to read simple road signs.’ Students who want to take the pastime a step further can go on courses for track and road racers.

For those who want to take up track racing, their is an elementary course at the Hong Kong Sports Institute’s cycling ‘velodrome’.

The course is held three times a week, from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Cyclists are expected to take examinations. If they pass the course, they can take part in the Youth Cycling Scheme which is every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The venues are the institute’s velodrome at Bridepool’s Road or Pak Tam Chung in Sai Kung.

If track or road cycling do not appeal, bike enthusiasts can take courses in cycle-ball and artistic cycling.

Cycle-ball courses are at the South China Athletic Association in Causeway Bay, and are open to enthusiasts over 15 years old. Artistic cycling is open to anyone aged over seven. Cyclists meet for basic instruction at Causeway Bay every Saturday from 4-6 pm and Sunday from 9-11 am.

Artistic cycling courses are taken by Semuel Shing, an international official, while cycle ball – a combination of cycling and football – is taught by Nelson Chan. Road racing is taught by Hong Kong’s national coach Shen Jinkang.

Mountain biking is the latest craze, but there are as yet no courses.

‘One of the biggest problems we face is that there is lack of space for this sport. We currently have two venues for mounting biking – in Shui Mei Chuen and Wang Chau Industrial Estate,’ Yue said.

For more information, call the HKCA on 2573 3861 or fax 2834 3715.

 

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Amateur mountain biker Sin Tak-chiu, 32, is hoping to represent Hong Kong in next month’s Asian Mountain Bike Championships in Taiwan.

Mr Sin started cycling 16 years ago and switched to mountain biking almost eight years ago.

A member of the Hong Kong Cycling Association, he takes part in almost every local mountain cycling competition and has competed in Japan, Taiwan and the Netherlands.

But he says he has been forced to cut his training lately as the Government is cracking down on cyclists in country parks.

Mr Sin lives with his parents in Sheung Shui.

What’s on your mind? I’m hoping the Government will let us cycle in the country parks. More than 90 per cent of Hong Kong’s mountain roads are in country parks, so it’s hard to find anywhere else to train.

How do you train? I don’t have a coach because I’ve got more than 10 years’ experience riding BMX bicycles, so it’s not difficult for me to handle mountain cycling myself. Usually, I spend about six hours a week training with my friends. We ride from Repulse Bay to Shek O just for fitness training.

We now seldom go to the country parks as the increasing number of prosecutions has really scared us off.

Any tips for beginners? The first thing is to fit yourself out with safety equipment like helmets and pads. And it’s better to go cycling with experienced cyclists when you’re learning. It’s dangerous if there’s an accident on the mountain and no one’s around to help. A new mountain bike costs anything from $3,000 to more than $30,000, but learners don’t need to buy expensive ones.

What’s your goal for future competitions? I’m looking forward to getting a better result in the local competition two weeks away. Five bikers will be selected to enter the Asian Championship after the race. I’m hoping I’ll be one of them. I also want to introduce cycling to more people, because it’s safe and inexpensive. The exercise helps people lose weight. Mountain biking is even more enjoyable; you travel to the country and take pleasure in the environment.

 

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