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.