Cycling in Hong Kong first appeared in the long-forgotten ‘Hong Kong Daily Press’ newspaper on the 18th February 1870.
The final heat of the bicycle race will take place today at 5pm on the road at the foot of the race course. The first and second in each of the heats will take part in the final.
And how did the race go..?… we find out in the HK Daily Press on the 19th February 1870:
The third and final heat was run yesterday afternoon, and as on the previous occasion, a very large crowd of spectators assembled to view the sport. Bush, Dawson and Smith came to the scratch, and got the word “go” with a fair and even start. Dawson at once took the lead, and went spinning round the course at a good smart pace; Smith and Bush following several yards behind. Once round in this order and Smith begins to press the leader for first place which he succeed in getting just over the bridge; Bush number two and Dawson falling behind. The race is now entirely between Smith and Bush, who are keeping close company until half round the course, where Bush “opens out”, passes Smith with ease, and literally runs away from him. The leader now had the race to himself and completed the third round without any difficulty, coming in a winner by many yards ahead of Smith, who gets second place. Dawson nowhere.
The velocipede used by the winner is one of his own manufacture, a fact which shows that Hongkong is not very far behind the rest of the world in a manufacturing point of view
They were likely racing Penny-Farthings or similar as the ‘safety bicycle‘ was not invented until the 1880’s, which are more like the bikes that we recognise today.
Central Christmas Park綠樹林蔭，大家可以無拘無束地坐在青草地上閒聊小休，享受片刻寫意閒情。於茂密叢林之間，您會發現11部單車的蹤跡，當中更包括紐約潮流行的GAZELLE單車。ifc商場邀請大家騎踏園內的單車，單車便能感應您的活力正能量，形成一道光跡，為商場聖誕裝置亮燈 ，Bike up the light up。場內單車適合成人、小孩同樂，大家可以化身城市旅人，一起參與炮製完美聖誕燈效的快樂過程。
*您的足跡不單可締造璀璨，更可以成就善舉。 每一部單車均會裝上里數紀錄儀，在聖誕裝飾展示期間， ifc商場將所有貢獻力量的朋友的每一步每一里數均變成善款， 每一公里的里數將向聖雅各福群會眾膳坊食物銀行為孩子送上一份窩心早餐， 里數愈多，受惠的小朋友更廣，你的一公里，他的一份早餐，
希望大家能踴躍響應此活動，支援別具意義的社會工作。 Your bike ride through Central Christmas Park is much more than a marvellous holiday experience, it’s also an opportunity to show how much you care. The pedometer on each of the bikes at the Oval Atrium measures distance that you have cycled and ifc mall will convert the accumulated bike mileage into donation to a worthy cause. From 21 November 2013 till 2 January 2014, with every 1 kilometre of total bike mileage achieved by all 11 bikes, ifc mall will donate one hearty breakfast to St. James’ Settlement People’s Food Bank, helping underprivileged children in Hong Kong. Hop on and bike to help light up the lives of the needy!
Our earlier invitation by ifc, try riding the bicycle and interviewed talked about the feeling of riding in the Central Christmas Park.
Until yesterday, It has alreday cluster 4,050.8 kilometers, we HKFGG absolutely support this meaningful charity event.
So we hope all of you can join us ,send the warm wish to the children during this Christmas.
In Legco yesterday, the tourism industry rep, YIU Si Wing (姚思榮) asked Transport and Housing Bureau if it was/would:
(a) extend the cycle track network to former Frontier area;
(b) develop cycle tracks on the harbourfront;
(c) set up a public bicycle hiring system
(d) promote cycling tourism
Responses from Anthony Cheung, the Secretary for Transport and Housing, were, in summary:
a) yes, perhaps;
b) [ignored question];
c) no; and
d) ‘yes’ [but actually only trivially]
The first ‘perhaps’ is worth noting: about cycle tracks going into the former Frontier Closed Area. All leisure cycle tracks are a plus for Hong Kong, though we need to keep pointing out that they are merely a feature, and certainly not the sum total of cycling here, as TD likes to pretend. So half a cheer for that ‘perhaps’.
Based on that, he rejected any kind of public bicycle rental system (referring to new towns, and ignoring everywhere else), because a) it needs many nodes; b) it requires some load balancing between nodes (moving bikes around to meet need); c) maintenance of bikes; d) existing private rental services “can already meet demand”; e) Hong Kong’s land resources are too limited to provide public rental points.
His responses a), b) and c) simply cite characteristics of a public bicycle rental system, no different from those handled by the 500+ (and rapidly rising) schemes around the world, especially in mainland China. Along with response e), he’s peddling the old canard that Hong Kong is so special that the rest of the world can teach us nothing. And finally, by citing existing rental he is missing the whole value of a network of pick-up and drop-off points. (actually ‘protecting’ the business of a handful of operators, who’d probably anyway benefit from the upsurge in interest, if only they could adapt to it.)
The question about developing cycle tracks along the harbourfront was flatly ignored. How can a government minister do that? Didn’t the THB read the question? Does it think no one will notice? Or does it simply have no respect for Legco and not care who knows?
All in all, the Secretary’s reply showed that our government still doesn’t ‘get’ cycling, or its obligation to work for us.
Meet Moreton Terrace (next to main Library), 2.00pm.
Bring your own bike or RENTAL BIKES available with pre-payment ($100 + $100 deposit) by Thurs 27th, contact email@example.com
We call on the administration to recognise the popularity and diversity of cycling now, and support it to boost Hong Kong’s livability, economy and health in the future.
Everyone who jumps on their bike to get to where they’re going or to enjoy the ride deserves a government that plans and allows for their needs. All kinds of us use bikes for all kinds of reasons and we’re tired of being pushed to the side of policymaking and told “keep out of the way of the important people.”
Why does Transport Dept still deny that lots of Hong Kong people ride bikes to go places, even as our neighbours and many other countries are developing the role of functional cycling in a modern city? Our government must look seriously at what cycling can do for Hong Kong.
Please join us to ride (slowly) or walk with your bike at the front of the rally on 1 July.
Important note: police will be checking equipment in Moreton Terrace. Please ensure your bike is fully legal, eg brakes, lights when it’s dark, reflectors. Check back here for further details.
Whether or not you follow the progress of cycling in London, it is interesting that the city’s new ‘cycling commissioner’, Andrew Gilligan, is being candid and constructive about where London’s bike environment is, and where it is going.
Of course, he recognises that attention must be paid to both segregated and on-road routes, and particularly he emphasises the need for designs that meet international best practice, criticising several schemes already in progress, which would be already heavenly in Hong Kong terms, in that they were implemented by an administration that believed in the contribution of cycling. But the low position we start from here is an opportunity, right?
This post from ‘Cyclists in the City’ is recommended.
Great thanks go to Matteo for allowing us to use his photo of the delivery cyclist. He writes on his own blog about riding vintage Fuji bikes "There is something special about these vintage fuji bicycles. It is inexplainable, but it is real. They are quality. They are beautiful. They surpass expectation.". See more at Fuji Crazy
Many thanks also to Christopher Dewolf for his photo of cycling at sunset in Ma on Shan. His photos can be found at his Flickr Site, and some of his many writings & photos can be found at Urbanphoto.net
Huge Thanks to Jason Findlay for the photo of the Harbourfront bike Ride 5 near Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter