Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Night riding in Hong Kong

So I bought some cheap lights in Sham Shui Po, put them at the back of a cupboard and forgot about them for weeks, only getting round to charging the batteries last night and then going for a ride this evening.

I was shocked. Overawed, even. Having spent hundreds of pounds on expensive lights in England, lights with heavy separate battery packs, lights with special halogen bulbs that ran so hot that they would melt if you turned them on while you were stationary. Plastic lights that fell to bits, metal lights that were feeble and yellow, all sorts of junk.

Whereas a couple of Sham Shui Po specials outshone all of them, splurging brilliant white light across the trail, almost eliminating the point of night riding by killing off the dark. Now I'm wondering if I could make a fortune posting cheap lights to England for expensive prices; although caution tells me I should wait a few weeks, see if any of mine explode.

Night riding in Hong Kong is very civilised. You take a taxi to the top of a big hill, then ride down. None of this sweating, struggling up a huge ascent. Well, less sweating. And no needing a train ride out to Dorking to find some good singletrack. And unlike England, you can ride singletrack with a background of Giant Concrete Cities Out Of The Matrix, just one more perk of living in Asia's World City.

And there are some great trails; all narrow, slightly terrifying tracks skirting the contours of the hills, big rocks to one side and a huge fall all the way down to Ocean Park on the other. Just the thing to keep you awake while riding in the evenings.

All of this is strictly hypothetical of course, as it's not permitted to go riding offroad at night. Oh well.

After possibly riding, I could have gone back to a friend's place and theoretically drunk my body weight in beer, but instead I (would have) went home and got ready for my flight tomorrow morning. Phew. Lucky escape there. If I'd been riding. Which I wasn't. Ahem.


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