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Topic-icon Trash-talking mountain bikes in the SCMP

7 years 2 months ago #1726

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  • What does Jake van der Kamp have against mountain bikers? And why is he using his column in the SCMP to try and deny us our anyway limited trail access in HK?

    "One of the hazards of going for a walk in the country parks is being made to jump into the snake grass at a second's notice by a surprise visitation of mountain bikers barrelling down behind you with get-out-of-the-way hoots and calls.

    So the authorities are finally beginning to recognise this nuisance for what it is, are they? How good to know. Some activities are simply not suited to our increasingly well patronised country trails.

    If you must go mountain biking, fellas, find yourselves some place across the border."


    Maybe we shouldn't care that one business journalist, writing in English, doesn't like bikers. But hey, it's already tough enough. We don't need somebody with a bad impression trying to make us all out as bad people, maybe because he was surprised by a bike one time. All you guys who spend time off the bike around country park trails know very well that too many hikers + too many stairs = very few places where you WILL see a biker.

    If you care, write to Jake at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let him know that he isn't the only one with a voice. Most important is that he knows how many people think he is prejudiced and unfair. I tried to explain that we would even be happy to build our own -- separate -- trails, and this was his reply:

    "I can only repeat myself. There is no room on Hong Kong's country trails for mountain bikes. Go elsewhere or take up another sport."

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    7 years 2 months ago #1741

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  • I didn't read the article but what does the author mean by

    "So the authorities are finally beginning to recognise this nuisance for what it is, are they"?


    Having been riding Dragon's Back ~ HK Island's only official trial for about year during Sunday morning, there's very few MTB traffic. I & fellow beginners always do our part to greet the hikers; stop and yield the way.

    There're little kids and senior citizens with family members who walks the Dragin's Back regularly and we always greet them nicely in Chinese "good morning"; "thank you"; "nice weather today" and so on.

    There are always a few bad apples out there but we'd do our part not to spook the hikers. You'd never know that there're complaint-happy citizens who would be happy to call their legislature members to do something.

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    7 years 2 months ago #1744

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  • Hum, there was a big round up operation last Sunday. A pack of riders going down Kap Long saw some footers, they break and stop completely. They dismounted let the few footers pass. But there was this annoying lady in the group said in Chinese "I rechonize you lot, I called the police already and will get you all arrested". It seems there are bad apples in both footers and bikers.
    Most of the time, we get along very well. Both groups are outdoors people trying to enjoy nature which ever way they can. So, relax and have little worries of us casting a bad image, to the users of the mountain, we are good. Little damage is done siince no matter how good our rep maybe, the AFCD will not open up any new trail on the merit of our rep alone.

    Last Edit: 7 years 2 months ago by ratcat.

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    7 years 2 months ago #1745

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  • Email to Jake, I hope he has a think before replying as above, will let you know
    Bob


    Dear Jake,
    Your recent article regarding Mountain Biking was forwarded to me via the Hong Kong Mountain Biking Association web forum. As well, your reply to a member's email was quoted thus; "I can only repeat myself. There is no room on Hong Kong's country trails for mountain bikes. Go elsewhere or take up another sport."
    I trust that you have been misquoted. A recalcitrant response such as that is usually the reserve of government/business diminished abilities.Your entertaining and informative stance against such mediocrity is popularised through your SCMP column. I am an avid fan.
    As well, as a hiker and biker, I have been roaming the Hong Kong trails for the last quarter century. Yes, there has been rare conflict between the two activity groups. However, through education, advocacy and acknowledgement, both the public and government [!] continue to move toward mutual understanding. This is called progress through change.
    Jake, your contrarian views are normally well founded. I submit however that your SCMP column is perhaps not the appropriate forum for airing your personal, and dare I say less informed, opinion regarding Mountain Biking. I do look forward to a future column from you wherein you chart the growth rate, popularity, health benefits, employment etc of the local and global Mountain Biking industry and its associated business pursuits. That may be an enlightening challenge!
    Meanwhile, as we both grow older, maybe we can also be a little wiser. After all, age should not necessarily be proportional to grumpiness!
    Regards
    Bob Fisher

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    7 years 2 months ago #1746

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  • “The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance.” Samuel Butler

    Need we say more?

    Hayze

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    7 years 2 months ago #1747

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  • Good on you, Bob.

    Ironic that it was so much easier when I started poaching trails in the Aberdeen Country Park back in 1995. Nobody freaked out when I rode up/past, and I remember an elderly lady even yelling out "加油!" (~step on it) in support as I inched up Peel Rise one slippery summer morning.

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