Lantau Island
Hong Kong's best kept secret for road and mountain biking

30 January 2010

Getting ready for move to new web site

To make the site more interactive it will soon migrate to
For the time being this site will continue as normal and I will slowly copy everything over to the new one.

Windy - That's about best description of Friday night's ride

Mark and I set off earlier than usual tonight intending to put some serious miles in.   I got as far as the airport where I had to turn back to get my gears sorted out as they were jumping all over the place.   Mark went on and was blown round the airport perimeter one way and then fought his way back.   As I relaxed in the bike shop (Andy was working on me bike) Mark reappeared with what he believed were 17 kms of road covered.   Unfortunately he had not reset his computer after taking it off his mountain bike and had therefore short changed himself as his alleged 17km were on 700c wheels not 26 inchers.   Anyhow after some mental maths we can confirm he made his second week of over 100 miles.

28 January 2010

The green eyed monster works its magic

After Cavan's recent acquisition of his Giant and after watching him disappear off over the horizon the green eyed monster suddenly appeared and sent both Mark and I off in search of faster steeds.

Despite severe trepidations I gently announced to my darling wife that I had bitten the bullet, put the horse out to grass, etc., etc., and struck a deal with Andy at Tung Chung Pro Riders on a shiny new bike. A Battaglin 3cime carbon.   Luckily and very gratefully I did not receive the castration I thought I was in for.   Hopefully and not coincidentally the slow demise of my elderly horse appeased her wrath somewhat.

Mark too has been busy with his wallet and has invested in a shiny silver coloured Cannondale CAAD9.  Stepping down, (quite literally) from his earlier Cannondale but most certainly raising the performance bar with the Dura Ace gears and more sensibly sized frame.

Now its time to get used to the new saddles and new fangled gear levers.

Gravel rash at the Tung Chung Criterium - Ouch

Cavan, this is why I never said yes to doing the race!

26 January 2010

Trophy Hunters

Well done to TJ for winning his race in the Criterium on Sunday.   Apparently he will donate some of his winnings to Keith who is saving hard for a new alarm clock. (Keith will understand).   But who is that talent scout in the red jacket sitting on the sidelines?

23 January 2010

Off to the bike equivalent of the Vets

Recently my very faithful steed has been moaning and groaning more and more as it struggles to tote my rather bulky body along the roads.   I have lavished love and attention upon it by slowly changing out the old and the worn.   On its last trip to the bicycle vet I explained that when changing front rings the chain was either falling off or getting wedged between the two biggest rings, normally at the bottom of a hill too!    The vet patiently looked over the bike and gave a pretty expensive diagnosis.   Front cranks were ready for the knackers yard.   They were slowly bending out of true.  The good doctor produced a shiny new crank set and eagerly teased me to feel how light and smooth it all was.  

As my own eyesight is somewhat blurred and my loyalty to my trusty steed so deep, I refused to accept the diagnosis preferring instead to believe and hope that it was a temporary glitch in my own gear change technique.  I did my own quack, (AKA cheaper) diagnosis and decided that maybe the bottom bracket was the issue, after all it had been creaking and groaning more and more.   So armed with the new HK$120 purchase I performed the necessary hip replacement (also known as a bottom bracket).   Yesterday the old steed pranced along!   The ride was smoother than ever and maybe even a little less effort was needed to trot along.   Pha, what does the vet know.   But no, oh no, at the bottom of the first hill I smugly flicked the gear changer to drop onto the lower ring and crunch.  Full lock down of chain!

I am sorry to have to report that last night the symptoms continued and I write this quietly in case the cranks can read.  It's time for them to go.   Trouble is a new set will be worth more that the complete bike.   What to do?   Bite the bullet and put the whole thing out of its misery or give the steed itself a glimmer of hope and keep investing in the hope that not much more can go wrong?  Call it a a knee replacement if you will? 

I decided to seek a second opinion by quizzing a second vet.  Without even looking at the bike he told me flatly "front cranks will be bent"     Nightmare, how to break the news to her indoors?   All ideas gratefully received.

Giant Steps

A few milestones have been achieved this week.   Firstly Cavan ventured over the hill from Mui Wo on his new Giant bike for the first time.   A very respectable 23 minutes climbing indeed.   Although he is not too impressed with Danny's comments that it is easier on a road bike than a mountain bike.   Suppose it is easier to believe if you weigh 54 kg?  Mark has cracked 1000 km of road travel since November this week.   Well done there too.   He and I also rattled off our first 100 mile week.   On Monday the 29km magical mystery tour of the airport, on Wednedsday 65 km and yesterday a further 73 km around Disney and Sunny Bay. 

21 January 2010

Double the distance

Mark and I set off early tonight and managed to make the most of a very balmy evening. A 65km run at a very comfortable pace was achieved without too much effort. The head wind out of Tung Chung was unwelcome; as was the driving skills of the driver of the Discovery Bay bus registration LJ653 who did his utmost to force us off the road even though we were cycling in a line. Ah that also reminds me that on Monday night we were pulled up by PC plod for cycling two abreast.  He stopped us because we were apparently an obstruction to buses.   About four buses an hour use the road and two of them are travelling in the opposite direction.  Anyhow, daft old Sgt plod had pulled us up in the middle of the road and seemed happy to lecture us there on the perils of riding two a breast.  It never crossed his little mind to ask us to move to the layby next to him and out of harms way.  Before he stopped us we were cracking along but now stationary he rambled on about how much of an obstruction cyclists are and lo and behold a dirty great big bus or lorry or something came grinding to a halt behind us,  yep he could not get passed.  Wonder what would have happened if we had been hit.   An interesting police report to read.

I digress, by the time we had completed our fourth and last circuit of Sunny Bay we were caught up by Keith, Danny, Andy and the Koon Wah crew who had been training for the forthcoming road race by cycling behind a pacer motorbike at a less than leisurely 40km.   Apparently they managed to stay the distance from the DB tunnel turn off, up to the end of the Tung Chung service road.  Blimey.

Although we were both beginning to flag by the time we made the fourth ascent up from Sunny Bay we decided we should not be out done and had better make an effort to push harder for the final run back into Tung Chung.   So taking full advantage of a breezy but now following wind and outr less than slipsstreamed  body shapes we upped the pace and found ourselves trundling along in the high 30s and at times low 40s. A quick cup of instant coffee at the 7/11 and then back to the bike shop and home. Will sleep well tonight!

19 January 2010

Lost photos from last year

Danny, Petra, Keith and others line up for a mug shot before heading off to Sunny Bay and Disney etc.

Learning our way around the airport perimeters

Hmmm.   Obviously we need to do this route a few more times with riders who know the route better than we do.   Starting out very confidently Mark, Petra (back from the depths of Australia), Matthew and me pedalled out to the airport perimeters.   The ride out was balmy, relaxed and views stunning.   The return was windier than expected and longer, much longer, thanks in part to my complete inability to work out where we had been.   Any how 30 km or so later we were safely back at the bike shop.

16 January 2010

Race preparations continue - Energetic Triathlon Shatin and Tung Chung Criterium

The Energetic triathlon Shatin has organised a duathlon, (run / bike / run) on 24 Jan.   The timing of their race appears to have attracted the attention of Andy from the Tung Chung Riders Pro bike shop and the equally quick but perhaps not quite so prominent Sun from Mui Wo.   I am sure they will do well.   Meanwhile the remainder of the Koon Wah Construction clan, both male and female plus TJ and others are continuing to train for the HKCU criterium around Yat Tung.   I know that the Lantau clan will put in a good showing (despite Cavan's withdrawal) and hope to post photos of both events soon.   Although Mark appears to be nursing some damage or strain to his hamstring he has continued to keep stacking up his miles and fitness.   So much so that he and I continue to plot and scheme about upgrading our bikes.

14 January 2010

A New Direction - Yat Tung Estate and a New Bike too

Not sure what was in the air last night but the regular ride was not to be.   After mooching around the bike shop about ten of us set off for a quick there and back between Tung Chung and Disney then back into Tung Chung and over to the Yat Tung estate for some practice circuits around the loop.     The Yat Tung estate road seems an ideal spot too, with clean, smooth surfaces and one slightly down gradient run and one slightly uphill gradient run.  A perfect place for interval training.

As usual, I set off alone to at least be ahead of the pack for the journey out to Disney etc but was overhauled on the way back about 2km from Tung Chung.   From then on I had no need to look over my shoulder!

Cavan, sporting his new Giant bike and now also some new cold weather clothes was obviously pleased with his investment and vestments but for reasons only known to himself has opted for spectator position rather than pole position for the forthcoming race on 24th.   I say, give it a go Cavan.

12 January 2010

Monday 11th January

Cavan and I have both decided that we are not ready for the Criterium on 24 Jan due to various circumstances, the primary one being that we are not ready (race trained/fit enough) to compete. Coming last is not a problem for either of us, coming last by a lap or two could be a bit embarrassing.

Anyhow, tonight we (Glyn, Cavan and myself) hauled ourselves over to Tung Chung (in the car, not on the bikes) for another late night ride. We decided we would stick to an average speed of 25 tonight as this has been deemed the slow/workout week. It was cold, damp and windy, the wind seemed to be coming from all directions.

A nice gentle ride to Sunny Bay (with head wind, side wind) was followed by two complete circuits (SB-Carpark-Hotel) with an additional Sunny Bay leg tacked on or good measure. We upped the pace a bit on the way back as time was pressing and the wind was biting. We made it back to 7-11 for quick cuppa and then headed back to the car.

Total distance tonight 51.58km in 2h:13m for a slow average of just over 23kp

Total distance cycled since Nov 17 is 799km or 500miles, roll on the next 500

09 January 2010

Learning the Criterium and Group Ride

Tonight we (Cavan, TJ, Glyn and Myself) tried the Criterium course for later this month, both Me and Cavan have come to the conclusion that we are looking at being placed last and second from last unless somebody comes off their bike. That is of course if we are accepted for the race by the HKCA  Whilst we were practicing, a group of about 15 others riders had gathered in Tung Chung for the usual Friday night ride. We managed to catch them up by Sui Ho Wan for a pretty fast ride to Sunny Bay.  Most of the riders headed off to complete the SB-hotel circuit, whilst me and Glyn did the full SB-carpark-hotel circuit.   One quick ride back to Sunny Bay and we had a group photo op (not a good photo due to the light and the traffic) before everyone moved off.  A fast run back to Tung Chung, for a warm down at 7-11, then we headed of to Mui Wo for a steaming bowl of "Won Ton Mien" by the big tree and then off home to bed.  Today's stats - 49.28km in 1h:51m:16s at an average speed of 26.5kph

08 January 2010

What's the criteria for entering a criterium race?

Despite my best efforts on Wednesday to dampen their enthusiasm, albeit selfishly  due to my mince pie avarice over Christmas, Mark and Cavan are apparently considering entering their first race!!!!! I take my hat off to them.  So tonight, under the watchful and possibly cynical eyes of TJ we shall attempt the course and see how we corner. Taking plenty of elastoplast with me tonight. I wonder if they will shave their legs?

07 January 2010

A Welcome Return of Glyn

What a night, cold, windy, wet roads and the return of Glyn after a two week break of eating mince pies.

We turned up at the usual meeting point to find we were the only ones present (fair weather cyclists). After taking what seemed an age to put the bikes together we where ready for the first photo opportunity of 2010

Back to the riding, we, made steady progress to Sunny Bay only to find a couple of early starters (TJ and Andy) on there second loop, we joined them for a quick lop of Disney and decided that it was to cold to keep going.

A steady ride back to Tung Chung followed but Glyn was not feeling to good after the two week break, although he did look good in his booties and stockings. We all managed around 35-36 km's in around 1:25, so not a bad effort considering.

We managed to get to McD's in Mui Wo before they shutf or a well earned burger and tea before heading home for a good nights sleep

Friday we practice for the Criterium on 24th Jan...

05 January 2010

Xmas reality check

Very reluctantly and expecting the worst I stepped onto the scales for the first time since I proudly declared I had lost so much weight before Xmas. Looks like I will need to keep my gob shut for a while in case anyone asks me how heavy I am. Let's just say it will be a few weeks until I start bragging again.

04 January 2010

Monday morning ride

Good to hear that you be here soon Glyn, anyway, thought I would do the Tung Chung - Disney circuit today. As my mountain bike has a few problems with the gears, I can only ride the road bike for now.

Drove to Disney (they offer free parking for annual pass holders) and decided that I would do the circuit back-to-front (Car Park-Hotel-Sunny Bay-Tung Chung Bike Shop-Sunny Bay-Car Park-Hotel-Sunny Bay-Car Park) this took me almost two hours, but the sun was shining and the Kites (birds of prey not the plastic things on string) where out in force around Disney. There must have been about 30 of them across the road from the car park entrance circling and swooping down, must have been something over there that looked good.

Today I managed to cover 49.15km in 1h.51m at an average speed of 26.1kph

Looking forward to Wednesday night.

03 January 2010

Getting ready for the inevitable!

Now the proud owner of two new sets of cycling togs BUT a larger than normal belly. We land back in HK on Monday afternoon so maybe I can find the courage to step onto the scales on Tuesday morning and discover the consequences of two weeks of avarice and sloth. Reading Mark's entries re average speeds etc I am in trouble all ready.

02 January 2010

First Ride of the New Year

Agreed to met at HSBC at 7am for a quick ride out to Shik Pik with Cavan. Completed the 32km in 1.47. The hills definitely get easier, either that or I am getting fitter.

Once back in Mui Wo a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, beans and toast went down a treat.

Regular service shall be resumed when Glyn returns to these warmer climes next week.