Ok, so we’re not for one moment suggesting that you saddle up the fam and go cruising the mean streets of Central, but there are a surprising amount of places around Hong Kong to go cycling. Check out our go-to guide for all the best spots in town to experience some pedal power.
Hong Kong Island
As you might expect, cycling provision is somewhat thin on the ground on the Island itself, with only three officially designated cycle tracks, all to the east.
At 640m long, Quarry Bay Park cycle track is the longest on the Island. Chai Wan has not one but two cycle tracks, one at Siu Sai Wan Road Garden and the other at Yee Shing Lane Sitting Out Area, part of Chai Wan park. Both are very short in length, so possibly better suited to wee ones with stabilisers than confident teen BMX-ers.
Wan Chai’s Morrison Hill Park has a multi-purpose concrete area that can be used by both bikes and skateboards but this is very limited and you’ll have to fight for the space. Over to the west, Cyberport Waterfront Park is a nice flat area for baby bikers to get their confidence up.
Although technically a cycle-free road, we think very little kids could just about get away with practicing on Bowen Road in Mid-Levels. This is one of the few flat and traffic-free spots centrally located, and is mainly used by joggers and walkers. Try heading over during the day when it’s at its quietest. (But don’t say we told you to!)
For a ride with a view, nowhere in the ‘Kong compares to West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade. Right near to Kowloon MTR station in Tsim Sha Tsui, you’ll have the full harbourfront panorama as you pedal along the 1.5 km designated cycle track.
Situated within the historic Kowloon Walled City Park, Carpenter Road Park has a purpose-built bike zone with quiet corners for newbies along with ramps, tunnels and bridges for speed demons.
Po Kong Village Road Park near Diamond Hill is a great spot for all kinds of cycling in Kowloon. The 1km-long raised cycling track allows for some serious freewheeling, while the beginner’s cycling area allows novices to get up to scratch before braving the longer elevated ride. A purpose-built BMX course provides the thrills (but hopefully not too many spills!) The park has its own fleet of rental bikes so just rock up and get pedaling.
Kowloon Bay Park cycling ground is another part-elevated cycle bridge with a quiet practice area and lanes for segregating the quick from the cautious. Bike rental is available on-site.
New Territories / Islands
As you might imagine, the New Territories and Islands offer the best biking in Hong Kong. With more open space, less traffic and some great scenery en route, if you’ve got a junior Bradley Wiggins or Anna Meares at home, ditch the small park tracks and head north for some fab freewheeling opportunities.
Starting in Lantau, Discovery Bay is very bike-friendly for the whole family and makes for a nice and easy day out on the ferry. With no traffic allowed in the complex, your biggest safety concern will be a wayward golf buggy, so little cyclists can have a little more freedom to roam than they might usually. Bring your own ride, as there’s currently no rental option in DB.
Mui Wo village is very bike-friendly with the aptly-named Friendly Bike Shop offering day rentals (ask for Jacky). From there it’s easy enough to meander through the peaceful villages of Wang Tong, Lung Mei Tsuen and Luk Tei Tong. Also starting from Mui Wo, the trail to the impressive Silvermine Waterfall makes for an easy ride.
Not quite brave enough for the full Disney experience? How about a circuit of Inspiration Lake just outside the main park? Bike rentals are available from the recreation centre.
Think Cheung Chau is all about buns? Try picking up some rental wheels by the pier and seeing another side to this lovely island. Small enough to be easily covered in an afternoon, the lack of traffic, historic temples, pirate cave and beautiful beaches make this the ideal easy day out. Hit up San Hing Praya (aka Seafood Street) for some super-fresh dinner before you jump on the ferry home.
For a full day of biking, pack a picnic and collect your rental wheels either in Tai Po Market or Sha Tin for a ride along the fabulous Tolo Harbour Cycle Track. This 20km track curves around the harbour and offers great views across to Plover Cove Reservoir and the eight peaks of Pat Sin Leng mountain range.
Previously banned in Hong Kong’s many country parks, there are now designated Mountain Bike Trails throughout the NT. Do note that you must apply for a permit first and bikers must be over the age of 12.
Starting off at Kam Tin Walled City and taking in the HK Wetland Park en route, this guided cycle tour is a great day out for older kids. Coming in at around 35km over 3.5 hours, you’ll need some stamina, but the rewards are fascinating history, cultural insight into a rarely-explored part of Hong Kong and plenty of flora and fauna too.
Like the tour idea? Hansen’s Rides offer a full range of guided cycle tours of the NT and Islands, many of which are suitable for kids. Check out their difficulty guide, which ranges from easy (levels 1,2,3) to hard (levels 9 and 10). If in doubt, they are very happy to answer any questions on suitability and provide all the kit you need for each tour.
Wannabe sports cyclists should head to the Hong Kong Sports Institute Velodrome in Sha Tin. Alumni include Lee Wai-sze, who just took home a bronze in the women’s keirin cycle event at London 2012 so you know they’re getting some serious coaching.
Where to buy
With a surprising amount of places to buy cycling gear, it seems that maybe HK is a bike-friendly city after all!
Chun Yung Cycle offer bikes, spares, helmets and everything else bike-related you could possibly imagine (and many things you probably can’t!) They have an extensive list of Hong Kong and Macau bike shops on their site so it’s a great first stop when on the hunt.
Hong Kong Bicycle stock bikes and all the associated kit at their Fortress Hill store.
Kids’ bikes, mountain bikes and even commuter-friendly fold-ups are available from BSP Bikes in Fotan. Once you’ve made your choice, they’ll arrange for your new wheels to be delivered to your door, and their website offers useful hints and tips on cycling in HK.
Kowloon-side, Flying Ball Bicycle stock a good range of kid and adult bikes and accessories, including clothing, bags and shoes.
…there’s a brand spanking new 60km long cycle track currently under construction between Ma On Shan and Tun Mun, the first stage of which will be open in early 2013 and will offer a huge and welcome boost to leisure cycling in Hong Kong. Watch this space for updates!
And a big thanks to our Sassy Mama contributor Kate Farr for this fab roundup.