Thursday, 29 March 2018

cycling: video action #2

Although I hadn’t intended to post links to more YouTube videos, there is quite a lot of background information to attach to this latest collection. All feature Paula riding in the front.

Way of the dragon’ is undoubtedly the best of my recent discoveries, although my first two attempts to shoot a video were failures. For my first attempt, I started filming at the beginning of the rough road leading off Ma Tso Lung Road, but when we started to go off-road, Paula went straight on at a point where she should have turned right. My second attempt was a much bigger disappointment though.

This is a still from that first video:

There is a drop of almost a metre from the concrete at the bottom of the photo to the dirt where Paula is, which means that it’s necessary to go very slowly. However, going slowly affects one’s stability, and Paula toppled over into the vegetation on her left. She wasn’t hurt, but here’s the rub: for reasons that I can’t explain, the video camera wasn’t behaving as it had done on its first day out, and there were no distinctive beeps to tell me whether I was turning it on or off. And I turned the camera off when I thought I was turning it on, so I missed all the drama. Paula was happy about that!

I explained how I discovered the first of the serendipity alleyways in Serendipity #1, but the first video I shot covered only the alley itself, and the complete connection between Ho Sheung Heung Road and Ma Tso Lung Road also includes a road that presents its own problems. If you watch closely, a lot of concrete has been slathered across this road, creating many 2–3cm lips that are uncomfortable to ride over on a bike.

The interesting point to note about the alleyway itself is the hill. This still of Paula near the bottom provides a flavour of this section:

I don’t think it’s particularly steep, but my legs always feel the strain. I think that this is because it’s natural to attack a hill on a narrow path to avoid wobbling, while the same gradient on a road can be treated more casually because wobbling a bit really doesn’t matter.

For something that really is steep and narrow, look no further than swiss roll:

This photo was taken from the top of the ramp, which I’d originally come across while exploring the road that runs past the top. However, once I’d established that there is a through path here, it was obvious that I would arrange things so that we cycled up, not down, this ramp.

I’ve included a second still image here because of the look of incredulity on the Filipina domestic helper’s face: did someone really just cycle up that hill? I don’t think anyone else does.

I’ve already posted videos of some sections of the long and winding road, but one of my favourite parts is the iron bridge path:

A few months ago, just before we reached the iron bridge, we met a man who told us “there is no way through”. Of course, we knew differently, but if you watch the video, you will get a sense of why a non-cyclist might think there really is no way through here:

When I established ping kong ping pong last year, we started linking this ride with the long and winding road. However, this meant missing out the last section of the original route, and in the last couple of months we’ve reverted to that original.

The first section is yet another uphill narrow path that feels steeper than it is, while the second still shows where the path joins a dirt road that provides an exciting finale:


  1. The videos surely provide a more vivid view on the challeges in the cycling routes


Please leave a comment if you have time, even if you disagree with the opinions expressed in this post, although you must expect a robust defence of those opinions if you choose to challenge them. Anonymous comments may not be accepted.