Friday, 28 December 2018

cycling action photos #2

Since posting Cycling Action Photos in May last year, I’ve continued to add new images to the collection. Few can be regarded as ‘exciting’ in themselves, but taken overall they do provide an accurate sense of what Paula and I spend our time doing.

The first three photos show Paula on a then newly discovered addition to the long and winding road that I described in Room for Improvement. The slope isn’t excessive, but you will need to be in bottom gear at the start because the turn is more awkward than it appears:

The next two photos, taken on the same day from the same vantage point, show the only remotely difficult part of ping kong ping pong. This ramp is almost as steep as the spiral ramp, but as you can see, there is plenty of wobble room, so it is much easier:

The next photo shows an addition to the final frontier that I described in Is That It? This path is no more than 45cm wide, and the drop off the inside of the curve is similar to that off the outside, so the secret is to go fast(ish) to avoid wobbling.

When I originally established journey to the west at the beginning of 2013, after crossing the expressway, I followed a path around an upmarket, low-rise housing complex. These photos show Paula on the exit ramp from that path onto Kwu Tung Road:

The ramp is easy, but the turn is slightly tricky.

The continuation of journey to the west on the other side of Kwu Tung Road involves yet another narrow path around another low-rise housing complex, and the next two photos show a section of the path just before it reaches the witch’s house and the official start of the long and winding road:

This section isn’t difficult either—as long as you’re in a suitably low gear.

Before moving on to images of sections that were discovered last winter, here is a photo of Paula on the path through a squatter area that we use every time we want to get from our local river to Sheung Shui and thence westwards:

There are no difficulties anywhere along this path, but there is a noticeable drop off both sides at this point.

When I came back to Hong Kong in October 2017, following the serendipitous discovery of a narrow path connecting it to Hok Tau Road, one of the first areas that I wanted to explore was the villages south of Sha Tau Kok Road, east of that road’s junction with Ping Che Road. This exploration turned up some interesting amusements, including this short ramp in the village of Ma Mei Ha:

If you think that this looks easy, take a look at the same ramp from below:

There is absolutely no wobble room!

By contrast, the following photos, showing part of serendipity #2, may look tricky, but this section is easy if your brakes are reliable:

The remaining images are all video stills. The first set shows the iron bridge path, one of my favourite sections of the long and winding road:

The next video still shows the last narrow path on the long and winding road:

There is nothing technically difficult here, but as I’ve commented previously, hills on narrow paths always seem like hard work compared with the same hill on an open road. And this hill certainly gets harder further up.

I was discussing swiss roll with Paula recently, and we agreed that it’s much harder than the spiral ramp:

Finally, oriental garden is an as yet undescribed alleyway linking Kam Hang Road with an unnamed dead-end road running parallel to the expressway. A few weeks ago, I had occasion to follow it backwards, and as a result, I found an even better way through. I simply had to show Paula. We had just invested in a second mounting bracket for the camera, and this is what Paula captured:

It is as steep as it looks! And the approach is at 90 degrees to the ramp, so you can’t see what’s coming up. I succeeded on my first attempt because I saw the yellow handrail and interpreted it as a warning, but I neglected to warn Paula in advance, and she stalled at this point.

Unfortunately, I’ve since been crocked with a mystery injury, so we haven’t yet been back, but I have no doubt that my wife will be able to handle this now that she knows what to expect.


  1. Cycling is not only a habit of life but the 'fun' of encountering various 'challenges' in the rides ;-) I am sure that it is the reason that Dennis and I have kept the weekly activities for over thirteen years...

    1. Of course, part of the fun is trying to find new challenges to test my wife. She hasn’t failed yet, even if, sometimes, she has needed more than one attempt.

      Mind you, she hasn’t tried the stepladder yet!


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