Cycling as a form of transport is on the up and up the world over. More bicycles were sold than cars last year in 26 of the European Union’s 28 member states, with Belgium and Luxembourg being the only exceptions. London now has a cycling super highway that runs from outer London into and through the centre of the city. Cycling tracks and bike-sharing schemes are mushrooming whether in European cities, or in Asia.
Back in Hong Kong, bikers will flock to the waterfront this Saturday for the sixth annual Harbourfront Bike Ride. They will start in Kennedy Town and finish at Sai Wan Ho. The ride is to demonstrate that Hong Kong, with Victoria Harbour as its natural heritage, can and should have a harbourfront cycleway.
Whether for leisure or for transport, cycling is inexpensive, convenient and environmentally friendly. Moreover it suits Hong Kong well. Yet the city is hostile to it. Forest Leung, who we featured last April, spoke about his frustration on cycling in Hong Kong. In order to cycle freely, he took up a pre-dawn job so he could cycle before sunrise when cars were still in their garage.
In this edition, we feature biker Lau Kam-moon. In local bikers’ circles, he is known as Uncle Moon. On the first Sunday of every month, Uncle Moon and his friends petition the government to make the city more cycle friendly. They hope their persistence will make the government turn the harbourfront cycleway idea into reality.
We have Marie, a columnist with the Hong Kong Economic Times, write the feature on Uncle Moon for us. On top of writing Uncle Moon’s story, Marie also filed a separate piece about her experience with cycling in Shanghai when she was stationed there a few years ago. Complementing Marie’s piece will be a piece by Billy, a city planner and researcher on the Urban Diary team, where he compares his cycling experience in London and in Hong Kong. Billy has been cycling since his college days in London. Today he still cycles every weekend here in his home city.