Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Gauntlet

The number of long rides to do in Hong Kong is extremely limited. In fact, I really only have two to choose from and one of those can't be done on sundays and public holidays as there are no bikes allowed on the road! So today, being Sunday, I set out to find an extra hour of ride time.
In attempt to stay off the busy roads, I ventured out along the bike paths. This turned out to be a bad choice as riding on bike paths in Hong Kong on a Sunday is like running a gauntlet. Not only are there endless groups of people on hire bikes that seem to have no brakes, hundreds of kids that randomly change direction and bikes parked in the middle of the path with seemingly no owner but for some reason I cannot understand, people walk on the opposite side of the path.
In Hong Kong, you drive on the left hand side of the road (which helps me when riding on the road), and on the bike paths you ride on the left hand side as well. But when it comes to walking, everyone walks on the right hand side! Escalators are on the right hand side and if you want to let people pass on an escalator, you move to the right. This causes chaos on the bike paths as you get people walking in the opposite direction in a sea of bikes.
I have one theory to explain this. Being next door to China, Hong Kong gets a lot of visitors from across the border. In China, they drive on the right hand side of the road. Perhaps, they bring this habit to the streets of Hong Kong?

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