Welcoming the New Ho Pui Entrance

an appeal to HKMBA readers and members to make good use of the new start...

As you may know by now, the old Tai Mo Shan contour trail entrance, which is accessible off Route Twisk via a lump of concrete up onto a curb and behind a guardrail, will be phased out in favor of the new, flowy, 4-minute-downhill full of jumps and berms that starts at the top of the green ‘beginner loop’ near the official entrance.

Nevertheless, a lot of people find this new trail a hassle when trying to cram in more shuttle runs in the morning [maybe we secretly enjoy sitting in a stinky van more than riding], and bemoan the loss of ‘the Big Rock,’ as it has affectionately become known over the years. 

It’s Hard  To Say  ‘Goodbye’

For many of us, this entrance conjures up nostalgic memories of mist-filled mornings slipping and sliding down its root-strewn slopes, reveling in the dare and danger that has landed even the most skilled of us in the hospital with cracked ribs, broken fingers, ripped-off ears [full-face helmets came later], and worse. 
 
It has also become a poster-child for erosion and how ‘bad’ mountain biking is for trails, as a few vocal and angry hikers have said in their letters to AFCD and in the press. Every season it gets worse – the International Mountain Bike Association evaluated it as an ‘unmanaged risk’ with a ‘bad fall zone’ and is an ‘impalement hazard’ … fun stuff! If left as is, it will soon be nothing but a spider-web of slippery, exposed roots and thru-axle-deep ruts. And yes, it does cross over a hiking path at 90 degrees [the stone steps, right at the start], rather than run parallel as the new entrance does. 
 
However endearingly this treacherous start may have honed our skills and got our blood pumping in years past, though, there are now other fish in the sea – fresher, faster, more exciting to chase – and like an annoying partner whose wont stop nagging you about your ever expanding bike collection, its time to let 'er go and move on to somenice nicer.
 
Why It Matters
 
HKMBA is currently in talks with AFCD about creating more DH-specific tracks on this side of the mountain, without any additional uphill involved, and it looks positive - to the point where funding has been set aside and recon work is in progress. However, we need your help in developing the trust and mutual respect necessary to keep the ball rolling, and keeping public opinion on our side is part of that. 
 
Without public support, one rabid complaint in the press about shuttling will force AFCD to take a position against Downhill riding so that they can cover their asses in the event of a lawsuit. Years ago, a cyclist riding around High Island Reservoir in Sai Kung slipped on some gravel and tried to sue - now the entire area is closed to bikes. Not something we want to see happen.
 
Most people in Hong Kong don’t understand cycling in general, mountain biking specifically, and undoubtedly find our Darth Vader-in-a-clownsuit attire while pinning it at 25 kph down Kap Lung the stuff of nightmares. As such, any good PR that we can generate is sorely, desperately needed – and supporting the closure of a badly-aligned, severely-eroded, and highly-visible trail is a huge step in the right direction. 
 
Of course, no trail is perfect – and in the final stages, IMBA and HKMBA have been listening to feedback from riders testing out the new entrance, particularly about the flow and positioning of jumps. As always, please do feel free to send feedback on this or any other trails to us at HKMBA and/or directly to AFCD, so we can improve what’s already there, and build even better trails in the future.
 

By The Numbers

NEW HO PUI ENTRANCE [DH]

Length – approx 1.1 km*
Average grade – 7%

Maximum grade – 15%
 
*Getting to this crest, near the helipad, requires a 300m-long ‘climb’ up a modest 3% grade. Most lift-serviced DH tracks around the world have similar ‘flat’ sections on them that require the odd bit of pedaling. This one just happens to be at the very start, and is nothing compared to the uphill slog leading to ‘The Push’…
 
OLD ‘BIG ROCK’ ENTRANCE
 
Length – approx  60 m
Average grade – 50%*
Minimum grade – 25-30%
 
*The track[s] at this ‘social’ entrance’ [that’s the Ag&Fish name for it] are as steep as 45 degrees in places, whereas the soil at this location has been evaluated by professional surveyors from IMBA to be able to sustain a maximum of 10-15% - not to mention it has the worst accident record in the entire park, and only lasts a few seconds. 
 
 … compare these to …
 
A-LINE, WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA 
 
Length – around 6.5 km
Average grade – 3.5%*

 
*This contour line trail is famous for multiple options and jump lines, and is HALF AS STEEP of a grade on average as the new entrance. 

“A-Line is arguably the most celebrated DH course in mountain biking, with nearly 50 jumps on the course. A-Line is the benchmark all DH courses strive to emulate.” – Evolution Whistler 
 

 

Please do hesitate to share you feedback either good or bad on the new trail. You can do it here via Facebook comments, in the HKMBA forum or even email the HKMBA volunteer team (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). The AFCD also take feedback seriously and  should you wish to contact them directly then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
 
 

 

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