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Does the AFCD get it?

10 years 1 month ago #266 by BeardedBlunder
Replied by BeardedBlunder on topic Does the AFCD get it?
and how do we do this
comments anyone

please appease tom before he goes loco on a trail

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10 years 1 month ago #264 by tom
Replied by tom on topic Does the AFCD get it?
Hi Jez,

I hope it wasn't a poorly designed trail that led to your long layoff.

I am going to continue my rant. I wasn't sure if anyone was listening.

HK is a wonderful place. Its modern and has incredible, friendly, hard-working, honest people who often have to spend 5.5 days/week in the office including the 9.30am - 8-30pm office hours. It has probably the most advanced public transport infrastructure the world. It also has a very fair and advanced public/private health system. If you fall off you bicycle in the middle of no-where you can expect to be hoisted by helicopter to the one of the best hospitals in Asia at almost no cost to you (and many MTB riders do fall off here). Our financial system is strong, taxes are low, and the government consistently operates a huge budget surplus... and even there is a moderate amount of free speech... so if you are like me, and from the west --- I am Canadian --- HK is an amazing place to live (and the lack of snow enhances that experience). You can live in both the east and west simultaneously, that is until you try to participate in any kind of sporting or nature activity. Then you realize that HK is is trying to better only Bangladesh.

HK has a dreadful record when it comes to investing in infrastructure for sports. We did host the Equestrian events but I dare you to find anyone on the street who has ever touched a horse! The common HK person is not a horse owner nor do they have a stable of horses ready to ride. Even Timothy Fok, our IOC representative, is trying to only host parties for IOC members at our expense (HK 100million)... These kinds of thing have no lasting impact on the sporting world here other than demonstrate to the rest of the IOC that HK has little or nothing for the sporting world. The HKCA is anaemic and does nothing for MTBers, yet has a government funded budget. The HKMBA would love to have even a fraction of what these guys get and you can be certain that it wont be wasted..Check out the HKCA website at http://www.cycling.org.hk/ and you might think that you were Michael J Fox venturing back to the 1880's...its terrible! ... and we are all paying taxes for this??

Now to our country parks which are managed by the AFCD. Entering one is like going backwards in time 50 years (a Canadian perspective). Signage is poor or non-existant. To ride your bike on any of the legal trails you have no idea what skill level is required so if you are a novice MTB rider you may find yourself on the equivalent of a Black Diamond run and not even know it! That's crazy! And irresponsible (not the riders fault but the AFCD's)... now, at the trail head try to find a map of the MTB trails that you can take with you showing you what trails are for what level of rider.

And of course the AFCD have let erosion of the trails continue for years unchecked and this makes MTBer look bad since we are probably the chief cause of it! Its not our fault that they have only allowed us to ride trails prone to erosion - they should have been proactive at the first sight of the damage and starting thinking..."hmmm, this is not good for anyone, what can we do??" But that is not how they work. They have let erosion continue and continue until its at a point where it a blight on the landscape and a huge embarrassment to the people of HK. These hard-working folks have put their trust in the government and the AFCD to manage the trails responsibly in manner that is in keeping with a 1st world city and they have all been let down by dare I say it ... incompetence.

The AFCD in Tai Lam is also running a very interesting social experiment. They are probably the only place in the World, except for Bangladesh, that allow downhillers to ride the same trails that hikers walk! Ooops... there are no hills in Bangladesh. I did say that the AFCD was irresponsible...incompetent... but this is way beyond that! Downhillers need to have their own tracks, separate from hikers. And you wonder why the AFCD are bolstering their security patrols!

Simply put, we need more trails, better trails management, signage, rider education, maps and most importantly we need an interested AFCD since they manage the majority of lands in HK that are available to our sport. In ice-hockey terms - I've dropped my gloves so let's get on with the fight!

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10 years 1 month ago #260 by jezblanchard
Replied by jezblanchard on topic Does the AFCD get it?
Tom,

Having been out of action injured since Nov last year, and having had one ride back in July I can only agree with your comments and answer " I think not ".

I was saddened to see the state of the first section of trail at TMS, where the stairs, as you describe have been eroded at the sides, because we like trail not steps. The second trail that hung left off the stairs is now as you describe a rutted mess, and now the only viable route down, via the Big rock is in danger of going exactly the same way, as its steep, its rooty, most of us drag a back brake over the edge and its really the only route, so it gets lots of traffic, all a management disaster, derived from two factors:

1. The one you mention, no care or understanding of what is required
2. lack of other trail options.

While we all know of the recent actions of the AFCD to police the park, I wonder how many of can say we have seen them working on the trails??? What is all that money spent on beside concrete i beg to ask!

Having returned from a busy period of travel I am well up to work with others to try and get at the very least a maintenance program worked out this to run along side new trail development.

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10 years 1 month ago #232 by tom
Does the AFCD get it? was created by tom
I am going to rant here.

Why do country parks in HK have so many poorly maintained trails including so many stairs that are of no use to cyclists or hikers? It embarrassing to see stairs that that are simply rows of jagged slabs of concrete sticking 6 inches into the air and are completely unusable and generally dangerous to everyone. The trails that pass around these stairs simply end up being wide, massively rutted tracks prone to erosion and are dangerous to people and the Natural Environment (which we all love!). This demonstrates that the AFCD is doing a VERY POOR JOB maintaining the trails in the parks that it manages.

For fun, I dare country park managers to ride a mountain bike on designated mountain bike trails in their parks... let's get a few videos of them breaking legs or separating shoulders on the stairs in its parks. I also dare them to manage the trails in a responsible manner that minimizes damage to the natural environment yet allows these trails to be usable to both hikers and MTBers of all levels and not resemble slashes in the earth with unusable stairs standing out like mini Great Walls . Its possible if the will to do this exists, but as yet they are all talk, talk, talk, but no action. And they do like to talk... and they do talk and talk.... and talk .... and more talk... Oh yeah, did I say that the AFCD like to talk. Yes they like to talk. And talk... and yes, if you like, you can arrange to meet the entire crew and they will talk. Oh yeah, they like to talk. They are paid to talk.

Does the AFCD get it? What is their plan to improve trail conditions in the lands that they administer?

Please, have your say too ...

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