While the bipolar island temperatures and dense crowds make Hong Kong an unlikely candidate for riding, the cycling culture in the city has been rapidly developing over the past few years.
In fact, it has the one of the fastest growing cycling industries on the globe. And with the second largest concentration of billionaires and some of the best dim sum in the world, riding in Hong Kong means possibly rubbing shoulders with society's elite but definitely eating like a king.
The expansion of Hong Kong’s territories also means that there are many more routes to explore, and in a city so thick with intensity, the need to get out of town is as essential as oxygen.
Climbing is one of the reasons why Hong Kong cycling is so famous.
Victoria Peak is one of the most famous and is situated right in the center of Hong Kong Island. The Fei Go Shan climb boasts anywhere from 15% to 20% gradients. And Lantau Peak in Lantau island is topped with massive Buddha statue on the top of the peak.
But the most iconic and highest mountain in Hong Kong has to be Tai Mo Shan.
Once famous for a type of green tea called “cloud tea”, Tai Mo Shan is also known as the “Cloud Mountain” because of the almost permanent meteorological dressing on top. Riders say that when the conditions are right, you can even feel as if you are part of the sky.
Before you reach the actual Tai Mo Shan segment, you will be warming up on a section called “route twisk” which starts at the Tseun Wan station. It is about 6km long and the grade is rather mellow - perfect preparation for your lungs and legs before the climb gets punchy on the actual Tai Mo Shan climb.
Coming out of the “route twisk” you will pass the sign that says “Tai Mo Shan Country Park.” This is the indication that you have just entered into the main segment of the climb - a 2.5km sinuous route up the mountain at a steady 9% average grade, all the way to the peak.
First timers tend to get fooled by the relatively easy grade at the foot of the mountain, but it gets tougher and tougher until you hit the three switch-backs before you arrive at the peak.
Once into the switchback section, it is time to pump out everything you have to end the climb with a bang.
With the climb done, all that's left a descent to Choi Lung for their famous dim sum.