Sunday, August 29, 2010


A rare trip to Tai Mo Shan with the man they call Bob Smith today, back from Afganistan. I am now officially rubbish at riding a mountain bike but I enjoyed it all the same. Here's Mark Keith looking a bit more 'core than I do coming through the bamboo groves.

p.s. thanks to my hairdresser for the natty iPhone app that turns rubbish photos into nice ones...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Parlee Bling

Just found out there will be a new bike shop in HK stocking all the good stuff like Colossi steel, Lynskey ti., and Parlee custom carbon frames such as the above- very nice. Sounds like we could even get a competent mechanic! More to come on this once details are a bit clearer.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Of Steel

Tomorrow will see a 'coming together' of the cycling gods when a film about steel bikes & Dario Pegoretti by Ridley Scott Associates & Ben Ingham appears for one day only on Rapha's site.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The newspapers and the online press have been going for it on coverage of the new proposals for Hong Kong's West Kowloon Cultuaral District, with a lot of focus on the public consultation aspect. I have to be careful with what I say here, but, I wanted to add a couple of points that I think would be valid irrespective of any personal involvement. First, shame on OMA (and Rocco) for wasting their slots on the front page of the South China with basic hidden line sketch up models. If you want to sell your scheme to the general public surely you have to try harder than this>? It's a shame, because I think as a concept this is the strongest scheme. In contrast, while the Foster scheme looks the flashiest on the front page of the paper (good images here), it has some real problems that I fear are likely to be glossed over / missed in public consultation. Putting the small 'city' blocks where they have done means the new multi million $$$ West Kowloon Terminus will have it's view of the city blocked (where OMA open this up). Also, isolating the main theater box (large red blob on the left) means it's likely to stay as an isolated main theater. 

The concept of 'city park' is nice, but West Kowloon is a city park as it is and still no one goes there because it's such a pain in the ar*e to get to. The problem (and the challenge) of WKCD was always linking it back into the city and making it a genuinely vibrant community space akin to the South Bank in London. The new terminus was there to be used, not blocked. WKCD was meant to be about more than 'icon' buildings, but somehow Fosters seem to have fallen for that trap. Meanwhile, while OMA 'got it', and their plan makes sense, somehow I fear the general public of Hong Kong won't 'get it'.  As an aside, I also discovered that WKCD also stands for 'what kids can do'.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bull Bearings / The Quality Quadrant

I seem to be having a series of bull bearing crisis's. First my Easton wheel start creaking and I discover the freehub is about as well sealed as an American oil leak. Second, my propriety FSA hiddenset on the Ridley starts seeping rust juice (despite being fitted with new bearings less than 6 months ago) though I think I might have rescued those in time (?). And now I discover that the bearings are loose in my front Easton also. What are these- Mavic?!? I certainly need to revise my what wheels page off the back of this, but good quality bearings seem to be somewhat of a novelty these days. I've got Hope mtb hubs that are still going strong after 10 years that must have seen 100x as much abuse as my Easton road wheels, yet they've never even been serviced. They didn't cost any more either- they're just well sealed. I don't mind looking after my bike, but is fit and forget too much to ask when you consider how much we pay for all this sh*t? And how come the web isn't full of people making more noises about this? It seems people are resigned to their bike kit just wearing out rather than being designed to last. I must say from here in I don't see myself taking any more risks and deviating from the Chris King / Hope / Royce / DT Swiss quality quadrant too much.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Big in Brazil

Everyone's talking about Brazil as the 'next China' in terms of their economy but maybe China could take a leaf out of Brazil's book on the contemporary homes front. This house is the stuff dreams are made of. It's by the Brazilian man of the moment who has one of the best website's I've seen of any Architect.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fresh Record

There's something about that red stripe.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Exit Da Skunk

This morning's triple Peak was a little bit different as it marked the last of the SIRcycling summer exodus- exit stage right Warren Squires aka Da Skunk. Warren has been such a constant on the HK island riding scene that his departure leaves quite a void. He's managed to get up at 5am far more often than I have ever been able to and is stronger than an Ox. He leaves behind a legacy of the SIRloin classic island ride (2 x Shek-O+Peak) & the questionable taste of matching bar tape with shoes.

Appropriately enough, I was 10 minutes late this morning (Warren was on time) so I had a chance to take some pictures of the sunrise on a beautiful day while I waited for the peleton to come down the Peak as I was coming up. On the 2nd climb the pace was surrealy sedate while Warren said his goodbyes. 

This gave me a rare opportunity to try and get some snaps of the SIR peleton, and what a cracker the new iPhone pulled out- it almost looks like I meant to frame the logo on my shorts with the sun washed riders behind looking like they're about to attack. Very rapha, if I do say so myself! Now I know the trick to photo shoots- go slow! Warren is in the one with gold bar tape by the way- one cycling fashion that won't be missed ;-)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

SZ vs HK

These two photos were taken about 6 hours apart. The first in Shenzhen featuring lots of grey skies, buildings, roads and a couple of milk floats that double up as people transporters. The second is the Kong with blue skies, greenery and 1001 Mercs & Lexus in amongst all the buildings. Two cities so near yet so far.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Neil Pryde Bikes Launched

I'm pleased to hear Hong Kong based Neil Pryde bikes have launched. I had a very small involvement in the development phase of these bikes so it's nice to see them come through looking good. Wishing Mike & Co. all the best with their project. If they can sell as many bikes as they've sold bike bags they should do OK!

Felix Candela

A fun drawing from back in the day (1957) by Felix Candela- pioneer of parametrics.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sunrise Over Central

One of these days I really do need to lug the DSLR up the Peak at sunrise.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mad Monastry

A Hong Kong building that's been piquing my interest since I first caught glance on the MAD100 is the Miu Fat buddhist monastery in deepest Kowloon, near the Shenzhen border. My first guess as to what was inside was a stadium to watch some martial arts with raked seating. But further investigation (talking to my friend Laz) revealed it is in fact a monastery.

You have to climb quite a few steps to get up to the main space, but it does provide some nice framed views of the surrounding hills.

Inside it is slightly bizarre and a little more industrial than you might think, but I quite like that. It's certainly different, and it isn't over-run with mainland tourists, a la big buddha.

Outside on the terrace the aggressive structure is pretty nice (I'm sure it was sold as 'uplifting'), though the default Hong Kong cladding solution of beige tiles is a disappointment. You can imagine if they built this in Japan with really nicely finished polished concrete it would look amazing, but all things said, for HK, it's still something different, and something interesting.

While this place is a bit of a mission to get to from HK Island, if you mix it up with a bit of Mong Kok (or a bike shop in Yuen Long...) it's a fun day trip. Cool place.

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Another great dezeen find- this watch tower on the Slovenian border is by Munich based terrain.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Running on the Peak

I still think running in cycling shorts makes you look like an idiot but this video by the Champ Sys guys of Ryan & Co. is very nicely done.

eBay madness

$2599 US for a jersey on eBay. No bids yet...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Battery Hans

Minimalist's dream. Might be tricky to time your egg white omlette by though.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


A beautiful summer's morning for a ride today. Coming out of the Valley I couldn't help but stop and take  this quick picture of the Chopsticks complete with sun rise sky. 

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Sunday, August 1, 2010


Report from last Sunday's Shenzhen race up now on