SIRC: 2020 in review (Be Guided by Pleasure)

SIRC: 2020 in review (Be Guided by Pleasure)

According to the nearly 500 GIFs on the SIRC WhatsApp chat in the last 6 months of 2020, we remain the most visually welcoming and cat-friendly cycling forum in Hong Kong!!

Tuesday 12th January 2021

It is worthwhile to have a scroll and a giggle through WhatsApp to review how we, as a group, have managed to laugh and ride all the way through what was a fairly crazy year, with a variety of new restrictions thrown our way.

We've had our fair share of red(ders) cards and short-term bans handed out to members who have crossed the line on the group chat/ social media this past year, but on the upside, we all knew exactly how to order the sparkly new kit when the shop opened!

A black-kit ban across Hong Kong, (a hangover from the time of large group congregations on the streets) blocked imports of our team kit and spawned the concept of a whole colour range of kit. No one (except Guy) could have predicted that the SIRC MAMILs would evolve to readily display themselves in Giro (ballet slipper) pink and Celeste! 

Out of frustration for reasons to ride (and drink coffee), Guy also developed the 2020 Covid Classic Series which kept us all entertained, competitive and on our bikes in the early waves of group restrictions. Every 2 weeks unveiling a new cheeky segment to smash fest for team honours.

Travel restrictions gave us the highest attendance at all our events for 2020. The Summer Peak ITT had exactly 50 participants (as allowed by the government restrictions in place at that time). 

The Duo TTT had  a whopping 45 teams. The Winter Peak / Colin Robertson memorial ITT was attended by 63 individual riders riding the course over 6-hour socially distant time period. Tour of Pain - New Territories Edition in May was (as written on the tin) painful. Tour of Pain - Hong Kong Edition in November also painful, took on a ‘choose your own adventure’ format to again respect the restrictions.

Gathering and group numbers have yo-yo'd with each wave we have been surfing, such that no one can remember which wave or number of persons are allowed in our 2-metre radius, forcing group rides to be cancelled. Instead, rides have often evolved as a whole string of ITT and duo TTT riders, meeting only to watch a sunrise, take an awesome picture or legally congregate at Mings (otherwise known as ‘the clubhouse’).

And who can forget the few weeks in the middle of 2020 where masks took over our exercising rights and we all struggled to reconnect our zwift accounts and /or explore the options out there to fulfil the new legislation about which parts to cover!

Our whatsapp chat is full of FOMO images- fun rides, long rides, sunrises, beers, comradery, bikes, burgers, even off the island ride to Buddha and the New Terrifying Territories and ohhhhh so many coffee shops! Allowing us to truly, BE GUIDED BY PLEASURE.


Every year, we the crazy funsters of the Roundtable, like to take a poke at each other as a form of group therapy. Despite the absence of an event to share our humour with you all, we feel this year should be no different……Now onto the SIRC ENTERTAINMENT awards, 2020.

Most Improved Rider award- if you join every single damn SIRC weekday ride, you will ride the wheels off your mates. For the most improved Peak time and consistent rider: Congrats to Niek Niens.

The Committed Rider award- for taking on a 300km single ride idea, evolving it to the most intricate detail, selecting your support crew and executing the masterful plan for the all-star women’s #HK300 …….. (despite your husband blowing himself up in less than half as many kms): Cora Van Laer.

James Bond award- to the gentleman of the peloton, who also happens to be most consistent in the post ride beers: anytime & any place: Eddie Wong.

Best new bike of 2020- toughly contested category in 2020, but the colour match here is phenomenal. Need we say more?: Congrats Ella Karsemeijer.

Witty Raconteur award- for wit and whimsical jesting beyond his years: the young pup, Pupcake: Willem vV.

Highly Caffeinated award- for exploring every damn coffee shop in Hong Kong (still waiting on the blog): Guy Thomas.

Sunrise searcher award- for almost daily instilling FOMO in those of us who slept-in: Steve Bemet.

SIRC PR agent- evolving from 2019’s ‘Most professional and handsome rider’, this award is for the club social butterfly: a member of the all-star women's #HK300, for joining w/e SIRC rides and bringing an entourage of new riders to the club: Congrats Mary Ho.

Darkside Development Award- for rolling out the darkside sister group of the SIRCs, the Cyclist Union of New Territories. C U in the NT: Congrats Hetti Cheung.

A special thank you to our SIRC roundtable members for keeping things ticking behind the scenes:

Sir Bo: THE ORIGINAL- thank you for founding SIRS cycling club 16 years ago, often being the voice of reason and even supportive of ‘off the island’ rides on occasion.

Sharkey: for notably creating this year’s socially distanced Tour of Pain with 16 segments to celebrate the 16 years of club activity.

Uncle Roo: our route master- the instigator of the Grand Tour (and it’s evolutions) and creator of the Segment Spinner.

Craig: for highlighting the plight of both titanium bikes and retro kit and developing the Friday Muf-Ti rides.

Ric: our club health and safety officer- supporter in getting more wee pups on the GT and the meticulous planning of lots of great social events, most of which to be sadly ruined by restrictions!

Guy: for utilising all those hours drinking coffee in Fine Print to creatively diversify the club jersey colours and edit spreadsheets as we evolved to be the most social, socially distant riders we know.

Duncan: for managing to avoid almost all riding in 2020, and feeling no FOMO (just the hands of his physio).

Jen and Jane: for bringing the much-needed female diversity to our club during the evolution from SIRS to SIRC and balancing out the MAMILs 😉. Jen was also part of the all-star women’s  #HK300.