DATE OF EVENT: APRIL 17
This special Tour of Pain(TOP) may present a slight sense of Déjà vu for those that participated in the extreme HK300 last year. Indeed the concept was seeded by not-to-be-mentioned Roundtable members that completed the HK300, and there is strong rumours that there may well be a special TOP jersey in the works to commemorate.
For those new to the TOP, the concept is simple. Its a long ride, and it will involve some pain. And if you complete it then you are entitled to purchase the TOP jersey and join that elite club of hard-core finishers.
As we are still very much in isolation mode, this is not a big group ride. Instead, there are 4 Strava segments that you need to complete.
Four Strava Segments
Blue Pool to Mt Austin
Fei Ngo Shan (飛鵝山道)
Shek Kong - Tai Mo Shan Climb
Shek Pik to Big Buddha
Although not compulsory, we recommend that you sign up to the challenge on Segment Spinner to make it easier for us to track your completion. You need to be a member of the SIRC Strava club.
No prizes for the fastest combined time of all 4 segments apart from some serious bragging rights and honourable mention at a party at some future date when such things can happen.
There are a few extra rules that must be followed:
- You must pass along Sai Sha Rd (connects Ma On Shan with Sai Kung). The reason for this is to deter riders from dropping from Fei Ngo Shan into Sha Tin by going the wrong way down a one-way and passing through the restricted tunnel areas.
- To facilitate getting across the water you are allowed to use the MTR twice during the ride. There are no restrictions on where you get on/off the MTR. Of course, you can take any means you like to get to the start, or to get home so don't count that. The ferry is not allowed.
- You need to complete the ride on Saturday. Sunday rides are not valid because Sai Sha Rd is illegal for bikes on Sundays.
You can do the segments in any order and so there are quite a few variations, and your choice will likely depend on where you live.
Recommended Route for Hong Kong Island-based riders.
Start sometime around 5am- 5:15am in the Happy Valley area and ride up to Austin via Blue Pool Rd (Segment 1).
Take the train from North Point to Yau Tong (takes 7 minutes only!!). First train leaves at 6:13am but this may get crowded with other cyclists so also consider taking the second train to spread us out.
Ride from Yau Tong to the base of Fei Ngo Shan. Our resident Sai Kung SIRC, Kingy has advised this route: https://www.strava.com/routes/2816630917561480858 to get from the train to Fei Ngo Shan. Then climb Fei Ngo Shan (segment 2)
Then loop around through Sai Kung to the base of Tai Mo Shan and climb that badass (segment 3). Click here for the full route from Yau Tong to Lai King. Please note this mapped route includes going up to Tai Po Rd and an unconventional way through Tai Po, but feel free to stay on the flat bike paths instead!
Then Train from Lai King to Tung Chung. Special bragging rights if you get off the train at SunnyBay and ride the service road.
This is where the pain will be at its peak as we need to ride over the Beast to get to the Buddha. Crawl up the Buddha from the reservoir (segment 4). Then ride (or taxi) to Mui Wo for beers and food at the China Bear before the ferry back to HK Island. Some super fast guys are aiming for the 1:30 ferry back to the Island, but I suspect the 3:30 ferry is more realistic for most and do not be the slightest bit embarrassed if you are on the 5:30 home!
If the weather is very wet, we will postpone. Please look out for announcements on Whatsapp or Facebook.