Header image courtesy of @bikethemoment (via Instagram)
At a surface-level glance (quite literally, as topography plays a major role), the sharp hills and dense urban structures of Hong Kong may seem unsurmountable to tackle by bicycle. However, with some expert guidance, you may find that exploring on wheels is an experience like no other! Here are some of the best cycling tours in Hong Kong to go on, featuring everything from heritage sites to exciting brushes with the backwoods.
Hong Kong is blessed with a plethora of outlying islands, so you never have to look too far for a quick getaway that makes you feel like you’ve been swept away to a distant, faraway land. An unmissable cycling spot is the car-free Cheung Chau, a popular destination for new bikers who have yet to—quite literally—find their footing.
Smooth Ride Cycles organises a private fishing village bike tour across Cheung Chau, a six-kilometre cross-terrain adventure that uncovers the significance of fishing in local Hong Kong culture. You will also have a chance to take a ride in a traditional sampan boat (舢舨) along the way!
For those who live by the tenet “go big or go home,” Smooth Ride also offers a tour throughout Lantau Island, the biggest island in the region. It encompasses a full-day, 38-kilometre trip that traverses narrow village passageways, picturesque vignettes of bays and hills, and authentic flavours of the Yat Tung Market, rounding off with a view of the golden sunsets at the Hong Kong International Airport runway.
Tolo Harbour is Hong Kong’s largest natural harbour, replete with expansive vistas of bright sky blues merging into the turquoise sapphires of the sea. One of its major draws—other than the view—is that it offers a beginner-friendly cycling trail with one terrain, fit for all ages and suitable for every season of the year.
Wild Hong Kong organises a Tolo Harbour bike tour that allows you to immerse yourself in the wild side of suburban Tai Po. Gaze out onto the mountain range of Pat Sin Leng along the long flat stretch of gravel that makes the ride as smooth as the surrounding undulated waters. On mistier days, passing by the gigantic Guan Yin statue of the Tsz Shan Monastery feels akin to a fantastical, otherworldly experience.
For a ride that gets you knees-deep into the nitty-gritty, Wild Hong Kong also offers a thrilling mountain bike tour in Mui Wo that throws you into thrashing terrains and winding trails. Similarly, their Plover Cove biathlon leads you on a bushwhacking adventure, plunging you into the lush forested highlands of Tai Mei Tuk, before rewarding you with rushing waterfalls.
If you are the type to welcome a quickened heartbeat and the reflexive bursts of adrenaline that come with a good scare, lace up your shoes and clamber onto your bike to join in on this unique cycling tour around the supernatural sites of San Tin, offered by neighbourhood rental shop Let’s Bike Hong Kong.
Drawing from Chinese fables, this bike tour takes pit stops at the ancestral temple at one of Hong Kong’s most ancient villages and an abandoned school, imparting nuggets of information on age-old traditions of gods and monsters along the way. With several of the sights being allegedly haunted, the cycling tour takes you on an intriguing journey between the realms of mysticism and real-life history. Do note that pre-booking is required and you may request an English-language tour.
For an experience that wraps it all into one—heritage relics, natural wonders, and delicious food—look no further than the half- and full-day cycling tours offered by Mountain Biking Asia. With a total distance spanning 28 kilometres, the journey explores the New Territories and starts from Yuen Long, where each person is matched with a perfectly fitted bike and headgear, all included in the pricing.
You will first encounter the traditional villages of Kat Hing Wai and Shui Tau, which have been painstakingly preserved to showcase façades from centuries prior, despite all looking as though they have only aged a day! Afterwards, the cycling tour will lead you to Nam Sang Wai, which plays host to a diverse variety of bird species, offering up mesmerising views of the landscape and waters along the way.
After a dim sum lunch to refuel, the bike tour then leads you towards the fish ponds of Tsim Bei Tsui, bordering Shenzhen Bay, before reaching the final checkpoint of the Hong Kong Wetland Park. Despite the fairly lengthy journey, it is a highly rewarding trip that brings out all the different facets of Hong Kong.
If you are just beginning to get a taste for the road and find yourself hankering for more, it is a sure sign that you should become part of a cycling group. Several cycling chapters around Hong Kong have banded together biking enthusiasts and equally passionate novices. Offering frequent group rides and special cycling events, there are plenty of opportunities to hone your skills, in addition to the sense of camaraderie that inevitably follows. Put your foot to the pedal and read on to find out which crew best suits you!
Renowned cycling apparel brand Rapha is also known for its biking “clubhouses,” which are scattered throughout the world. Hong Kong has its very own Rapha base in Sheung Wan. Notorious for hilly terrains and nicknamed “The Beast” for its nine percent average, Hong Kong is ranked by the group as a challenging yet amazing place for biking. For more information on their regular rides and their one-off events, click here.
Doubling as a shared space for the Rapha Cycling Club (RCC), their island-side hub represents a place for their active network of bikers. Rapha riders can enjoy special privileges in associated cafés as well as exclusive deals on their products. Membership is paid for annually, with more information available here.
Going beyond simply promoting biking as a leisurely pastime, the Hong Kong Cycling Alliance bands together proponents of cycling as the ultimate form of transport. Within this not-for-profit group, there is strong advocacy for Hong Kong as a whole to become more bike-friendly, and this mission is reflected in their core goals to improve city infrastructure and public transport for cyclists. Membership is free, and you can take part simply by joining their Facebook group, or by subscribing to their mailing list.
For the daredevil riders who craves an extra level of physical challenge, mountain biking can provide more bumps and thrills to keep your adrenaline rush going on and on. As a fellow non-profit organisation, Hong Kong Mountain Bike Association provides access to maps, forums, and itineraries that are full of insider information on the off-road networks around Hong Kong. Check out their Facebook page to find out more.
Early bird catches the early worm, as does the early biker catching empty traffic lanes. The South Island Road Cycling squad consists of hundreds of die-hard bikers who enjoy their cycling trips at the crack of dawn on weekday mornings when streets on Hong Kong Island are free to roam safely.
Aside from keeping to a few regular routes, all of which show a fairly high incline and impressive distance, there are also plenty of weekend trips to outer city spots and other exciting events. To get in touch with the group, you can register to join their WhatsApp channel, or keep an eye out on their Facebook group updates.