Posts Tagged ‘Media’

East Touch Coverage

Posted: 03/10/2011 by Eric L in Media
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A documentary by RTHK (Radio Television Hong Kong) on New York bicycle culture.

蘋果日報報導 fixed gear,但無可避免地離不開以潮流的角度,不斷提示車手所穿衣服品牌及價錢,卻欠缺了對 fixed gear 曆史以及任何有關其演變伸延如 keirin, track race, alleycat race, 或 bike polo之報導。短片內的車手意外頻生,雖則練習 fixed gear 時有意外,乃係常見之事,但總不需要特意剪輯幾個翻車意外給人看。給人感覺一是車手身手未熟,一是騎 fixed gear 是高危活動,抑或蘋果有意警告有興趣者此活動有一定意外成份?另一方面對如何組裝一台 fixed gear 亦過如簡單,對一個車架可否改裝為 fixed gear 車的關鍵亦不見報導。此文章除了以膚淺的衣著裝飾為鼓吹點外,實在看不見對 fixed gear 有興趣或不了解的人仕有何脾益。


Apple Daily’s incomprehensive coverage on fixed gear. Inevitably, yet predictably, taking an approach of how trendy it is to ride a fixed gear, the article fails to cover on fixed gear’s history and evolutions such as keirin, track race, alleycat race, or bike polo. Riders in the video took nasty falls when doing tricks. Yes, granted that when practicing fixed gear tricks it’s not unusual for riders to fall. But editing them in a video may give an impression to general public that either the riders suck or riding fixed gear is a highly dangerous activity. Or does Apple Daily want to help filtering out people who fear of injury? In addition, it’s being overly simplified when describing how to turn an “ordinary” bike into a fixed gear without mentioning the critical points of whether a frame can be turned into one or not. Besides taking the perspective of a trendy accessory, this article is shallow enough not to be beneficial to anyone who’s interested in entering the fixed gear scene but needs to look for more reliable information.

Apple Daily’s Article.

South China Morning Post, 1 August.

Posted: 02/08/2010 by Eric L in Hong Kong, Media
Tags: ,
A form of transport that promotes a healthy lifestyle, emits zero air pollution, uses little road space and rarely leads to serious accidents would surely be embraced by any government. These are the well-documented benefits of bicycles, and enlightened cities the world over are increasingly making room for them in plans and policies. They would surely ease Hong Kong’s traffic congestion, smog, stress and increasing obesity, yet authorities have taken quite the opposite tack. Instead of encouraging cyclists, they’re going out of their way to keep them off the streets.

Our government’s position is clear. It has openly stated that cycling is a recreational activity, not a viable alternative to trains, buses and cars. It doesn’t provide cycling lanes on roads, makes little effort to link existing paths and leaves few legal parking spaces in public areas. As this newspaper reported last Sunday, thousands of bikes are annually confiscated for being illegally parked; the total was 10,846 last year. Such an approach is abhorrent to governments elsewhere that are more sensitive to the needs and demands of their citizens. European and North American cities have over the past two decades been making more space for cyclists, most notably across Germany and in the US city of Portland, and famously in the Dutch city of Amsterdam, where 40 per cent of traffic is on two wheels. The success of Paris’ public bike rental programme, Velib, has been such that variations have sprouted globally; one in Mexico City has proved immensely popular, despite smog, bad drivers and thin air. London will launch its version on Friday.
It’s easy to see why authorities here aren’t interested in Hong Kong developing a cycling culture. Infrastructure is a core part of the government’s development strategy; the highways, bridges and tunnels it builds for traffic keep revenue flowing and create jobs. Senior civil servants in relevant bureaus and departments can justify their existence by coming up with such ideas. And then there’s the reality that the high cost of registering, fuelling and maintaining a car makes owning one a status symbol in our materialistic society. The high taxes associated with vehicle ownership make officials deaf to calls for better cycling facilities. Well-worn excuses are given for why cycling isn’t a transport option. Our roads are too narrow and not suited to bicycles, we’re told; that makes riding a bike dangerous. Another reason is that our climate is hot and humid in summer. It’s even been stated that roadside air pollution makes the option unhealthy. These aren’t valid claims for the Mexico City businessman who straps his briefcase onto the back of a rental bike and rides to work through grid-locked traffic or the Barcelona teacher and her students who cycle to school.
A huge shift in thinking is obviously needed. Cycling is not a commuting alternative, but it has a part to play in the government’s transport strategy. Bikes are well suited to the new towns of the New Territories, for travel within districts and on the outlying islands. They should be encouraged for road use through the provision of necessary facilities, not treated as merely for recreation. Little data is available on cycling in Hong Kong. There aren’t any official figures on the number of bicycles, cyclists and daily bike trips. It’s not clear how many people would take to two wheels instead of four given the right conditions. Independent assessment of such information is a perfect starting point for a government that claims to be working for our best interests.

Seen via Flwrider.